Bernie Ebbers, Worldcom
The poster boy for felonious audacity and the architect of high-flying Worldcom’s descent into bankruptcy, Bernie Ebbers is serving 25 years in federal prison in Louisiana. He was found guilty in 2005 of securities fraud, conspiracy and filing false documents with regulators. Essentially he cooked the books at telecom giant Worldcom, overestimating revenues by about $5 billion over seven quarters. Known as the Telecom Cowoboy for his wearing of jeans and cowboy boots to work, the former motel-chain owner had a flair that followed him all the way to the jailhouse door; he drove himself to prison in his Mercedes.