It's pretty clear that depending on your level of skill, crime really can pay. A lot. Drug trafficking, murder-for-hire, car jacking, check fraud, and identity theft are all booming industries right now. Many criminals have failed to complete a formal education, another thing that's been debunked as necessary for success. Intelligent deviants who choose a life of crime often profit -- and sometimes, they go legit and become incredibly successful in business. Here are five criminals who became entrepreneurs.
Although not nearly as entertaining as Judge Judy, Judge Mathis is a popular and well paid daytime television judge. Instead of enforcing the law, Mathis routinely broke it as a teenager. In his high school years, he joined an infamous Detroit street gang called the Erroll Flynns. At age 17, Mathis was arrested and sentenced to prison time after the judge saw his heap of past arrests. Mathis had had enough of crime.
Upon his release, Mathis attended college and became a campus activist. After graduating, he went on to become a court judge for Michigan's 36th district and never looked back. His show has now been running for ten seasons (since 1999), taping over 2000 episodes. Mathis' laid back, jovial attitude has gained fans who love his sense of humor. Not only does he allow long, angry diatribes by the disputing parties, but he often lets aspiring rappers and singers showcase their talents for a few seconds during the show. What a guy.