After doing time in Philadelphia for embezzlement, Charles Yerkes used bribery, blackmail, and "complex" financial dealings to develop and control much of Chicago's L.

Rate this fact:

He was sentenced to thirty-three months for failing to pay the city of Philadelphia $400,000 after the bond market crashed due to the Chicago Fire in 1871. He was pardoned by the governor after only seven months, allegedly because he threatened to expose what he knew about politicians.