In this article, we are going to discuss Who paid the largest criminal fine in history, But first, let us go through the concept of Criminal fines. A criminal fine is a punishment for an individual who has been convicted of a crime. The amount of the fine will depend on the severity of the crime and the person’s ability to pay. Criminal fines are usually used in place of jail time or prison time and are most often issued as part of a sentence by a judge.
The amount of the fine is determined by the severity of the crime committed and varies from country to country. A fine used to be a payment imposed on subjects of an absolute monarch or empire. It is a form of tax. According to the United States Bureau of Justice, fines are defined as “punishments for violations of law.” Fines are not taxes in the normal sense (for example, sales tax) but can be thought of as when money is forced from someone who has not yet been found guilty and convicted for their crime. The word “fine” comes from Old English “fyn,” which originally meant something small and fine.
Below mentioned are the top companies and people who paid the largest criminal fine in history:-
1. Bernie Madoff: A stockbroker who paid the largest criminal fine in the history
Bernie Madoff is a former stockbroker and investment advisor. He ran a Ponzi scheme for over 20 years and was sentenced to 150 years in prison. The Bernie Madoff case is one of the biggest financial crimes in history. The total amount of money lost by his clients was $18 billion dollars, which was later revised to $19 billion dollars. Furthermore, the SEC fined him $150 billion dollars as a penalty for his fraudulent actions, making it the largest monetary penalty levied on an individual in United States history. Learn more →
Who is Bernie Madoff? The Mastermind who paid the largest criminal fine in History
Madoff grew up in a Jewish family of accountants and attended York Preparatory School in Pennsylvania. Madoff was an accountant before his arrest and had been employed by various firms including Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, Alex. Brown and Sons, and JP Morgan Chase. Madoff’s fraud began in the 1970s when he started a feed-trading business and used investors’ money to start a hedge fund called Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS) with two partners. Learn more →
2. Volkswagen’s $14.7 Billion Fine for violating the Clean Air Act in the United States
Volkswagen is a German car company that manufactures luxury cars. They were fined $14.7 billion for violating the Clean Air Act in the United States. The company was found to have installed software in their diesel vehicles to cheat on emissions tests. This software allowed their cars to emit up to 40 times more nitrogen oxide than is allowed under U.S. law. This fine was one of the largest penalties ever imposed on a car manufacturer and it is considered one of the worst environmental crimes in U.S history.
The Volkswagen Emissions Scandal is a major environmental crime, which has led to the company being fined over $14 billion in total. The scandal revolves around the use of illegal software that allowed Volkswagen vehicles to emit less nitrogen oxide during testing than they would during normal driving conditions. The company was fined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for violating the Clean Air Act and ordered to fix the cars and pay $4.3 billion in damages for consumers who bought their cars only to find out that they weren’t as environmentally friendly as they were advertised.
The scandal has led to the company losing its share value by 10% and has been a major blow to Volkswagen’s public image. It is one of the largest fines in U.S. history and has severely damaged the company’s reputation as well as its share value, which plummeted by 10%. The software was developed and installed in the company’s vehicles by engineers at Audi, Volkswagen’s luxury division. The illegal devices were installed on about 11 million cars worldwide. Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned over the scandal on Wednesday, March 23, 2015. Learn more →
3. BP’s $13 Billion Fine for the Deepwater Horizon disaster
British Petroleum was charged with a $13 billion dollar fine for its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The company’s total cost is estimated to be $53 billion. BP is also paying $8 billion in criminal fines and forfeitures one of the largest criminal fines in history and will pay another $9 billion to businesses and individuals who were harmed by the spill. BP has set aside $43 billion for cleanup costs, compensation, and damages from the disaster. Learn more →
4. ExxonMobil’s $11 Billion Fine for the Exxon Mobil Oil Spill
Exxon Mobil is a multinational oil and gas company that has been fined 11 billion dollars for the damages caused by the ExxonMobil Oil Spill. In April of 2010, the ExxonMobil oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico experienced a catastrophic failure and started to leak oil into the ocean. The spill was not completely contained until July 2010.
The total cost of this disaster is estimated at $40 billion, which includes $11 billion in civil penalties under Clean Water Act, $1.1 billion in criminal fines, and $27.2 million in natural resource damages. Learn more →
“We will not rest until we have brought all those responsible to justice and secured the appropriate punishment for their crimes.”- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
5. Pfizer’s $2.3 Billion Fine for illegally marketing drugs
Pfizer is a pharmaceutical company that has been in the news for the last few years. They have been fined for their involvement in a settlement agreement lawsuit, which was worth $2.3 billion, and is considered to be the list of those who paid the largest criminal fine in history.
The settlement agreement lawsuit was filed by state and federal officials against Pfizer and other drug companies, accusing them of illegally marketing drugs and failing to report information about adverse events as required by law. Learn more →