30 Years of No. 1 Companies

Timothy Rice
15 of 29

1996: Equinox International
Las Vegas

1995 Revenue: $194.7 million
Three-Year Growth: 3,563%

Equinox International made its way to the top of the Inc. 500 by selling and marketing everything from water filters to vitamins. But the success of the company was apparently ensnared with illegal activity. In 2000, the Federal Trade Commission forced Equinox to liquidate $40 million worth of assets, to be paid out to Equinox distributors who were bilked out of their money. CEO Bill Gouldd was ordered, by a federal judge, to stay out of the network marketing business for the rest of his life.