How do criminals make money and is it the easy way to get rich quick?
Ever wonder how the mob makes money? Wonder how much drug lords make?
I’m counting down the top ten illegal jobs that make the most money from drug lord to the mob’s favorite money-maker.
From interviews with the culprits to revealing which Hollywood star has a hitman in the family. This is how criminals get rich…or maybe not so much.
We’re building a huge community of people ready to beat debt, make more money and make their money work for them. Subscribe and join the community to create the financial future you deserve. It’s free and you’ll never miss a video.
Join the Let’s Talk Money community on YouTube!
How Does the Underworld Get Rich Fast?
One of our most popular vids has been the ten high-paying jobs you can get without a degree and researching for the video, I came across something I just had to follow up on.
I know I can’t be the only one that thinks
about it, some of the most popular movies and shows have been about it. From
Tony Montana to Walter White of Breaking Bad, we’re fascinated by the get rich
ease of the underground jobs.
So I couldn’t resist researching the top 10
illegal jobs to get rich, how much they make and the truth when you get beyond
the Hollywood hype.
What I found blew my mind and is going to take
the glamour off many of these illicit jobs. Understand that this is purely for
entertainment purposes only. In fact, after the list, I’m going to reveal one
reason not to go over to the dark side that nobody every thinks about until
it’s too late.
How do Drug Lords Make Money?
Our first illegal high paying job here is a
big one, the drug lord. Now the United Nations estimates the global illicit
drug market at over $360 billion a year so we’re talking a whole industry of
workers from growers to dealers all the way up to the kingpin.
I actually live right now in Medellin,
Colombia. Yes, home of Pablo Escobar and the Narcos, and I’ve seen my share of
dumb gringos come down thinking they’re going to be the next Frank Lucas,
immortalized by Denzel Washington in the movie American Gangster.
A gram of cocaine will cost you about $10 here
on the streets of Medellin and sells for as much as $80 in the United States.
Understand though you’ve got an entire industry of jobs at every step.
For example, when someone buys drugs on the street, they typically pay a dealer and then have to go to another guy that actually hands over the drugs.
This is an attempt to not get prosecuted as a dealer because the first guy is just collecting money from a friend and the second guy is just sharing his own stash, not necessarily selling anything.
Depending on what they’re selling, these guys might make a few hundred a day up to a thousand. But these guys are chumps, right?
They’re taking all the risk while the city supplier or the drug lord sits back and collects millions. It’s estimated that Bolivian drug lord Roberto Suarez Gomez was making $400 million a year during the 80s.
Want to know how to get rich and stay out of prison? Check out this video playlist on how to build real wealth fast.
How does the Mafia Make Money?
Our next illegal job is fencing, and it’s
probably the most common way the mob makes money.
There are two forms here, either reselling stolen goods or using a patsy company to buy goods not pay for them and selling them at a discount. The mob knows it can move their sales fast because they’re selling at a huge discount, like forty cents on the dollar.
What does it care, it’s all profit because it didn’t pay anything in the first place.
The mob might hijack a truck or one of the best examples is in the movie Goodfellas where mob boss Paulie gets involved to protect the restaurant owner. For payback, the mob starts charging all kinds of liquor, meats, whatever on the restaurant’s credit accounts then turns around and sells the stuff out the back door.
It’s a short-term scam because the restaurant is never going to be able to pay off all the charges but the mob knows it can always move on and squeeze someone else.
According to a paper published by the Notre
Dame Law School, property theft and fencing costs upwards of $144 billion in
today’s dollars. Consider a huge discount on the resell and that’s still worth
nearly $30 billion a year in the United States alone.
Now for fencing, it helps to have that
organized network to muscle a shop owner. Otherwise, you’re playing the
stick-up man at night while trying to sell stuff during the day. I don’t know,
that sounds like a lot of work to me.
How Much do Bank Robbers Make?
Our third illegal job for big bucks, bank
robber, and this is one you don’t hear about much because banks have a policy
of not disclosing how much is stolen in a robbery.
Why? Because if people knew just how much bank
robbers were making…ooh boy!
Bank heists are down 60% in the past 25 years
according to FBI stats while cyber crimes have exploded. The Bureau reports
just 4,030 robberies were pulled in 2015 but that still amounted to over $28 million
or about seven grand each robbery.
Now that’s not a lot of money but considering
a 2017 study found the average bank robbery lasts just three minutes, it comes
out to making about $140,000 an hour.
In 2015, Heist Man Clay Tumey did a question-and-answer
on Reddit about his experience robbing three banks in 2006. Tumey was never
caught but turned himself in to serve three years in 2007.
Tumey says he learned everything from the internet and never told anyone what he was doing. He would simply walk into a bank, hand the first available teller a note demanding all the $50s and $100-dollar bills, and then walk out.
