NET WORTH: $1.25 billion -11%
LAST YEAR: $1.4 billion
RESIDENCE: Los Angeles
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Investments
THE MONEY: Former Wall Street financier saw drop in shares of online school operator K12, which is facing criticism of its educational standards. Education firm Knowledge Universe was hit with credit downgrades because of high debt and poor earnings.
BUZZ: University of Colorado study raised questions about the effectiveness of K12, saying only one-third of its online schools had met No Child Left Behind standards. Knowledge Universe has also struggled, obtaining waivers of its lender covenants as it grapples with anemic revenue and enrollment. Milken continues to pursue interests in philanthropy, education and medical research. His medical think tank FasterCures was vocal in pushing for a government drug development center created by the Obama administration last year. As a sought-after speaker, discussed public-private partnerships at the White House and shared a panel on economic policy in Moscow with Vladimir Putin. Is part of a wealthy Lake Tahoe community that includes Oracle’s Larry Ellison and that won record $43 million property tax refund in court. Began career at Drexel Burnham Lambert in 1969, engineering issuance of high-yield bonds, better known as “junk bonds” – slang he hates – for noninvestment grade companies. Indicted for securities fraud in 1989; pled guilty to six felony counts, served 22 months in prison and paid $200 million in fines.
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