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Silvio Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi may no longer be the Italian prime minister, but his tax evasion, general corruption and sex with an underage prostitute made it a very memorable run. Before entering politics, Berlusconi built his business empire – allegedly with seed funding from the Italian mafia. He made his money first through the construction industry, and then later amassed a huge fortune through buying up Italian media companies and the world famous soccer team A.C. Milan. Berlusconi is currently the 141st richest man in the world, with a fortune of $9 billion USD. He first became the Italian head of state in 1994, but was removed 8 months later in 1995 after Forza Italia's (his political party) alliance with the secessionist party Lega Nord fell apart over allegations Berlusconi was luring MPs to his party with the promise of lucrative deals. He laid low for awhile, and then became prime minister again in 2001. His second tenure ended in 2006, but he was reelected yet again just 2 years later in 2008, where he held office until 2011 before resigning at the height of the Italian debt crisis and various personal scandals. After the completion of his 3rd and final term, Berlusconi was the longest serving prime minister in post-Mussolini Italy. He was subsequently convicted of tax evasion and barred from serving in public office for 6 years, and is serving community service instead of jail time as Italian law prohibits anyone over the age of 70 from being incarcerated.

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