FOX 11 ARCHIVES: The Redemption Of A Junk Bond King - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

FOX 11 ARCHIVES: The Redemption Of A Junk Bond King

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Los Angeles -

Michael Milken was the Homecoming King of Encino's Birmingham High School, but later he was more widely known as the junk bond king of Wall Street.  Milken headed the bond department at the Drexel-Burnham-Lambert brokerage firm in Beverly Hills in the high-flying, reckless boom years of the 1980s, when greed trumped ethics in the sale of risky securities known as "junk bonds."  Milken's activities at the firm made him a billionaire -- and a criminal.  After investors lost millions of dollars, the Securities Exchange Commission and the Justice Department began investigating Milken and other traders -- though Milken was the main focus.

In 1989 Milken was indicted for securities fraud and racketeering.  On November 21, 1990 he took a plea bargain on reporting violations, was given a ten year prison sentence, and banned for life from securities trading.  After serving less than two years, Milken was released and begin a new life as a philanthropist.

As part of his parole, Milken was ordered to participate in the LAPD's D.A.R.E. school anti-drug program.  That's where one of our reporters caught up with him -- and grilled him a little on his motives.  Check out the video clip.

In recent years, Milken has taken on a new challenge: finding a cure for prostate cancer, a disease he overcame after leaving prison.  Milken also has donated millions of dollars to education programs, and funded a high school named for his family, where students are known for their high achievements as well.

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