There’s the infamous Bernie Madoff, who is currently serving a 150-year prison sentence for his decades-long multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme that wiped out the life savings of millions of people. But most in the finance industry doing time for white collar crime aren’t dealing with a sentence as stiff as Madoff’s. That’s because his crime represents “extraordinary evil,” according to the judge that sentenced him -- deserving of a prison term on par with that of terrorists, traitors and violent criminals.
More often, white collar criminals serve much shorter terms, similar to Gupta's. One example: Jerome Kerviel was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $7 billion fine for trading fraud.
Of course, some critics say more bankers should be going to jail, but it's unlikely that bankers and executives that played a major role in the financial crisis will end up behind bars. And if they're punished at all, those debts to society will likely be paid in dollars, not years behind bars.
10 Bankers & Investment Brokers Sentenced to Prison Time
Kerviel was found guilty of one of the world's most colosal trading frauds in 2010. He cost France's Société Générale bank 4.9 billion Euros. He was sentenced to 3 years in jail and was also sentenced to paying a $7 billion fine, The Guardian reports.
Steven Goldberg, Peter Grimm and Dominick Carollo
Goldberg, Grimm and Carollo were found guilty of conning the I.R.S. and cities in a "bid-rigging scheme" during their time at General Electric,Businessweek reports.
Raj Rajaratnam, the former head of Galleon Management, was sentenced to 11 years in jail in October 2011, the longest prison term for insider trading to date, The Washington Post reports.
In what is now considered to be one of the biggest and most famous Ponzi schemes in history, Madoff laundered about $65 billion, Forbes reports. Madoff defrauded thousands of investors, all of whom can be found on a 163-page list.
During Nick Lesson's time at Bristain's Barings Bank, he lost 862 million pounds and even managed to level the 233-year-old bank itself, according to The Telegraph. He served four years in a Singapore jail before he was released early with life-threatening cancer.
Currently serving 110 years in prison, Allen Stanford was, at one time, one of the richest men in America, according to CNBC. He conned about 20,000 investors out of their money in a Ponzi scheme.
Garth Peterson, the former head of Morgan Stanley's Chinese real-estate investments unit, was sentenced to 9 months in jail last August for bribery, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Bradley Birkenfeld spent more than 2 years in jail for assisting in income tax evasion while working at UBS. He then volunteered inside information on Swiss banking to the I.R.S., and was rewarded with $104 million for being a whistle-blower, according to The New York Times.
Dennis Levine, Martin Siegel, Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken defrauded Wall Street investors in the 1980's. In a scandalous series of events, Levine stole confidential documents from Lazard Freres investment bank, and the crew made use of inside information, according to The Daily Beast.