Saturday, October 3, 2009

Another Goolsby "War Story:" The Case of the Perfect Crime!

As a former federal prosecutor in Augusta, Georgia, I once prosecuted a bank executive who had pulled off the "perfect crime." Well, it was almost perfect! After all, she did get caught, or else I wouldn't be telling this story! Here is what happened and how she got caught.

"Miss Moneypacker," the crooked bank executive, was in charge of handling the accounts of the bank's wealthier customers. Her job included opening their accounts, arranging lines of credit, and otherwise providing them with good, personal service. (She was sort of like Mr. Drysdale or Miss Hathaway in the "Beverly Hillbillies!") In other words, if a wealthy bank customer needed something, they knew to always call "Miss Moneypacker" for assistance.

"Miss Moneypacker" was not only very attractive, but also she was very intelligent. She realized, for instance, that, as to her handling of the wealthy customers' accounts, her bank bosses had virtually no checks and balances in place. In other words, other than routine bank audits, there was no one looking closely over her shoulder. So, here is what she did: Occasionally, a wealthy bank customer would contact her and inform her that they were moving out of town. Then, these customers would come in the bank, give her a check, and ask her to help pay off and close their lines of credit. Now, "Miss Moneypacker" was smart enough NOT to steal these checks. She dutifully used the customer's check to pay on their line of credit. However, the wiley "Miss Moneypacker" did NOT close out the customer's line of credit. Thereafter, the customer moved away, believing that they had paid off and closed their accounts. Little did they know that "Miss Moneypacker" had kept their accounts open and continued to borrow thousands of dollars against their line of credit! She did this over and over again. She also submitted paperwork causing the bank to send monthly statements to new bogus addresses established by her. And she always carefully made payments each month on the (still open) lines of credit.

"Miss Moneypacker" also took many other steps to make sure she would never get caught. For instance, she would request the production of new PIN numbers and ATM cards, ostensibly for these customers, and then she would use the ATM debit cards to withdraw thousands of dollars each day at various ATM machines. This "perfect crime" actually continued for several years without any problems! Can you guess how "Miss Moneypacker" got caught?

One day, "Miss Moneypacker" got sick! So, she wasn't there when Harvey Smith, one of her former customers who had moved away, came back into the bank. Harvey had moved back to town and wanted to open a new line of credit! Another bank official had to step in and help Harvey, because "Miss Moneypacker" was out! Just imagine Harvey's (and the bank official's) shock and surprise when they learned that Harvey still owed the bank over $100,00.00 on his (still open) line of credit! The bank called the F.B.I. and all "Miss Moneypacker's" shenanigans were discovered! She was charged with federal bank fraud and bank employee embezzlement. The bank had lost over half a million dollars!

So, the moral to this story might be that, if you want to commit the perfect crime, you should never call in sick! (If "Miss Moneypacker" had been at work that day, she could have finessed the situation with Harvey, and I suspect she would still be the "line of credit queen!") Or maybe the moral should be: Don't do the crime, if you don't want to do the time!


  1. Richard,
    man i bet she really is sick now. lol

  2. You know, this is the very reason I am extremely cautious of certain financial institutions who often come calling wanting my business. It speaks volumes to the fact YOU have to do your homework, speak to other clients, former clients if you can find them-anyone willing to talk and tell you the truth about that establishment and its employees. I must say, this type of story always frightens me for that very reason and makes me want to put my money under the mattress! :-)