Dumb Criminals

Nigeria Attacks Michigan

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007 • Filed under Embezzlers

Here’s an embezzlement case that when I read it, literally, made my eyes pop out of my head. I’m thinking about suing the Detroit Free Press for causing said eye popage, but that might be a job for Dumb Lawsuits.com.

ALCONA COUNTY, Michigan (Detroit Free Press) — The longtime treasurer of Alcona County was accused Wednesday in an embezzlement scheme in which he may have served as both perpetrator and victim, sending up to $1.25 million in county funds and his own life savings to con artists after falling for one of the notorious online Nigerian banking frauds.

Thomas Katona, 56, of Harrisville was charged with nine felonies, including embezzlement and fraud, after a monthlong investigation by state authorities of numerous unauthorized wire transfers he allegedly made of county funds to overseas bank accounts.

The accounts were allegedly controlled by operators of a Nigerian advance fee fraud, law enforcement officials said.

Did your eyes pop out? Liar. How could you be reading this if they did? I don’t know how I can trust you anymore.

The sad part of the story is about 11,000 people live in the county and their total budget is about $4 million, which means more than a fourth of it is gone. They have a bake sale scheduled for next week.

The accused couldn’t be reached for comment, but this quote from Cheryl Peterson, editor of the local fish wrap, submitted this doozy of a quote to the Detroit Free Press, “This is a tremendous blow to a small community where we trust our politicians.” Welcome to the real world where hugs aren’t free.

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