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Huang Guangyu
Year: 2008

Guangyu was born an impoverished peasant from south China. He built a business selling cheap products from that region to cities in the North, and ultimately became the richest man in the country. He founded Gome, which became the largest consumer electronics company in China. In 2008, he and his wife were accused of insider trading in shares of Gome, among other things. He was sentenced to 14 years in jail, ending the bizarre story of the quick rise and quick fall of one of China's most notable entrepreneurs.

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Last updated May 28 2010: 3:42 PM ET
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