Crunching numbers from the latest Forbes list of the wealthiest Americans, Orange County Business Journal concluded that local billionaires lost a combined $5.8 billion of wealth since September. That's not all that has shrunk: there are 793 billionaires on the latest Forbes list, compared with 1,125 a year ago.
None of OC's billionaire nine had their wealth increase since mid-September. The highest-ranking local, Irvine Co. chairman Donald Bren, was valued at $12 billion, the same as six months ago. But he can now boast about being the richest real estate owner in the world and the world's 26th wealthiest person, according to Forbes.
Next are David Sun and John Tu of Fountain Valley-based Kingston Technology Co., dropping $1.5 billion apiece since September to hover around the $2.5 billion mark (each). They are followed by Oakley founder Jim Jannard (down to $2.2 billion from $3 billion six months ago); Pacific Investment Management Co. bond fund manager Bill Gross ($1.9 billion or $100 million less than he was worth in September); and Olen Properties Corp. owner Igor Olenicoff ($1.4 billion, down $300 million).
Real estate owner, businessman and systematic rip-off artist George Argyros (down a half bil to $1.3 billion) follows, then it's on to Broadcom Corp. co-founders Henry Samueli and the [allegedly] felonious Henry Nicholas ($1.3 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively, down $1.8 billion each in September).
In other poor little felonious rich man news, Bernie Madoff can look forward to becoming a target behind bars, world-renowned, Newport Beach-based forensic psychiatrist Park Dietz tells Bloomberg.
(Dietz's claim to fame was leading the team that evaluated John Hinckley Jr., serving as a technical advisor to TV's Law & Order and participating in more than 12,000 criminal investigations through his Park Dietz & Associates consulting firm in Newport, when he is not making the rounds at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. In the interest of full disclosure, he was also the central figure in Nick Schou's damning Weekly piece that was affectionately titled, "Dr. Demento.")
"In the beginning, he will be besieged by mail that will be threatening and accusatory," Dietz predicts of Madoff behind bars. "There will be people trying to scam him and people who think he's hiding money. There will be inmates asking for money, and you don't want them to disbelieve you when you say you don't have it."
Don't worry, doc, Madoff has proven he's really good at getting people to believe him.
Previously in Welcome to the Poorhouse:
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