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The Kill Your Parents Issue

I'm Busted

A lot of hippies came from families of privilege. When their little movement didn’t work out, they slowly reverted back to form but kept their decadent lifestyles.
Seth Ferranti
Κείμενο Seth Ferranti

“I worked for Citicorp’s institutional currency-trading department,” says Mark the baby-boomer con. He’s 46 and from Kansas. “My title was associate Vice President of Arbitage for Currency. From 1988 to 1990 I did a two-year internship with Citicorp in New York and received a Series 7 license to trade currencies. I became a regular trader, and in 1991 I was transferred to Frankfurt Germany Citicorp.”


Mark talks of parties with ex-hippie girls who had MBAs from Princeton and shot coke in their free time. “These were nice parties with bank regalia,” he says. “We’d come back from the theater, all on the bank’s coin, schmoozing and doing drugs.” Mark found out Frankfurt was the financial capital of Europe and that all of his baby-boomer colleagues were ex-hippies and heavily into drugs. Power financial meetings by day and discreet drug parties by night. “Everything was on the downlow,” Mark says.

“I started thinking of the crime in 1995 and I actually implemented it in 1996,” says Mark. “I had multiple identities, three passports—two American and one Irish—plus numerous German birth certificates.” He ended up transferring funds from the institutional customers’ accounts and bouncing the money through multiple banks in different names before taking it out in the form of bonds in Vienna and redepositing the bonds under a different name in a new account back in Germany. “The FBI and German BKA were looking for people who didn’t exist in connection to the crime because of the fictitious identities I created for the heist. The whole time I was living under my Irish passport in Munich,” Mark says.

Eventually he was found out. Snitched on by his ex-hippie Princeton MBA coworker/girlfriend who got too frazzled on the coke and broke weak. “My charge is bank fraud and money laundering,” Mark says. “18 USC 1957(A) Money Laundering and 18 USC 1344 Bank Fraud, seven counts on each. I got 84 months for stealing $1.2 million, none of which was recovered. But the bitch stole from me.”


Sid, another prisoner convicted of white collar crime, is 53 and has vivid memories of the swinging 60s. “It was about less government control and more individual responsibility. Now a lot of the hippies are Democrats, but back then most of them were socialists.” Sid was raised in Florida, where his MO was “getting high and having a good time. Oh, and I went to protests all the time too.” He thinks today’s politicians, both the Republicans and Democrats, “suck.”

“I’m a


capitalist,” he says. “My philosophy is live and let live. Just let me do my drugs. As long as I’m not hurting you then you don’t have a thing to say about it.” Sure, but what about the white-collar stuff, Sid? “I had to make a living somehow,” he says. “I got into campaign finance—free money, fund-raising, and donations. I caught my charge diverting the funds for my own use.”

“A lot of the hippies and radicals were communists and socialists,” Sid continues. “It was a lark for me but it was just a lot of nonsense. It was a bankrupt ideology. Marxist theory as a theory is a failure. But when you’re young and idealistic you buy into these things. It sounded good.” So this former hippie, like all the others, turned his back on the 60s movement and became a yuppie.

A lot of hippies came from families of privilege. When their little movement didn’t work out, they slowly reverted back to form but kept their decadent lifestyles. Sounds like a bunch of hypocrites to me. The only difference between Sid or Mark and Patty Hearst is that her family had the political connections and money to con her way out of trouble. That’s the baby boomer way. Do the crime and make somebody else pay for it.


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