We like our city's characters to be as cartoonish as possible. We enjoy pretending that we live in a Marvel Comics universe. Turn to this year's winner for Best Citizen, and you'll find a gun-toting, rich playboy who stalks nefarious animal abusers. How Gotham-esque is that? So God bless the Miami Marlins front office for being as gleefully villainous as possible. The perennially crappy baseball team fleeced the citizenry for a Little Havana stadium that will cost taxpayers more than $2 billion with interest. Owner Jeffrey Loria (AKA the Penguin) and president David Samson (AKA Pinky) spent roughly $200 million of their ill-gotten gains on top free agents. All these cretins had to do was laugh maniacally in private and remember to wait 30 minutes after caviar before swimming through their Brickell tower full of gold coins. Instead, Napoleonic nincompoop Samson took to a March business luncheon to brag about the royal stadium heist. According to a Miami Today reporter in attendance, Samson boasted that his money would flood his skybox even if the stands remained typically empty. He also took potshots at billionaire activist Norman Braman — another comic-book-worthy character who fought the stadium effort — and the admittedly dubious smarts of local politicians. Samson claimed he had been misquoted, but video footage confirmed most of Miami Today's account. Quite Two-Face of him, don't you agree? Here's hoping Loria soon starts menacingly stroking a white cat during interviews.

David Rivera either has balls the size of snow globes or he lacks the part of the human brain that allows a man to take responsibility for his actions. Until recently, Rivera was under investigation by three separate agencies: the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service. He was duly named one of America's "Most Corrupt" congressmen by the nonprofit group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. But when the FDLE decided to close its 18-month-long case against the freshman Republican without filing charges, Rivera's response wasn't contrition or even clarification. It was a big, neon-lit eff-you. Rivera blasted the investigation as "fabricated lies." Never mind the copious evidence that he has lived off of nothing but an elaborate and shady web of campaign donations for the past ten years. Or the $1 million consulting deal he secretly organized in 2008 with Flagler Dog Track — now Magic City Casino — for a company owned by his mom. Maybe the reason behind Rivera's chutzpah is the fact that despite his outrageous record, he looks more and more likely to keep his seat this fall. No Republicans have challenged him. His first Democratic opponent, Luis Garcia, dropped out. Winning re-election as America's most corrupt politico? Now that's some balls.

In Ponzistan — as South Florida will someday be rechristened in the more honest history books — it takes something extra to stand out. Pyramid schemes are a dime a dozen; to get your face on Mount Ponzimore, you've got to bring it. Nevin Shapiro took down a university's sports program. Scott Rothstein demolished Broward's political system. And Allen Stanford? All he did was buy a house with a moat in Coral Gables for his mistress, snatch up virtually the entire Caribbean nation of Antigua, set himself up as a faux cricket baron, and blow through an $8 billion scheme from a headquarters in downtown's Miami Center. Stanford's crazy ride didn't end once he finally landed in prison in 2009 after his Ponzi scheme collapsed into rubble. While in custody, he was beaten to a pulp by another prisoner and required mental health assessments before his trial. Thankfully, in March a jury finally decided to put Stanford where he belongs — alongside Shapiro and Rothstein, rotting away in prison for decades — after convicting him on 13 of 14 fraud charges.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®