No threats and no gun. He was in and out within a minute and considering the average police response time to robbery is over five minutes, never saw a cop car.
See how I make six-figures online every year. Check out these videos on making money online and get started today!
How to Start a Casino and Make Money
Fourth on our list of high paying illegal
jobs, and this has always been a really interesting one for me, is an illegal
Is it hypocrisy or just state-sanctioned
organized crime that only casinos can set up their own gambling? I mean, here you
have a company that is allowed to create games designed to take your money.
Worst still is they can kick you out if you’re caught doing anything like
counting cards, which is totally legal but gives you the advantage.
The casino industry pulls in over $77 billion
a year in the United States alone and pays its employees an average of just
$47,000 a year. There are more than 500 casinos in the U.S., in every state
except Hawaii and Utah.
My mom spent a lot of time in casinos when I
was growing up and I’ve spent my fair share. So I watch movies like The House, Rounders
and Boiler Room and I think, wouldn’t it be nice to be on the winning side of
that for once?
Most illegal casinos are actually set up as
infrequent tournaments rather than a round-the-clock casino. The host charges a
buy-in fee and then pays out most of the money to tournament winners but keeps
some for profit.
On traditional casino games, understand that
your profit is extremely thin. The average profit on a casino game is well
under 5% which means you’ll get about $5 of every $100 gambled each hour.
Compare that to the 45% made by state lotteries and the biggest winner to
legalized gambling becomes immediately clear.
So casinos, illegal or otherwise, make their
money in quantity. If you’re only making a 3% profit on gamblers, you need a
hundred people making $100 bets for an hour to make a $300 profit. Out of this,
you have to pay dealers, wait staff, security.
You can see why casinos need 24/7 operations
and tens of thousands of people to make those billions.
How do Con Artists Make Money?
Our fifth illegal job, con artist, whether it
be in shady investment schemes like the $65 billion stolen by Bernie Madoff or
nearly $3 million in bad checks written by Frank Abagnale.
Con artist is a tricky one to explain because
it’s not one specific illegal job but a way of pulling off a range of heists
from the multi-level Ponzi scam to just selling phony products.
You know the saying, “If you believe that,
I’ve got a bridge to sell you.” It became popular because there was actually a
con, possibly the greatest con artist in American history, that made millions
selling the Brooklyn bridge after it had been built in 1883.
For 30 years, George Parker convinced recent
immigrant arrivals and others that he was more interested in bridge building
than ownership. He would sell them the rights to put tolls on the Brooklyn
bridge for just $75 or about $1,740 in today’s prices.
It’s said George sold the bridge out of his
real estate office about twice a week for three decades, a scam that would have
made him over $5.4 million.
Being a con artist is just as much the
personality and salesman as anything else. From the longer title, confidence
man, these people find those worst traits in others and exploit them for
One of the most famous con artists, Joseph
“Yellow Kid” Weil, writes in his autobiography, “The desire to get something
for nothing has been very costly to many people who have dealt with me and with
other con men. When people learn, as I doubt they will, that they can’t get
something for nothing, crime will diminish and we shall live in greater
How do Hackers Make Money?
Over half way through our list of high-paying illegal jobs and next on the list is hacker. Hacking has come a long way since Matthew Broderick played tic-tac-toe to avert nuclear war in 1983.
IBM security estimates that 80% of cybercrime is now perpetrated by organized gangs operating in cubicle farms, just like a regular business.
It’s estimated that hackers will steal data or
breach the networks of over 60% of the businesses in the U.S. each year and
generate at least $1.5 trillion globally. That includes over $160 billion in
trading personal information and a billion in ransomware.
One of the newest forms of hacking is breaking
into someone’s computer, locking it up and demanding a ransom to unlock it. A
2013 launch of the ransomware Cryptolocker reportedly made over $3 million
doing just that.
Another HILARIOUS new scam going around is
what’s being called the Porn Pirates where emails are sent out claiming to have
hacked your webcam and recorded…the free-time you spend in front of your
The hackers then demand up to $800 in a
bitcoin transfer or they’ll release the video to everyone you know.
This one isn’t even a hack really. The
scammers haven’t hacked into your computer but are simply playing on people’s
fears of being hacked and humiliated.
How to Be an Arms Dealer and Get Rich
Our seventh illegal job, arms dealer, actually
isn’t illegal at all. There is a legitimate business of buying and selling
weapons but you have to do it through government procurement contracts.
