Embezzler Keeps Low Profile By Purchasing Ranch, Talking Trees, 20-Foot Dragon

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According to prosecutors, Angela Platt embezzled almost $7 million from her employer over the past several years, using her job as a staff accountant to write herself larger and larger checks until eventually she was taking the money in $50,000 chunks.  Apparently no one missed the money or had any other suspicions until a newly hired assistant bookkeeper discovered the thefts in June 2006.

Those not having suspicions included Platt’s husband and their neighbors and relatives, who found it not especially unusual that a staff accountant owned a 104-acre ranch, a house and five acres of land in Rhode Island, a fleet of cars, eight show horses, and, in an outstanding touch, a life-size statue of Al Capone.  Platt also decorated her property one Halloween with six "Wizard-of-Oz"-style talking trees (Hollywood-grade cinematic props that cost $3,000 each) and a 20-foot-tall dragon called "The Slayer," which had hydraulic wings, generated clouds of smoke and emitted a "booming dragon roar."  The cost of "The Slayer" was not reported.

A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office said that some friends or relatives did ask how Platt was able to afford everything, and that Platt told them she was the CEO of a corporation or that she had won the lottery.  The spokesperson did not say what Platt’s husband thought about the expenditures or what company he thought she might be the CEO of.  I think most guys would be a little suspicious if their wives showed up in a new pair of shoes, let alone if they came home with a life-size statue of Al Capone tied to the top of the Audi.  But I guess if I knew I was going to end up with a 20-foot dragon to put in the middle of my home video-game  amphitheatre, I would not ask too many questions either.

Platt has agreed to plead guilty and should be spending about four years in prison under the plea deal.  She has paid about $2 million in restitution so far.

Link: AP via FindLaw.com