Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Justice Ain't Blind, That Bitch Just Cockeyed!
So over the past holiday season while away for Christmas break, my wife was talking to her brother and sister-in-law about one of their girlfriends. Not really snooping, but hearing more than I should, it sounded like their friend was going through some shit. A lil' after they finished talking, I was like "hun, what was that all about". Turns out their friend is the mother of four boys and has been going through it financially, emotionally, the whole gamut as she's raising these boys alone on account of her being a widow (no Nadya Suleman "Octomom"). My wife and I have four kids and this recession/ depression whatever the eff economic thingie is that we're going through these days is making life real hellish right about now, so I can only imagine what their widowed friend is going through. Poking a bit further, I asked wifey why homegirl was widowed, like, what happened to her husband. Come to find out her husband was a fellow by the name of Kirk Wright.
I remember vaguely hearing about dude from a coupla years back, in the news. The son of Jamaican immigrants, Wright grew up in a working-class family in the Bronx and had the rare opportunity as an African American to truly taste a slice of what the so called elusive "American Dream" concept is all about. Growing up like most brothers, he played a decent game of basketball (sometimes with my brother in law), earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Binghamton University and later received his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. A year after graduating from Harvard, Kirk went into business for himself, founding his investment and hedge fund company International Management Associates. Relocating to Atlanta, word soon spread about how Kirk's hedge funds were turning incredible profits and he quickly collected a vast roster of investors consisting of doctors, professional athletes, wealthy executives and rich retirees. Kirk did his thing, he rocked Bentleys, Aston Martins and Lamborghinis. He had homes in Florida, California, and Georgia.
Wright's Marietta, Ga. Home
Dude was firmly entrenched in the higher echelons of our society. Breaking and making bread with the creme de la creme, Kirk was working with the stuff that went far and beyond him living the good life. Unfortunately, that good life, that high, that power tapped into dude's inner demon of greed. Once awakened, that greed took charge of Kirk and in a major way. After his "run" Wright was arrested in May, 2006 and charged with bilking his investors, including many NFL players (including Steve Atwater, Terrell Davis, Ray Crockett and Rod Smith) out of over $180 million dollars. By the time he was busted and raided by the feds in May of 2006, International Management Associates could only account for less than $500,000. The community in which Kirk stole from was enraged. Vilified, demonized, Wright was convicted of 47 counts of mail fraud, securities fraud and money laundering on May 21st 2008 and faced a maximum sentence of 710 years. 710 effin years yo! Imprisoned, having fallen from grace in the public eye and awaiting his life sentence, Kirk Wright buckled under the weight of his fate and took his own life by hanging himself in his prison cell on May 25th, 2008. He was 37 years old.
Not that I knew dude personally to make any excuses for his crime, but when my wife told me this story, all I could hear echoing through my head was "SHIT 710 effin years. SHIT 710 effin years." This nigga really ended up catching a life sentence on some white collar crime shit. That is truly WHOAH. It's not like I'm even tripping on how dude got pinched and paid the price so much that I was completgely unaware of how severe these sentences were for convicted criminals of his ilk. Maybe I was just ignorant to shit like this since most celebrated white collar crime stories rarely pique my interest. I just thought, like, isn't 710 years a bit... excessive? This one being closer to home though, I wondered what other notorious frauds received as sentencing for similar crimes.
Boom. So I looked up Kenneth Lay, who some consider to be the effin Kinpin of embezzelement, swindling, fraud and all other types of financial fuckery, and who was responsible for bankrupting Enron, the biggest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history. You already know the story, by cooking books, turning a blind eye to financial reality and concocting fugazi returns and what not, Lay's greed eventually cost 20,000 employees of Enron their jobs and many of them their life savings. Investors in Enron eventually lost billions of dollars. Lay was estimated to have a gross wealth of approx. 40 million US dollars. On May 25, 2006, Lay was found guilty of 10 counts against him. This meant that Lay faced up to a maximum of 30 years in prison. WTF?!? Ironically, Lay died while vacationing in Colorado on July 5, 2006, about three and a half months before his scheduled October 23 sentencing. Dunno which is harder to wrap my brain around, the part about him facing a maximum sentence of "only" 30 years or the fact that homie was afforded the opportunity to be vacationing in Colorado. Now I'm no financial whiz, but I know for certain that 30 years vs. 710 don't add up, not one effin bit. Plus, I'm betting dollars to donuts that the "deceased" Kenny Boy is currently holed up somewhere being fed mangoes on some lil remote town in Cuba, feet getting all up massaged by 17 year old Cuban girls as he reads the New York Times, chuckling about our current economic crises. No "Tupac is still alive" conspiracy theory.
Meanwhile, the Grandmaster Fonzi of the Ponzi game Bernie Madoff continues to sip latte in his $7 million dollar Upper East Side apartment, looking down as he pisses on the foreheads of hardworking, taxpaying US citizens everywhere. Times might be "looking " rough for dude, but how much you wanna bet, when it's all said and done, that Madoff won't see nothing close to 710 years? I'm saying. We already know Justice ain't blind, but goddamn, does that bitch have to be so obviously cock-eyed when it comes to who she judges?
Moral of the story: White is having NO parts of Black pulling off white collar crimes. Stick to selling rocks homie. Oh wait, shit ain't kosher in that lane either, what with the Rockerfeller laws and what not.