ALBANY – Crime does too pay, some people anyway.
I couldn’t help notice a joint press release sent out Tuesday, March 7, by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Inspector General Katherine Leahy Scott and Office of General Service Commissioner RoAnn Destito.
The trio boasted of catching some poor schlep of a mechanic using a state credit card to purchase more than $2,500 worth of tires and other car parts for himself and two others.
By the sounds of it, they have him pretty much dead to rights. From November, 2014 through February, 2015 he allegedly committed the fraud, and on March 10, 2015 investigators informed Daniel Sequin they were coming to the garage under Empire State Plaza at 11 a.m. to take a look at his inventory.
He persuaded them to wait until high noon, and used the extra hour to send another employee out to buy six new tires to replace the ones he probably drove to work on.
When investigators left, he returned the tires.
It’s unclear why they waited so long before slapping the cuffs on him, but he now faces a host of charges including grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument, tampering with physical evidence and offering a false instrument for filing.
He could get seven years in prison. A little harsh for stealing a few tires, but if he did do what he is accused of doing he should get some sort of penalty for it.
What stuck out to me though, was the arsenal of manpower used to make the bust.
In addition to the PR people who to put together the statement – which includes hard nosed crime fighting, anti-corruption quotes from Schneiderman, Destito and Leahy – here is a list of those involved according to the press release:
“This matter was investigated by Investigator Dale Richter from the Inspector General’s Division of Investigations, under the supervision of Deputy Chief of Investigations Dan Walsh, Chief of Investigations Sherry Amarel, Investigative Counsel James Breen and Deputy Inspector General Jim Davis, and Investigator Mark Spencer from the Attorney General’s Investigations Division. Antoine Karam is the Deputy Chief Investigator of the Attorney General’s Investigations Division, which is led by Chief Dominick Zarrella. Assistant Attorney General Daniel Bajger and Assistant Attorney General Christopher Baynes of the Public Integrity Bureau are prosecuting the case with assistance from Legal Support Analyst Sara Pogorzelski under the supervision of Public Integrity Bureau Chief Daniel Cort and Deputy Bureau Chief Stacy Aronowitz.”
You’d think they just arrested some ruthless mob foot soldier who strangles his enemies with piano wire, or some heartless dealer selling heroin to 6-year-olds with that law enforcement line up.
I can’t help but wonder how much it cost the state to pay that posse for what sounds like an open and shut case compared to the lousy $2,500 the dude allegedly stole.
When all those suits showed up at the garage, he must have felt like a 2017 version of Butch Cassidy, or maybe the Sundance Kid. Remember the end of that movie, when like 1,000 Mexican police officers blasted away the two bank robbers.