1997: Indian hits rock bottom

Phil Zanghi never really tried to resurrect Indian. Instead, he used the money he raised from motorcycle-loving investors and licensing deals to fund a luxurious lifestyle including a Rolls Royce and a Ferrari.

In 1997, a U.S. District Court jury deliberated less than three hours before convicting Zanghi of securities fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering. Although he was up for up to 221 years on all charges, he was sentenced to 7 1/2 years.

 Zanghi acted as his own lawyer. "Maybe I'm a con man," he told the jury in his closing arguments. "Maybe I'm a promoter. But I brought the Indian trademark back."

Zanghi acted as his own lawyer. "Maybe I'm a con man," he told the jury in his closing arguments. "Maybe I'm a promoter. But I brought the Indian trademark back."

The trademark was disposed of by a bankruptcy receiver.

[Author’s note: I’m not a lawyer, but I have to think that using the phrase “Maybe I’m a con man” was a mistake.]