Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Fugitive's Facebook Friending Folly

In Italy, it was the Facebook burglar - caught after accessing his profile from the computer of the house he was burglarizing.

In Cancun, it was the Facebook absconder - who met a similar fate: arrest.

Maxi Sopo is a 26-year-old man who came to the United States in 2003 from Cameroon. Settling in the Seattle area, he supported himself by selling roses in nightclubs.

Think about that occupation for a moment. Selling roses in nighclubs, presumably to couples immersed in romance. It was as if the Greek god Hermes were his patron saint.

The American dream, however, tends to want more and more. Mr. Sopo apparently moved on to bank fraud. According to federal prosecutors, he and an acquaintance falsely procured over $200,000 in loans from Seattle-area banks and credit unions. The AP account I read did not state exactly what the pitch was, but clearly Sopo was, as they say, "living the dream."

Unfortunately for Sopo, there's no free lunch, even in America. The U.S. attorney's office began investigating him, and he decided to head for Mexico in a rental car.

Did he choose to lie low, as any pragmatic, old-style fugitive would have done? No, he put up Facebook posts about his high life partying in Cancun - then "friended" a former Justice Department official.

The Secret Service contacted the "friend," pinpointed Sopo's whereabouts, and arrested him. When the AP picked up his story, he was in a Mexican jail, awaiting extradition to the U.S.

What was he thinking, when he logged in to Facebook?

No comments:

Post a Comment