Falling into debt is something that nobody is exempt from. Not even the rich and famous. Trying to escape from your debts is a major offence that can land you with a serious jail term if convicted. Just ask these famous faces whose debts caused them to fall foul of the legal system.

Martha Stewart

She was the USA’s domestic goddess, supplying the public with recipes and catering tips while evoking a persona that mixed Julia child with Delia Smith. But in 2004 her insider trading activities were exposed as part of the ‘ImClone stock trading scandal’ and her multi-million dollar empire soon collapsed as she received a jail sentence for conspiracy, obstruction of an agency proceeding, and making false statements to federal investigators. However, since her release she has successfully rejuvenated her career.

Willie Nelson

Having spent decades as one of America’s most popular country and western artists, at the age of 57 Willie Nelson should have been planning his retirement, but when a whopping tax bill of $16.million arrived at his door he not only lost everything he owned to pay it back, but had to go on tour and issue a greatest hits record with the rather explanatory title ‘The IRS Tapes’. His problems may have been the result of his accountants’ incompetency, but the debt was ultimately his and with all personal possessions auctioned, he cringingly turned to singing on Taco Bell commercials for money.

Nicolas Cage

Having dozens of box office hits to your name might make an actor feel financially immortal, but Nicolas Cage proved in 2009 that this is simply not the case. After initial charges of making personal expenses of $600,000, a second bill of $6.2 million in back taxes nearly bankrupted him. This debt was allegedly due to his not paying tax on the $24 million worth of acting fees he had earned. Cage accused his business manager of stealing his money and causing his financial ruin, but that didn’t save the action star from losing his properties including a castle he purchased.

Wesley Snipes

Well, at least Nicolas Cage can take solace in the fact that he didn’t end up like fellow actor Wesley Snipes whose debts went one step further and landed him in jail. Although Snipes was acquitted of conspiracy charges, his failure to file income tax returns ended in a four year jail sentence. Still currently in prison, he is due out in 2013.

Judy Garland

A serious drug problem, extravagant spending, and multiple divorces led Judy Garland to lose much of her fortune during the 1950s. Making matters worse was that her time as a hugely popular actress was coming to an end. A lot was riding on the success of her 1954 remake of A star is Born, and so convinced was she of its impending success that she began spending recklessly again. The film flopped and the IRS took her home shortly afterwards. Garland never owned property again; instead she spent the rest of her life moving between hotels. She died in 1969.

Author's Bio: 

UK process servers like Eclipse Legal are on hand to ensure that people who abscond from their debts are brought to justice and that you receive the money which is rightfully yours. With private investigators throughout the UK, you can be sure no debt will be too evasive for Eclipse Legal.