Not all theft is equal. That’s obvious enough. Rather, it should be measured in degrees, from petty theft on up. You can even apply said standards to a collegiate setting:
Down at the bottom of the grifter totem pole are pilfering cookies and fruit from the dining hall. Totally innocuous, but you’re still likely to incur the wrath of the lumpy, uniformed cafeteria attendant with the glandular problem and a power trip if you get caught. Slightly more egregious – though still squarely in the realm of “couldn’t give a rat’s ass” – is residence hall DVD theft. A little higher, there’s the inter-fraternity thievery that never fails to amaze us for the sheer magnitude of cliché. (Historical note: At the top of this category resides Skull and Bones’ misappropriation of Geronimo’s skull, which is sort of impressive.)
Stealing money, stealing mascots, stealing dignity. Blah, blah, blah. What about when a university steals ancient artifacts from ancient peoples? All the aforementioned examples pale in unbelievable comparison to this report from the Columbia Spectator:
A Bronx man was indicted Monday after allegedly stealing nearly $5 million from the University over the last two months.
The supposed culprit is George Castro, a 45-year-old New Yorker who authorities at one point believed to be a Columbia employee. Castro had been siphoning funds through an unauthorized account that he somehow finagled Columbia’s system into recognizing as a payee, and accumulated the nearly-$5 million stake between Oct. 4 and Nov. 24. Investigators are still uncertain as to how Castro infiltrated the university’s accounts-payable system. The Wall Street Journal offers that the cyber-crook is a “tech expert.” We have our doubts.
There’s no denying the savvy that must be involved in embezzling 5 mil from a prestigious university. That he was caught doesn’t even necessarily diminish the magnitude of the crime. (After all, Clooney got busted at the end of Ocean’s 11, yet maintained a vice-grip on his BAMF credentials.)
But Jesus Christ, can you say breadcrumbs?
First off, it didn’t take much detective work to finger Castro as the culprit – considering his actual name was on the bank account in question. You would think that someone who took the time to make off with that amount of money would at least watch a gangster movie and discern, “Hey, maybe I should look into this money laundering thing!”
Then, when the cops arrived to arrest the guy, what do they find? An $80,000 sports car parked in his driveway and 200 grand just chillin’ in a plastic bag. Well, that’s subtle. Did he at least have some sort of alibi or excuse?
According to the New York Post,
“The money just appeared in my account. I got greedy,” he told investigators.
This man is clearly a genius.
So, in a nutshell, Curious George is claiming that the money magically appeared in his bank account, willed there by a genie or unicorn or one of those little weird troll things with glitter in its belly button. Castro is currently in police custody and charged with grand larceny. His bail has been set at $2 million and his next court date is Dec. 15. And thus concludes this chapter of The Thomas Clown Affair.