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10 CEOs turned crooks

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8. Walter Forbes

Company: Cendant

Convicted: 2007

In 1998, direct marketing company Comp-U-Card merged with Hospitality Franchise System, a platform used to acquire hotel chains, to form Cendant.

The new company soon found that CUC’s former CEO and the executive of newly formed business Cendant, had lied about the financial status of CUC, reporting over half a billion dollars in non-existent profits.

In 2007, Forbes was sentenced to 12 years in prison and over $3bn in damages.

9. Sanjay Kumar

Company: Computer Associates

Convicted: 2006

The former CEO of Computer Associates led a $2.2bn fraud almost exclusively through cooking his company’s books.

Kumar, alongside other executives, used low-key methods such as adding an extra week to financial reporting periods or backdating contracts. 

Although the CEO started the fraud scheme in 2000, it took the authorities six years to indict him on charges of securities fraud and obstruction of justice. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

10. Jeffrey Skilling

Company: Enron

Convicted: 2006

The energy, commodities and services company based in Houston, Texas, 
went from being the nation’s seventh-largest firm to a bankrupt company, with a convicted CEO.

Skilling joined the company in 1990 and in 2001 he briefly became the company’s CEO.
Before resigning abruptly months later as the company was approaching its breaking point, Skilling cashed in about $60m in stock.

He was tried and convicted in 2001 on 18 counts of corruption, including fraud, insider trading and conspiracy.

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