The 40 Under 40: Every year, lists like Fortune’s 40 Under 40 are made as people celebrate those who have stood out as leaders or influencing figures. But whether it be an annual list or something put together on the fly, they are celebrations of what people have achieved. Unfortunately, the success that lands people on the lists does not always continue into the future. Some experience a fall from grace, something that has occurred multiple times this year alone.
Sam Bankman-Fried: It is hard to look at the news without seeing the name Sam Bankman-Fried, and it is not for good reasons. The collapse of FTX was a massive blow to an already-hurting crypto industry, and the aftereffects are devastating companies in the space. Moreover, as more information comes to light, Bankman-Fried looks worse and worse, with investigations into the collapse and his role already underway.
While jail time is not guaranteed for the previous “savior” of crypto, it is already a major drop from when he was featured in Fortune’s 2021 40 Under 40 at the age of 29. Such a short time ago, he was praised as someone looking to do good, and when people talked about FTX, it revolved around the company’s valuation of $18 billion.
Caroline Ellison: Unlike her colleague and reported occasional romantic partner Sam Bankman-Fried, Caroline Ellison was not as well-known before the FTX collapse. She served as the CEO of Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried’s trading firm, and was part of FTX’s inner circle.
Ellison reportedly knew about the transfer of customer funds from FTX to Alameda, and she has posted some hot takes online in regard to crypto, race science, and polyamory. But at one point, she made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list with Sam Trabucco, former co-CEO of Alameda.
Elizabeth Holmes: Medical technology became especially important over the past few years. Because of that, investors were eager for what Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos were selling, an analyzer that could produce accurate, reliable, and fast results with the simple prick of a finger. However, the results ended up being lies that saw Holmes sentenced to 11 years in prison for defrauding investors.
After a long legal battle, Holmes received sentencing after being found guilty around a week ago, on November 18th. But before her downfall, Elizabeth Holmes found herself part of the Fortune 40 Under 40 in 2014. Back then, Theranos was just beginning, and people were excited about where Holmes’ career was headed.
Martin Shkreli: Another Forbes 30 Under 30 Finance, Martin Shkreli appeared nearly a decade earlier on the 2012 list. He made quite the name for himself for a while, co-founding and serving as CEO of pharmaceutical firms Retrophin and Turing Pharmaceuticals, since renamed Vyera Pharmaceuticals.
In 2015, Shkreli received criticism and legal action for increasing the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill. But he ultimately faced his downfall when he was convicted of securities fraud and conspiring to commit securities fraud in a matter unrelated to the drug controversy. Shkreli was released from prison ahead of time in May of this year.
Anna Sorokin: Or is it Anna Delvey? This con artist and fraudster made quite a name for herself, and while she never appeared on a major list, such as the 40 Under 40, she certainly qualifies as an influential figure during her reign. She managed to pose as a wealthy heiress for years, infiltrating and fooling those in the New York social and art scenes.
Sorokin’s activities included faking financial documents, forging transfer confirmations, and more, which she used to fuel a lavish lifestyle. Eventually, she was caught in a sting operation and sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison. She has since inspired a Netflix series, been released from prison this year, and reportedly living quite well despite her house arrest.
Spencer Hulse is a news desk editor at Grit Daily News. He covers startups, affiliate, viral, and marketing news.