Big Bill for a Bullion Binge

A $134 million penalty could bring disaster to the Hunts

"People who know how much they're worth generally aren't worth too much."

-- Nelson Bunker Hunt, 1980

At the rate they are going, the Hunt brothers of Texas may lose so much of their fortune that they will be able to count what remains at the kitchen table. Just eight years ago, Nelson Bunker, 62, William Herbert, 59, and Lamar, 56 -- heirs of the legendary Oilman H.L. Hunt -- commanded a combined net worth of more than $5 billion. Since then their fortune has plummeted to $1 billion or less, and it could keep right on shrinking until they are...

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