Ivan Boesky

Ivan Boesky partially inspired Michael Douglas' Gordon Gekko character in the hit 1987 film "Wall Street" -- the pop-culture touchstone for tales of insatiable materialism. The stock trader and arbitrageur, who once told an audience at UC Berkeley that he thought "greed is healthy," made his money betting on corporate takeovers. Often, his calls were made with illegal inside tips. When regulators found out, Boesky agreed to cooperate, implicating other major Wall Street players such as financier Michael Milken. He struck a plea bargain in 1986 that involved a short prison term in Lompoc, $100 million in civil penalties and exile from the financial industry. In one court session, Boesky told the judge he was "deeply ashamed" of his deeds and sought to "redeem" himself.
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