Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Haiku 072809

by the dock
he snacks on pound cake
lots of sunfish


Recently, we read the following:

New York Times: “44 Charged by U.S. in New Jersey Corruption Sweep” by David M. Halbfinger

“A two-year corruption and international money-laundering investigation stretching from the Jersey Shore to Brooklyn to Israel and Switzerland culminated in charges against 44 people on Thursday, including three New Jersey mayors, two state assemblymen and five rabbis, the authorities said.

“The case began with bank fraud charges against a member of an insular Syrian Jewish enclave centered in a seaside town. But when that man became a federal informant and posed as a crooked real estate developer offering cash bribes to obtain government approvals, it mushroomed into a political scandal that could rival any of the most explosive and sleazy episodes in New Jersey’s recent past.

“It was replete with tales of the illegal sales of body parts; of furtive negotiations in diners, parking lots and boiler rooms; of nervous jokes about ‘patting down’ a man who turned out to indeed be an informant; and, again and again, of the passing of cash — once in a box of Apple Jacks cereal stuffed with $97,000...

“The authorities laid out two separate schemes, one involving money laundering that led to rabbis and members of the Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn and in the Jersey Shore town of Deal, where many of them have summer homes. The other dealt with political corruption and bribery and involved public officials mostly in Jersey City and Hoboken, where the pace of development has been particularly intense in recent years…”


And we thought:

… Charged: several rabbis, a few mayors, a couple of state assemblymen. Just shows that the lure of easy money could make one gloss over the risks (shame, harm to one's name and family, imprisonment, etc.) inherent in illegal money schemes. Here's another proof that greed cuts across social lines. It's not unique to bottom feeders. Greed took down Madoff, too...

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