Financial Criminals Have Been Fined Billions, but They Rarely Pay
So how do convicted felons go about avoiding their payments? Take the case of Paul Bilzerian, who owed the Securities and Exchange Commission $62 million and paid only $3.7 million over the course of 25 years. (The Journal reported a few days ago that the SEC was officially giving up on getting any more money from him, after having spent $8.6 million to get the meager amount that they did obtain.)
Bilzerian has systematically thwarted federal prosecutors by building a web of trusts, partnerships, and corporations established in sketchy tropical locales. He has passed on cash and assets to this sons. He delayed prosecutors for years with a bankruptcy filing. And he has transferred ownership of his 28,000 square-foot home to trusts that were owned by, at various times, his in-laws and his neighbor’s mom. “Do you think I’d be stupid enough to have a bank account?” Bilzerian told a Journal reporter.