The Richest Criminals in History


It’s humanity’s worst kept secret that partaking in illegal activities is a pretty good way to get a massive bank account. Let’s be honest, if you’re not paying taxes your income goes up significantly almost instantly anyway, right? Petty crime won’t quite do it though, so in order to make the big bucks in crime you also have to put in the biggest amounts of work.

Let’s take a look at the criminals that have done best for themselves. Just in case you want to feel even worse about your mediocre job, I guess.

Al Capone

Let’s start with the most famous one. Al Capone was worth a whopping $100 million at the time of his death, and he made all that money at a time when America thought alcohol was the problem. When he died he’d already spent 14 years in jail, which was twice the amount he spent as leader of the Chicago Gang.

Al Capone | The Richest Criminals in History | Zestradar

Griselda Blanco

Also known as the Black Widow but not part of the Avengers, Griselda was a drug kingpin in the early 2000s. She was one of the most successful women in crime and the first female billionaire convict all from mostly selling cocaine. Her net worth was estimated at two billion dollars.

Griselda Blanco | The Richest Criminals in History | Zestradar

Pablo Escobar

Cocaine seems like a lucrative business because Pablo Escobar did so well he managed to make about $420 million per week. He was eventually killed in Colombia with the help of US Forces as he pretty much owned the entire drug trade in the US. His net worth was $30 billion.

Pablo Escobar | The Richest Criminals in History | Zestradar

Frank Lucas

This Harlem-based drug smuggler was mostly notorious in the 60’s and 70’s. The man was so deep in the heroin business that he actually sold about one million dollars worth on a daily basis. At his peak he had a personal net worth of $52 million and a whole bunch of heroin stashed in between his own assets.

Frank Lucas | The Richest Criminals in History | Zestradar

Semion Mogilevich

Russian organized crime also pays well. Semion didn’t just stick to drugs like many criminals on this list but ran his organization like the Mafia organizations of old. He dealt in arms trafficking, contract killing, smuggling, kidnapping, prostitution, and all of this on a global scale. He’s currently still free and living in Moscow with a net worth of $10 billion.

Simon mogilevich | The Richest Criminals in History | Zestradar

El Chapo

Born as Joaquín Guzmán, El Chapo was one of the most famous Mexican drug lords in history. At the peak of his criminal career he produced all kinds of drugs among which cocaine, marihuana and heroin. He was worth one billion dollars, which is an insane amount of money.

El Chapo | The Richest Criminals in History | Zestradar

Amado Carrillo Fuentes

The second Mexican cartel drug lord on this list, Amado took over the Juárez Cartel after the untimely demise of his former boss. He transported drugs through large fleets of jets and was worth $25 billion. Now the weird part: he was supposed to have his face changed so the police wouldn’t recognize him, but got killed by his bodyguards during the surgery. And somehow people believe this, I guess.