George Castro is the worst thief of all time
Yesterday brought news of the indictment of a Bronx man named George Castro, who over the past two months allegedly stole $5 million from Alma Mater. Castro supposedly hacked into the university’s electronic payment system and had the money sent to his account as if he were a Columbia employee.
Now I’m no criminal expert, and my red hair pretty much eliminates any future chance at a life of crime and/or international espionage (too easy to pick out of a lineup), but I have watched a lot of Jason Statham movies, and I think I’m gonna go ahead and call the “worst criminal of all time” contest for Mr. Castro here (yes, Internet, worse than this guy).
1.) He basically pulled a worse version of the crime in “Office Space.” Remember the crime in “Office Space,” when Initech employees decided to use a computer virus to take the fractions of a cent lost in the company’s thousands of daily bank transactions and deposit them in a supposedly ultra-slow-growing no-one-will-miss-this-money account? And remember when one of those employees accidentally put a decimal point in the wrong place and they accidentally stole $300,000 in a couple of days? That’s pretty much what Castro did, except his folly was no accident. He intentionally stole $5 million in two months.
Now like I said, I’m no criminal expert, but if Jason Statham were here he’d probably say (in a tougher, more British kind of way) something like, “If you’re going to pretend to be an employee of a university so you can steal money from said university, make sure you don’t steal—in the first two months—three times as much as that university’s president makes in a year, especially if that university’s president happens to be the highest-paid university president in the entire country.”
2.) He stuck around. But OK, let’s give Castro the benefit of the doubt and assume that he fully realized that the university was likely going to miss $5 million. Then why was he hanging out in the Bronx? It took the NYPD two months to catch this guy. He could have been safe and sound on a beach in Bora Bora with $2.5 million after one month (assuming that’s how the payment scheme worked). Instead he got greedy, and Jason Statham’s #2 rule of stealing stuff is “don’t get greedy.”
3.) He bought a car. Not a reasonably-priced and always-reliable Honda, mind you (Yes, that was product placement. A blogger’s gotta eat…) but an $80,000 Audi. Castro may have good taste in automobiles, but man is he ignorant when it comes to Jason Statham’s rules on stealing stuff. #3 is NO BIG PURCHASES. I mean come on, even Ben Affleck knows that one. If the computer nerd next door starts driving an A8, someone’s going to notice. Or at the very least it’s going to look really bad when these guys show up.
Having said all that, I’d just like to point out that I do believe in the doctrine of innocent until proven guilty. Castro claims that the money just showed up in his account and he spent it because he “got greedy” (maybe rule #2 should also be in Jason Statham’s rules of NOT stealing stuff). And to be honest, I wouldn’t put it past the Columbia bureaucracy to accidentally misplace $5 million. After all, it did manage to misplace the giant granite sphere that used to make the sundial an actual sundial.
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