Charles Keating, Jr. glances at the cameras as he stops outside Federal court following a hearing in Los Angeles in this Feb. 5, 1998, file photo. // Charles Keating Jr., former Lincoln Savings and Loan CEO (Susan Sterner/File/AP Photo)

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Charles Keating, Jr. glances at the cameras as he stops outside Federal court following a hearing in Los Angeles in this Feb. 5, 1998, file photo.

The damage: A central figure in the 1980s savings and loan debacle, Charles Keating was convicted of bilking mostly elderly investors out of more than $250 million while looting his company. A federal takeover of his failed thrift cost taxpayers $3.4 billion.

The details: As Lincoln Savings and Loan grew under Keating, money was shifted to its parent company, American Continental, and used for speculative investments and personal expenses. The fallout:

  • Keating was convicted of duping about 23,000 Lincoln depositors into purchasing high-risk junk bonds issued by American Continental, although that conviction was overturned.
  • A group of U.S. senators that had intervened with regulators on his behalf was tarnished as the "Keating Five."
  • Keating lost control of lavish projects like the Phoenician Resort. (Look inside the resort.)

What happened to him? After getting his first conviction overturned, Keating pleaded guilty to wire-fraud charges and was sentenced to time served, less than five years.