Fraud is ugly, never funny

Published 9:55 am Monday, September 29, 2008

By Staff
I have a wonderful friend who used to tell me all the time that “Jesus doesn't love ugly” and I think she was right. She would make those comments to me when I would begin to gossip or berate a fellow human.
If my friend had heard what I found out about this week, I'm sure she would throw that comment out like a lifeline.
Apparently there is a new way of terrorizing folks. I had a conversation with someone that said they had been the recipient of several “gifts” over the past several weeks.
The gifts included magazine subscriptions and even membership in book clubs of some sort.
Now, mind you if these had truly been gifts, the person receiving them probably wouldn't have their mailbox filled with invoices and requests for payment. But, sadly that is the case.
According to my friend, someone obviously has taken all of those little cards that fall from just about any magazine you purchase, and filled them out with the name of a friend of hers.
Seems pretty harmless when you first think about it, but when you fully consider what happens to those cards, it's really mean and costly to the general public.
Consider that when a magazine or book company receives those cards requesting subscriptions, they take them at face value and figure the person listed on the card truly wants to receive their publications.
The card requesting the subscription was sent through the mail. According to information I found, sending a fraudulent piece of mail through the postal service constitutes the breaking of a law. The typical sentence for anyone convicted of such fraud is five years per incident.
In this case, there were at least four or five items sent to someone who didn't request them. That means the sentence would be five years for each incident bringing the total sentence to about 25 years if the person is caught and convicted. Furthermore, from what I can tell, if the victim is a senior citizen there can be an additional 10-year enhancement placed on the sentence.
Somebody out there thought they were playing a joke of some sort on this lady. Truth is, if they are caught and convicted, the joke will be on them. And they will have about 75 years to sit and laugh about it in prison.
I say fine, let the culprit sit in jail and think about what they've done. And what they've done is cause the price of those victimized magazine and book companies to go up for the rest of us.
It's all a trickle-down thing and we should all be mad about fraud of any kind. Fraud is not a joke and isn't funny to anyone.
I hope who ever did this crime faces the consequences of their actions. Even if they never get caught, I take solace in knowing that “Jesus doesn't like ugly.”
Lisa Tindell is new editor for The Brewton Standard. She can be reached