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[TIDBITS] The Computer Whiz and the Diamonds


#1

The Computer Whiz and the Diamonds

This is the tale of a young chap, a 32 year old, a whiz-kid at
computer technology. The year is 1978. Our friend–his name was and
probably still is…Stanley.

Well, as it happens every once in a millennia, Stanley found the
path to becoming a millionaire…nay nay…a multimillionaire,
overnight. While doing his computer stuff in an era when computer
stuff was a tad more esoteric than it is today, bordering perhaps
on the edge of the occult for some, Stanley, while on the job for
the Security Pacific National Bank, discovered the secret code the
bank used to transfer funds to other banks. Oy vay, some of you may
say. Uh-oh, some of you may say. Stan saw quite clearly that he
had the sudden and new found ability to transfer millions to any
bank account in America. The only hitch would appear when it was
time for withdrawal of the funds.

So…did that stop our little genius? Hmmm? How many of you think
he went ahead with his plan…the devil be durned. Well, our little
Stanley was not to be deterred. He would siphon off the money and
convert it into Russian diamonds. And here’s what he did.

He created an alias…and now Stanley was Mike. And Mike opened an
account at the Irving Trust Company. As most of you must surely
know…computer whiz kids are not only indomitable…they can also
overcome all obstacles. In nothing flat…Mike had a passport. He
had the works in fact. Social security card, driver’s license…
whatever. He pops on over to the diamond industry and retains the
services of a legitimate broker.

I want to buy, says Mike, a multimillion dollars worth of diamonds
from the Soviet Union. A deal is cut. Mike buys 115,000 perfectly
cut, round brilliants. He pays $8,145,000.00 U.S. for the lot.
Payment? No problemo. Mike wires cash to the Soviets in Zurich.

Here’s how he did it. Toward the end of October, Mike/Stanley,
walked into the bank’s transfer room, ostensibly to check the
computer to make sure all was functioning well. Listen folks, if I
were going to hoist a few smackeroos from a bank via the computer,
I would also want to assure that it was working well. Wouldn’t you?
Left alone to do his chores, Mike picked up the phone which was
connected to the computer, dialed in the secret digits…and
bingo…$10,200,000.00 was withdrawn from a nonexistent account and
transferred to his own account at Irving Trust. A few more
transfers…a couple of days later…and Mike took delivery of the
diamonds in Switzerland and smuggled them into the U.S., using his
phony passport.

Simplicity itself…no? Alas…no. He tried to peddle his diamonds
by contacting dealers…the bank discovered the loss…the FBI
stepped in to investigate what was easily the largest bank robbery
in the history of the U.S., or anyplace else for that matter, and
soon, Stanley was caught. And all of the diamonds and most of the
remaining cash, was recovered. End of tale…no? No.

At first the bank was elated. Not only did they get their money
back…but their bank robber, Stanley, had wisely invested the
cash in diamonds, which everybody knew only increased in value.
Heck folks, not only did the bank get their money back…but they
were going to make a profit.

I end my story here with this thought. One should not swim in
unfamiliar waters and think we can equal the prowess of the
denizens of those very same alien waters in which we swim. The
bank tried to deal in the diamond market, and they couldn’t make
out. They ended up losing money. They had no one they could trust.
Of course…and this embarrasses me no end to say it…had they
dealt with quality personnel…oh I don’t know…like Benjamin Mark
over at Tyler Adam Corp. for instance, perhaps they would have made
out. Alas…they didn’t, and so they didn’t.

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.

Take care,
Benjamin Mark

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