All I knew was that it was time to get out of Dodge; Dodge being the whole of the continental United States.
It had gotten that bad. The telephone scam I was pulling had begun to catch up with me. The problem had happened with Boston. The cops in Boston don’t play by the rules. They’re like the Canadian Mounties; they always get their man.
But they didn’t get the kid. They almost got me, though, I’ve got to admit that. Now, I’m not one of these losers who believes all cops are dumb. I’ve got a lot of respect for the enemy; they’re serious about putting knuckle-heads like me in jail. They work at it eight hours a day, 40 hours a week, and I don’t care how slow you are, you work at something 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, you’re going to get good; even if it’s by accident.
It was your average badge deal scam. I’d call up a business and ask for a donation for the local police. Only thing, not a penny of the money went to the local police. Now, it should be noted that police fund raising is an honest and legitimate business, mostly; I had just taken the thing and mobbed it up. While working in one of the legit telemarking rooms the thought had occurred to me, “Hey, I could do this on my own and keep all the money.” An eureka moment, I suppose, one no doubt responsible for thousands of guys winding-up on death row, but there you have it. Why work for 25% when you can work for the whole enchilada? This is the question the native criminal mind always asks. Why slave for the short money when you can make the long money with 1/10 the effort?
Why? because the one was legit and the other stood to put your ass in the penitentiary.
What the Boston cop did was something I never expected. But that’s the way it happens when you’re on the wrong side of the law: no matter how careful you are, something happens you never expect. What this clown did was call up my bank’s security department. Like most bank security departments the guy running it was an ex-cop. Now, federal law states that a person’s banking records are confidential and that the only way law enforcement can get a peek at them is by court order. Federal law is not something Boston cops let stand in their way when they got a hard-on for you. The bank security guard begin singing like a canary when the Boston cop called him. He told him everything he wanted to know — names, numbers, of all the checks that had come through my bank account. The cop in Boston had enough dirt on me to send me away for a very long time indeed.
I still remember his telephone call. Usually when a cop calls me I blow him off. I know he ain’t got nothing on me save the complaint one of my marks made. He’ll call me up and go, “Ah, Mr. Dan Lupo? This is Officer Muldon. Well, you called Dr. So-in-So and told him you were a police officer. You asked him to make a donation of $1000. What the hell is going on?”
Well, I’m in Denver, see, and the cop is calling from, say, San Diego. My name is Tom Ricland, and he’s calling me Dan Lupo. Sure, I made the scam call, but how’s bunko detective Jim Muldon all the way down in San Diego going to collar me? He doesn’t even know my name. So what I do is hand him a line of BS about how my organization is legit, bonded, so forth and so on, promise to send him my bona fides, then get off the phone. Then I call up my cell phone company and dump the San Diego number. In other words, I get the hell out of Dodge. The cop never gets anything in the mail from me, and when he calls back he gets a disconnect. So what’s he’s going to do? Nothing he can do except mark me up as the one that got away.
But, as I say, these gung-ho cops in Boston have no respect for the law. They didn’t play by the rules. And can’t you just imagine my shock and dismay as this cop begin reading off the amounts of all the checks that had gone through my bank account? It was a wake up call I tell you, a real defining moment, as they say.
“Now, we’ll be filing a warrant for your arrest, Mr. Ricland. These are serious charges and my suggestion is that your catch a flight to Boston and come and talk to us about them.. Either that, or the next time you’re stopped for a traffic violation and a check is made; well, as you know, this hold will pop up and you could spend months in jail before you’re extradited to Boston.”
The guy was a pro. He had me by the short hairs and he knew it. So he had broke federal the law in order to get me, but what did that matter? I was a crook, he knew it, the judge would know it, and any compliant I’d have about him breaking the rules would be a matter I could bring up after I served my time five to 10 years. In other words, as they say in Paris — “I was fucked.”
Or was I…?