10. Peter Lombardi - $1 billion
With Lombardi, we are officially entering the 1 billion-club on this Ponzi scheme list. His scam is perhaps the most malicious because the victims were HIV patients. Lombardi founded the Mutual Benefits Company and asked people to invest.
Apparently, the idea was to fund the lawsuits of HIV patients against pharmaceutical companies. A 2003 SEC raid discovered his real goals, and he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was so skilled that people didn’t find even 50% of the money he stole.