Professor Moriarty in the BBC Sherlock and also The Master in Dr. Who. As well as several other stories you'd find immediately recognizable. The problem is that I find their villainy implausible.
I have a high tolerance for implausible. If my family suffered and died at the hands of some criminal, I might seek vigilante justice in a manner that resembles Charles Bronson in the Death Wish movies. Nevertheless I don't begrudge Batman or Spiderman their spandex.
ill-gotten gain as a motive for villainy--unless you scale up the size of the payday too high. Does a thief ever steal more money than he can possibly spend in a lifetime? I'd expect a big-time thief to use the lolly to fund some hard-to-hide legitimate enterprise/purchase. And that will point the finger of blame at him. "Where did you get the money to buy Microsoft, Mr. Penguin?"
An interesting story is generally a contest of equals. If you create a super-detective Holmes, you need a super-villain Moriarty. And if you create a super-villain Moriarty, you have to give him an understandable motivation for his villainy. Money works, but only at the beginning of the villain's career. I suppose you can use the "thrill kill" motive, but that's hard to do believably.
I quit reading.
I can imagine a nation-state summoning the resources to put men on the moon. Same goes for Google, Apple, or Microsoft. I can't see Greenpeace doing this. Same goes for Al Qaeda. It is just not plausible to me. Yes, those sorts of people can hijack airliners, or operate pirate ships on the high seas, but they are just too small an organization to have a space program.
I don't buy it. It's not plausible. I jumped off the train.
So, I've uncovered another Writing Mantra just now: the villain must be plausible with a plausible motivation.