Meet Mutt and Jeff, the Trenchcoat Robbers...
September 5, 2010 1:56 AM   Subscribe

 
Bigger that TARP?

You can rob more banks with a fountain pen than with a six-gun.
posted by orthogonality at 2:09 AM on September 5, 2010 [8 favorites]


It goes to show that even if you can accumulate large amounts of cash illegally without being detected, you're going to get caught when you spend it.
posted by wierdo at 2:12 AM on September 5, 2010


I can't read this. What is this? "Abt natural"?
No it just reads, "Please put $50 thousand into this bag. Act natural."
Does it say, "Act natural"?
I, uh, am pointing a gun at you.
That looks like "gub", it doesn't look like "gun".
No, it's "gub". That's a B.
No you see, it's an N... G-U-N.
George, would you step over here a moment please.
What does this say?
"Please put $50 thousand into this bag and... abt"
- What's "abt"? - "Act"
Does this look like "gub" or "gun"?
"Gun". You see. But what's "abt", mean?
It's "act"...A- C-T, act.
Please put $50 thousand into this bag. Act natural.
- Oh, I see, this is a hold up. - Yes.
May I see your gun?
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:23 AM on September 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


It goes to show that even if you can accumulate large amounts of cash illegally without being detected, you're going to get caught when you spend it.

They should have opened a dry-cleaning shop.
posted by atrazine at 3:13 AM on September 5, 2010


They should have opened a dry-cleaning shop.

Not laser-tag?
posted by Silentgoldfish at 5:03 AM on September 5, 2010


Not laser-tag?

That would work equally well. The trick with money laundering operations is that you need to sell something high margin that doesn't require much in the way of supplies. If you tell the IRS1 that your electronics store sold $10M of stereos, that you paid $4M for the stereos wholesale, $1M on other expenses, and made $5M profit, then any Fed investigation is going to check the records of your purported suppliers. They might not even need a subpoena, many companies will cooperate with the FBI without any kind of court order. Then you're hosed because of course you're not running a real electronics business and you haven't bought anything wholesale.

Laser tag and and dry cleaning are both high margin, low staff (fewer snitch risks), and no/little consumables for the feds to trace.

(1) and you should: remember Capone? There's nothing the Feds hate worse than not paying tax. Also, if you want money fully laundered it needs to stand up to IRS scrutiny too.
posted by atrazine at 5:25 AM on September 5, 2010


what's with all these people, everyones a damn snitch, Dan, Myra Penney, the wife even turned in the safe deposit box keys!
posted by Mach5 at 5:40 AM on September 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you tell the IRS1 that your electronics store sold $10M of stereos, that you paid $4M for the stereos wholesale, $1M on other expenses, and made $5M profit, then any Fed investigation is going to check the records of your purported suppliers.

Sam Antar confirms this. But it took the Feds a while to catch on, and him switching sides and testifying for it to work.
posted by zarq at 6:16 AM on September 5, 2010


what's with all these people, everyones a damn snitch

If you know various authorities (FBI, IRS, etc.) are watching everything you do very carefully, and you have no idea whether the money you have access to is marked or whether the safe deposit boxes are known, and you have yourself and your family to take care of, and Mutt and Jeff are already going to prison for a very long time, you probably don't want to take any more chances. You come clean and hope your kids don't have to grow up with mom or dad in prison.
posted by pracowity at 6:27 AM on September 5, 2010


This is where a relationship with a Hollywood producer can pay, well not dividends but in at least getting an invite to the best parties. Those folks can launder better than anyone.
posted by sammyo at 6:54 AM on September 5, 2010


As someone who spends much of the time out of the country, I think they probably should have left the country.
posted by iamck at 8:58 AM on September 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, why not take your $2.2 million and head south of the border?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:19 AM on September 5, 2010




the wife even turned in the safe deposit box keys!

To her husband's attorney. Quite thoughtful and probably the best thing she could do for him.
posted by Skeptic at 10:14 AM on September 5, 2010


Yeah, why not take your $2.2 million and head south of the border?

Customs at borders are trained to find large amounts of undeclared cash that is brought into their country.

Easiest way to get your money legally confiscated.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:59 AM on September 5, 2010


Paying for a house build with illegal cash and hounding the contractor so much he's willing to turn you, his under-the-table cash cow, in to the IRS...not too bright.

And the other guy, almost 60, yet living a life of penury, almost...what's he going to do with his cash? Obviously, he got off on the theft itself, but, still.
posted by maxwelton at 11:30 AM on September 5, 2010


Penney was the only person who knew about Kirkpatrick and Bowman's line of work. When Kirkpatrick returned from his trips, Penney went through the motel and rental-car receipts to make sure he hadn't been overcharged and then burned them in the fireplace. She also enrolled the two men in the Holiday Inn Priority Club so they could take advantage of the chain's discounts.

Is it just me or is that adorable.
posted by chaff at 12:41 PM on September 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


And on not-preview: orthogonality, you're thinking of WaMu, not TARP. ;)
posted by wierdo at 12:58 PM on September 5, 2010


Ok, that was weird, I guess my comment didn't go through the first time. I really did type that moments after my last..
posted by wierdo at 12:59 PM on September 5, 2010


That was a good read.
posted by Iron Rat at 7:26 PM on September 5, 2010


Very good read. Afterwards I scrolled up to the top and saw "The New Yorker" and thought, that makes sense.

Pros have those touches of finesse ... like balancing the facts with the human side - she burst into tears ... and that mysterious tweak in the last line.
posted by Twang at 1:32 AM on September 7, 2010


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