“The Queen of Mean” was a chain-smoking hotelier and real estate tycoon with a reputation for tyrannical behaviour. She took the view that “only the little people pay taxes” but was investigated and convicted of federal income tax evasion in 1989. Sentenced to 16 years, she served just 19 months in prison and 2 months under house arrest. Worth some $8 billion, Helmsley left her Maltese dog, Trouble, $12 million in trust.
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