The 2016 movie War Dogs with Jonah Hill is a surprisingly
true-to-life recount of three friends making millions on the pentagon’s weapons
procurement bidding process. The Miami natives bought and sold guns and
ammunition for years, buying from brokers in Eastern Europe and selling to the
It was only when they landed a $300 million
contract to supply the Afghan army with ammunition that it became an illegal
job that would bring them down. They had to deliver millions of rounds for the
contract and turned to repackaging illegal Chinese ammunition in Albania.
Outside the legitimate arms trade, that’s how
the illegal gun runner works, buying weapons in markets that have few
restrictions and then selling in places like West Africa that have import
restrictions on those weapons. This was the model shown in the 2005 Nicolas
Cage movie Lord of War based on a collection of gun runners including Viktor
Bout and Sarkis Soghanalian.
How much do illegal arms dealers make? Jean
Bernard Lasnaud, a French-born arms dealer in Florida, claims to make up to
$2.5 million a year. Viktor Bout is estimated to have made over $50 million
selling arms to the Taliban in the late 90s.
As for getting started, American citizens must
first get a Federal Firearm License and then get an export license, but that’s
about it. You have to learn the import/export rules around the business but
even someone on the legal side of this can make a lot of money.
How to Become a Pimp
Eighth on our list of illegal jobs is the
second oldest profession, pimp, and a report by the Urban Institute in 2014
shows just how much pimpin pays.
The report revealed the underground sex
economy to be as high as $290 million a year in just eight major U.S. cities. In
the study of markets in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Seattle,
San Diego and D.C. pimps made between $5,000 to almost $33,000 a week.
More than a third of the pimps interviewed
worked through what they called a bottom girl, a trusted prostitute that helped
manage the others and often took the blame with law enforcement.
Pimps and their network advertise, provide
security and pay some expenses. Lest you think it’s all big dollar signs
though, pimps reported spending upwards of $500 a week just on transportation
and rental cars. From $300 to $500 a week went to beauty salons, tanning and
clothes and hotel costs could easily reach above a grand a week.
All going to show that Big Daddy Kane was
right when he said, “Pimpin ain’t easy”
Do Ticket Scalpers Still Make Money?
Second to last on our list is the ticket
broker, or scalping as most people know it.
Secondary market ticket sites like StubHub and SeatGeek have changed the game for this money-maker. The ticket scalper’s biggest problem today isn’t the cops but the bots used by large scale brokers.
A big-time scalper can have rows of computers and software that hits the online ticketing sites with thousands of ticket requests. They can corner the market for a concert in a matter of minutes and then make thousands selling when the price is right.
There’s still some room for the little guy
with a team of people sitting at their computers. You’ll spend most of your
time researching what concerts you think could be popular and then being ready
when tickets go on sale. You then watch the price on secondary sites and wait
to sell your tickets.
There is some risk here because basically,
ticket scalpers are betting on what concerts will be in demand when the tickets
are sold out. One scalper told Billboard.com that he might lose $100,000 on a
The higher price of tickets has also cut into
profits. The same broker said he used to make $60 to $70 on a ticket but now
might only clear $30 because the original price of the tickets are so high.
There really isn’t much legal action against
scalpers these days. Besides being difficult to catch and prosecute, who’s
going after the guy making $30 on a ticket when the venue is charging $15 for a
How Much Money does a Hitman Make?
Our last illegal job here is the hitman or
professional assassin. Now hundreds of movies have been made about hired
killers and after researching the job, this one is definitely the most
glamourized and re-imagined by Hollywood.
Research in 2003 by the Australian Institute
of Criminology found the average payment for a hitman around $15,000 but more
than half the contracts paid $9,000 or less. Not what you’d expect from the
movie lore where hitman win six-figure contracts.
Also contrary to what you see in the movies,
the Australian and other studies have found personal relationships are the most
common reason for a hit. One-in-five hits are contracted ahead of a coming
divorce, break-up or cheating spouse so if you’re thinking you’ll only be
killing bad guys, think again. Only 10% of hits are tied to organized crime or
Hits aren’t the sophisticated and elaborate
plan you see on the big screen either. Most involve simply walking up to the
person with a gun, sometimes making it look like a failed robbery.
In fact, the only Hollywood connection I could
find is the fact that one Hollywood star, Woody Harrelson’s dad, Charles
Harrelson, was convicted of killing two people and accused of several other
murders. The elder was reportedly paid $14,000 in today’s dollars for the ’68
killing of Sam Degelia and later accused of killing Judge John Wood Jr in 1979.
How to start a blog for legit passive income, every single month!
That’s ten illegal jobs that can make a lot of money but there’s one flaw nobody thinks about here. Even if you can make six-figures in some of these jobs, and it seems most of them don’t, what happens when you get caught?
Factor in the lost wages while in prison and the shitty jobs for the rest of your life plus the value of lost time from your family…I don’t think it’d be worth it for a million dollars.