name some living ex-cons who later became millionaire entrepreneurs
October 24, 2016 8:02 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for people out there currently who made a felony criminal mistake, served their time in prison, and later (today) became successful entrepreneurs. While I know there are probably a lot in music, film and TV, I'm also looking for the ones in OTHER industries.
posted by rileyray3000 to Work & Money (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's TV-adjacent, but Don King stomped someone to death, went to prison for four years, and became the most important person in boxing for decades.
posted by Etrigan at 8:04 AM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Mark Wahlberg comes to mind most immediately.
posted by selfnoise at 8:14 AM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Conbody comes to mind. Don't think he's a millionaire, but definitely entrepreneur. There was also a Startup podcast on his business.
posted by Karaage at 8:15 AM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Frank Abagnale is probably one of the more famous cases of this.
posted by zizzle at 8:19 AM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

Dave Dahl of Dave's Killer Bread was in prison, and has had some trouble on and off with the law since the success of the bread line too. I don't know how far spread the Dave's Killer Bread line is, but it's very popular in Portland, Oregon.
posted by hydra77 at 8:47 AM on October 24, 2016 [6 favorites]

Roger "Bitcoin Jesus" Ver.
posted by true at 8:58 AM on October 24, 2016

Tim Allen. Sorry, see that you were looking for non-show biz turnarounds. Uh, hope you enjoy the mustache?
posted by Mr. Fig at 10:20 AM on October 24, 2016

Kevin Mitnick's net worth was reported as $11 million in 2012 according to this website of possibly questionable accuracy.

(my first thought, naturally, was Martha, but she was a millionaire before the felony)
posted by sparklemotion at 10:42 AM on October 24, 2016

Danny Trejo appears to have a net worth of $16M.
posted by porpoise at 11:05 AM on October 24, 2016

My brother used to work for a telecom company founded by an ex-convict drug dealer/distributor after he got out of prison. Allegedly, investors included "undisclosed sources in Colombia," and there were going to be "challenges" with having an IPO, and the company ended up failing spectacularly in ~2001. I'm not sure this meets all your criteria, but I think this sort of thing might be more common than one would expect.
posted by JMOZ at 12:25 PM on October 24, 2016

Shon Hopwood - not sure about his net worth, but his successful jailhouse lawyering led him to become a lawyer after release, to teach at Georgetown, and to write a successful and well-received memoir.
posted by burden at 12:57 PM on October 24, 2016

Business Insider has a pretty decent list.

(BTW, your question history is wouldn't be a professional listicle writer by any chance?)
posted by phoenixy at 1:17 PM on October 24, 2016

Huh. Business Insider didn't mention Henry Blodget. Wonder why.
posted by cgs06 at 2:23 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

I don't know what his net worth is, but the founder of "Prison Bars" learned his cooking skill while doing time.
posted by janey47 at 2:33 PM on October 24, 2016

Haha, touche. I suppose technically Blodget was never convicted of a crime; he was only ever charged in civil court.
posted by phoenixy at 3:27 PM on October 24, 2016

not sure about felony part, but maybe Khalil Rafiti, founder of the SunLife Organics chain
posted by soakimbo at 8:53 PM on October 24, 2016

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