Friday, January 26, 2007

Treasurer Falls for Nigerian Scam

This just boggles the mind:

A public treasurer in the Michigan county of Alcona stands accused of embezzling tax payers out of more than $1.2m, at least part of which was used to cover costs he incurred falling for a Nigerian banking fraud. [...]

County officials first suspected something was amiss late last year, when bank employees informed them Katona had sent eight payments totaling $186,500 to overseas accounts, six of which were associated with peddlers of the Nigerian scheme. He stepped down in November as authorities commenced an investigation.

They found that bank employees had warned Katona that the investment was a sham, but the treasurer ignored the warnings. An audit eventually showed that more than $1.2m was missing from county coffers. It remains unclear how much of that was paid to the scammers.

Even if it wasn't obvious from the content of the emails that this was a scam, how can you have been living on planet Earth for the last several years and not heard about it? And the guy is an accountant of all things, you'd think he'd be a bit more cautious with his money.