It's been seven years since I started following Ken "Popehat" White's relentless pursuit of a con artist who sent his company a fake invoice.
Finally, the fraudster has received a 108 month federal prison sentence with no chance of parole until he has served at least85% of that.
White puts this into eloquent context.
This is not a typical result. There are tens or hundreds of thousands of con artists out there, and they frequently escape detection. When they are detected, they frequently escape prosecution, and when they are prosecuted, they frequently escape with mild sentences on lesser charges, leaving them free to victimize again. This sort of hard-time outcome is rare despite the amount of harm these people inflict. The government simply doesn't have the resources to mount this sort of investigation against any but the worst of the worst.
But I don't want readers to take that grim message away from this series. Rather, I want people to see that they can take initiative themselves — that they can use the techniques and research tools I've discussed in this series to track down the people trying to scam them, to spread the word about them, and to inform law enforcement about them. The best defense against con artists isn't the government, because government doesn't have the resources. The best defense is self-reliance, healthy skepticism, involved communities, and public-spirited private investigation that can be broadcast far and wide through modern tools.
Anatomy of a Scam: The End [Ken White/Popehat]
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