Atlanta thieves stole $4 million & bought Hawks luxury suite

Four men from the metro Atlanta area are headed to federal prison for stealing more than $4 million from the Bank of New York Mellon and using it to buy vehicles and a suite at Atlanta Hawks games, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Thursday.

In addition to prison time, Zachary Vaughn, Derek Spinks, Harry Cobb and William Leese must also pay restitution in the amount of $4,387,598.57, acting U.S. Attorney John Horn’s office said in an emailed statement. [...]

The four used the stolen money to buy personal vehicles, a suite at Hawks games, gold and trips, Horn’s office said. Vaughn continually moved client funds from one account to another so that the original theft went undetected until 2013, when he left his employment with the bank.

This was less some grand-flourish, “Ocean’s Eleven”-style heist than the surreptitious siphoning of millions off through illicit wire transfers and shell-game swaps into and out of accounts belonging to people who absolutely should not have had access to that $4.3 million, because it wasn’t theirs. You can’t, as it turns out, just claim “finders keepers” with someone else’s bank account; as a result, the four men received sentences totaling nearly 13 years in federal prison, where you’d suspect they will little in the way of luxury accommodations.

We can probably all agree that it is a good thing that four guys who stole millions of dollars of someone else’s money through cybersneakery will get their just desserts for having done so. And yet, while multi-year federal prison sentences seem like pretty stiff punishments, I can’t help but feel like the true karmic retribution is having spent tons of money being all fancy in pursuit of watching The Inimitable Larry Drew Era, only to have the law catch up with you when there’s finally a team worth that kind of scratch on the court at Philips Arena. Being stuck behind bars and unable to watch this iteration of the Hawks make its playoff push might be the toughest punishment of all.

No, on second thought, it’s probably the “going to prison” thing.

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