Green Greed: Biggest Money Scandals of 2014

Money is often said to be the root of all evil, and from cartoon villains, to real life businesses, scandals involving big bank accounts and lawsuit settlements with advances, can devastate the economy and many different businesses. There was no shortage of scandals involving large amounts of money in 2014. Let’s look at a few of the most outrageous.

Bitcoin Scandal
Bitcoins, the digital currency, seemed poised to become the world’s dominant medium for doing business until it collapsed in Scandal early in 2014. Essentially, approximately 409 million dollars’ worth of bitcoins went missing. Many were leery of bitcoins – a currency which is not controlled by any government – but the company had been gaining legitimacy when the scandal hit. There were even Bitcoin ATMs in New York and San Francisco.
The scandal came as a global shock, and there were a number of government investigations in the wake of the scandal. Numerous investors withdrew their support for the company. Even worse than the money Bitcoin lost in the scandal was the blow to its reputation. Now, instead of cutting edge, Bitcoin is seen by many as the currency of criminals. On the other hand, many are still intrigued by the concept of a global digital currency and there is potential for recovery.

Vatican Money Laundering Scandal
Approximately 20 million dollars’ worth of allegedly embezzled money in the accounts of top Vatican Bank executives was seized late in 2014. The scandal was one of many in a series of money laundering crimes originating in the Vatican bank. The bank’s ex-president, Angelo Caloia, is at the center of years of money laundering and illegal banking activities. The Vatican Bank’s reputation has taken a hard hit, and it remains to be seen if the efforts of Pope Francis to rehabilitate the troubled institution will be effective.

Green Greed Biggest Money Scandals of 2014

Source: Getty Images (RF)

Thomas Vanek Gambling Scandal
Former National Hockey League standout Thomas Vanek found himself in hot water late in 2014 when he plead guilty to federal charges of gambling and money laundering. One of the details that has emerged from the legal proceedings is that the highly paid athlete endorsed a paycheck for 230 million, when he was playing for the New York Islanders to cover a personal gambling debt.

Vanek wasn’t just gambling himself. Along with his brother and another man, Vanek was helping run a gambling organization with assets in the millions. Vanek still denies some of the allegations against him.

There were plenty of cases in 2014 of greed and avarice trumping common sense and good judgment. Maybe there will be fewer financial scandals in 2015, but it’s not likely!


Brooke ChaplanBrooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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