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These Billionaires Have All Gone Bankrupt


Business Insider has an interesting story on 10 billionaires who either went belly up or who declared bankruptcy. The story is a reminder that anyone can struggle financially. If you have suddenly run into financial difficulty, you shouldn’t be embarrassed. Instead, you should meet with a South Florida bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible to review your options for digging your way out of debt.

Jocelyn Wildenstein

Mrs. Wildenstein was the wife of Alec Wildenstein, a billionaire art dealer. In May 2018, Mrs. Wildenstein ended up filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Once rumored to have spent $1 million a month, she declared in her bankruptcy petition that her income was at the time of filing was $0 and that she was living on a $900 a month Social Security payment along with the help of friends and family.

Wildenstein had received $2.5 billion from her husband in a divorce settlement. She claimed to be entitled to even more money and alleged that some art works she received in the divorce settlement were forgeries. Apparently, $2.5 billion wasn’t enough for Mrs. Wildenstein to support herself on.

Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes’ fall from grace is the stuff of legends. She formed a blood testing company, Theranos, that allegedly had developed a blood test that required very little blood. Many famous people joined the board of Holmes’ company, such as George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, which at one point was valued at $9 billion. According to Vanity Fair, Holmes herself was once estimated to be worth $4.5 billion. No one rose so high, so fast in Silicon Valley.

However, Theranos was dogged with rumors that its blood testing products were dangerous or worthless. In June 2018, things came to a head when the government charged Holmes and her partner with wire fraud. She currently has a $0 net worth—a stunning fall from her former heights.

Donald J. Trump

Business Insider includes Trump in their list of billionaires who have declared bankruptcy. Of course, there is some dispute about whether our President even really qualifies as a billionaire. Many people allege that Trump inflates his net worth, though Fortune magazine closely analyzed financial documents and estimated that Trump’s net worth was very close to $4 billion.

As the magazine recognizes, Trump has actually never declared personal bankruptcy. Instead, he has filed for bankruptcy protection for several of his companies. Among the Trump companies that have used bankruptcy are:

  • Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal casino
  • New York City’s Plaza Hotel
  • Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts
  • Trump Entertainment Resorts

Trump certainly is right that he is allowed to seek bankruptcy protection when his companies cannot pay their debts. Small businesses in South Florida should be aware that they often can seek the same protection for their companies.

Meet with Nowack & Olson Today

Our Plantation bankruptcy attorneys at Nowak & Olson, PLLC have helped over 20,000 people seek bankruptcy protection, which can stop creditor lawsuits in their tracks. For more information about the process, please contact us today by calling 888-813-4737.





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