33. Imelda Marcos – $5 billion
The story of Imelda Marcos will leave you breathless.
In normal countries, the wife of an ousted dictator could call herself lucky to escape into exile and start over. Not in the Philippines. There, the widow of Ferdinand Marcos, not only entered Parliament but kept most of the money his husband acquired through blatant parasitism of the taxpayer’s money.
Imelda is said to own $5 billion, most of which are securely held in a Swiss bank under the false identity of Jane Ryan. Because the Philippine Government was unable to convict her of any wrongdoing, that money is safe and at her disposal.
That’s a bit of shame given Imelda’s appetite for mindless spending, like the time she burnt $2,000 on chewing gum at the San Francisco International Airport. Oh, and let’s not forget about the thousands of pairs of shoes the 88-year-old owns.