Top 10 Celebrities Who Got Scammed



Top 10 Celebrities Who Got Scammed

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: William Regot
Script written by William Regot

As it turns out, celebrities can also get hustled. Jack Nicholson, Uma Thurman and Robert De Niro are just a few of the famous victims of money scams. WatchMojo is counting down the top 10 stars who were conned out of their money.

Special thanks to our user MikeMJPMUNCH for submitting the idea. Check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%20Ten%20Celebrities%20Who%20Got%20Scammed%20Out%20Of%20Their%20Money
Script written by William Regot

Top 10 Celebrities Who Got Scammed Out Of Their Money

As it turns out, celebrities can also get hustled. Welcome to, and today, we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Celebrities Who Got Scammed Out Of Their Money.

For this list, we’re looking at famous people who lost money to con artists, bad management or another reason.

#10: Jack Nicholson

Considering himself a connoisseur of art, Nicholson decided to turn his hobby into a lucrative investment by making an arrangement with New York art dealer Tod Michael Volpe. The actor reportedly gave Volpe $610,000 for the investment fund and, in return, Volpe was supposed to invest in artwork and give back a share of the profit. Unfortunately for Nicholson, Volpe never paid back any of the money made from his investments. However, Volpe’s scheme was eventually uncovered, and, in 1998, he was given a 28-month prison sentence for fraud.

#9: Dane Cook

For most of the '90s, Dane Cook left his half brother, Darryl McCauley, in charge of his money. That turned out to be a bad decision, as McCauley went on to steal more than $12 million from Cook, including a $3 million deposit McCauley made into one of his own accounts. Dane alerted authorities over the missing funds, and in 2008 McCauley and his wife Erika were convicted of embezzlement and larceny. The couple was not only ordered to pay Cook back but also received prison sentences and probation.

#8: Kiefer Sutherland

In 2010, actor Kiefer Sutherland was roped into a deal with cattle manager Michael Wayne Carr, wherein Carr would use Sutherland’s money to buy cattle in Mexico and sell them in the US. A previous arrangement with Carr in 2006 had netted Sutherland a sizable return, but when Sutherland gave Carr more than $869,000, Carr pocketed the money and did not follow through with an investment. Upon his arrest, Carr pled guilty to forgery and grand theft larceny and had to pay Sutherland – and others – back in full.

#7: Liv Tyler

In 2009, “Lord of the Rings” star Liv Tyler found that she had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent credit card charges to beautician Maria Hashemipour. Known as the “skin expert to the stars”, the makeup artist and salon owner was able to relieve Tyler of $214,000 before the actress's management team discovered the theft. Tyler was not the only victim either, as Hashemipour had also stolen from Jennifer Aniston and Anne Hathaway. In 2011, Hashemipour pled guilty to credit card fraud and was sentenced to 3,000 hours of community service, five years probation and risked deportation.

#6: Uma Thurman

When Uma Thurman asked her financial adviser Kenneth Starr about money she suspected he had taken, Starr immediately gave Thurman her money back. Unfortunately, the money actually belonged to other celebrities whose finances Starr had been handling. This led to the revelation that Kenneth Starr, who had been known as the “financial adviser to the stars” had defrauded clients of around $30 million through an elaborate ponzi scheme. Upon conviction of fraud and money laundering, Starr received seven and a half years in prison.

#5: Billy Joel

In 1989, Billy Joel accused his manager, former brother-in-law Frank Weber of taking tens of millions of dollars out of Joel’s accounts without his consent and putting it in Weber’s own investments. To reclaim the money, Joel filed a lawsuit for $90 million, but, after years of fighting in court that involved suits against his own lawyers, Joel only recouped around $8 million in damages. Ironically, Joel's business relationship with Weber continued long after the piano man divorced Weber's sister, Elizabeth, but, as with Dane Cook, it proved to be a reminder that family and finances don't always mix.

#4: Robert De Niro

You’d think with all the tough guys and psychopaths De Niro has played over the years, no one would dare scam the actor, but art dealer Lawrence Salander was crazy enough to try it. De Niro had contacted Salander to consign a number of paintings made by his deceased father, artist Robert De Niro, Sr. However, rather than reimburse De Niro for the paintings after he sold the work, Salander just kept the money to pay back old debts. Salander ultimately stole $120 million from his clients, including tennis great John McEnroe.

#3: Ben Stiller

Unwittingly falling victim to a ponzi scheme, Ben Stiller entrusted $250,000 to Dana Giacchetto, a financial adviser who was called a “stockbroker to the stars.” Overall, the broker was able to steal $10 million from a host of clients, including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Leonardo DiCaprio. When Giacchetto was caught, sources disagree about whether or not Stiller was able to get his money back, but it’s pretty much taken for fact that other clients, such as Fred Schneider of the B-52’s, and the band Phish, weren’t so fortunate. In 2001, Giacchetto received a three year prison sentence, and died in 2016.

#2: Sting

In 1995, Sting learned that his financial adviser of 15 years, Keith Moore, had stolen $10 million from him, which Moore redistributed into more than 100 different accounts. That money was used for various projects, including the funding of an Australian restaurant chain that specialized in Indian food, a new type of car transmission, and the conversion of Russian military aircraft into passenger planes. For his embezzlement, Moore received a six year sentence, but what stood out about this scandal in the court of public opinion, was how long Sting had overlooked his missing fortune.

#1: John Malkovich

One of the many victims in Bernie Madoff’s massive ponzi scheme, actor John Malkovich had lost more than $2 million, and was only able to recoup a fraction of that money in court in 2011. The actor stated the Madoff scam devastated him financially, but he was able to count his blessings overall and was thankful he could continue working. However, Malkovich wasn't the only celebrity Madoff ripped off. The financier is thought to have plundered $65 billion, with other notable victims including Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, and is currently serving a 150 year sentence.