Posted by: thescoundrel | May 4, 2012

Stirring the Pot of Legal Shades of Gray

Mug shot of Rod Blagojevich.

Mug shot of Rod Blagojevich. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, so I was reading the articles on QCOnline, by Kristy Mergenthal, covering the trial of the Geneseo woman whom faked being ill with cancer and flimflammed local citizens into donating around a $100,000 dollars to assist her with living. If there is anything that is as sure as death and taxes in my family – it is almost assured that if a member of familial-Scoundrel lives past the age of 50 they will probably face a battle with some form of cancer before they are eventually called home to be with God in Heaven. In these more of familial-Scoundrel tend to win more and more of those battles than they did in past decades. So I have to admit I find it extremely reprehensible that anyone would fake the set of tragic events actual Cancer victims and their families must endure, in order to scam money and seemingly in this case, some sort of broken-wing syndrome for attention.  Still, as I was pondering the story , I was bemused by remembering an old television commercial – (in fact I believe it was used by her current attorney) – talking about how the legal system is many shades of gray.  And despite the fact that were I the judge, I would literally throw the law book at the defendant and hit her solidly in the head with it – before sending her to incarceration along with Illinois Gov.’s Ryan and Blagojevich – I have decided to extrapolate upon the incident in “shades of gray”!

One of the things that seems to be an irritating ulcer on this case is that the defendant lied for personal gain. And if the storyline is correct she told some whoppers.  Uh  not  that doesn’t happen on an everyday basis in the real world. If I had a dollar for every time I witnessed a lie someone used for personal gain I would have so much money I would belong to the 1% of societies well-to-do instead of milling around with the most bottom-seeded of the 99% sifting through the leftover coffee dregs of worlds money pool. If there is a reality of life – it is that people lie a lot, every day.  They lie to strangers, they lie to friends, family and most of all they lie to themselves so that they can rationalize all the lies they have told in order to leap through the rings and hoops of life’s daily obstacle course. I have read several different estimates but most seem to hint that the average person lies four or more times a day. Heck I have seen salesmen/women lie four times in a matter of minutes.  But I guess that wasn’t for personal gain.

Perhaps it is the amount of money involved. Okay that is a lot. But then how is her lying about her health, to gain large amounts of cash,  any different than the panhandling guys or gals holding signs at the numerous road intersection asking for money. Sure they only get a few bucks at a time. And many of them are in dire need of the money they take in standing in the sun all day, while begging. Still, I also remember being shocked by an old newspaper article, from a few years back, where one of the people interviewed was making more annual income standing at crossroads a few times a week – than I was putting in 40-50 hours a week at my fulltime job. So it was certainly evident his homeless signage wasn’t all that truthful. In all honesty some dude annually making between $20,000-$30,000 tax-free dollars a year, with a phony sign, isn’t all that different than what this Geneseo lady is accused of doing for personal gain. Her lies were just more hurtful. But basically her crime was just another form of panhandling.

In fact what is she accused of  – that people don’t shell out $20 or more per person every time they enter a movie theatre. She told a lie. She told a lie that was a story. She created a fantasy that entertained people by making them feel good about themselves as altruists and humanitarians.  Kind of like walking in to a movie theatre except instead of putting mega bucks into the pockets of Hollyweird elitists, some poor woman bettered her life with assistance of would-be philanthropists –> just needing aa cause to rally behind. She evidently needed the money and put it to use to better her family. And how many people would have run to help her if she had just said – hey I need some cash and the milk of human companionship in order to survive.  Probably not many. She would have had better luck standing on Billy Wolf Road with a sign saying homeless – need money to buy food. Of course then Big Brother Government Child Welfare Agency would have been all over her looking for reasons to take her kids.  It’s not like she bilked multiple millions of dollars from Dixon, Illinois taxpayers to build a horse farm or something. Though I am guessing that is something a Government Bureaucrat might do.

I am not excusing what she did. I am not saying she is some innocent victim. Nope she is the perpetrator of a crime not a victim. But when you look at what she is charged with how is her actions  any different than what is usually classified as the public nuisance of panhandling. What makes her crime anymore worse than the panhandler pulling 20 G’s a year holding a homeless sign.  And if we are convicting her for lying – are we next in line for the numerous deceptions we perpetrate on society?  Hey maybe she should have hired me for her legal defense instead of Jack “Many Shades of Gray” Schwartz. I’m no lawyer but I did once sleep and conference at a Holiday Inn – so I must probably be some kind of expert. Nah, she wouldn’t want me as her attorney- I’d still throw the law book at her and lock her up with Ryan and Blago.

That finishes this Stirring of the Pot while playing at Devils Advocate.

QCOnline Story by Kristy Mergenthal


  1. Yep. She really is not that much different than the people who come up to you and tell you some sob story and asking for money.

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