back to article E-trade scammer pleads guilty to Office Space scam

A Californian man who raked in $50,000 after opening thousands of bogus accounts with online brokers, sometimes in the name of cartoon characters, has pleaded guilty to fraud. Michael Largent, 23, of Plumas Lake, California pleaded guilty to computer fraud and wire fraud charges on Thursday over a scam that ran for six months …


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  1. Shaun

    What if

    If he'd opened the accounts in his own name, would it still have been fraud?

  2. Anonymous Coward


    They gave HIM the money, no?

  3. Conor Turton

    Merely taking advantage.

    They make test deposits because it is cheaper than having someone actually check documentation. Personally, I don't see it as a scam but instead merely taking advantage of the greed of these companies.

  4. Antony
    Paris Hilton


    Is this federal pound you in the ass prison?

    Paris, because. Well you know why.

  5. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Prison?

    I'm gonna go ahead and let this prison rape reference through because it is from a brilliant film and not just some plonker who thinks Bubba + soap in showers = comedy.

  6. Martin Lyne


    DId he go to Chotchkie's?

  7. michael

    can wee get more detils

    on what part of what he did was a crime?

  8. Tom Ward


    Well, no, but they probably wouldn't have let him set up multiple accounts had they known...

  9. Sooty


    at a guess

    what companies tend to do is deposit a small amount of money to your account and then debit it back out again. He probably waited for the deposit then closed the account pocketing it before the debit. It's such a negligibly small amount that the company probably wouldn't bother recovering it.

    Depending on the size of the deposit, each one could net a few cents to a few dollars, repeating this 50,000+ times could pocket you quite a bit.

  10. kain preacher

    @ what crime

    Um its called fraud , or theft by deception. Why because he didn't use his own name because e-trade would of stopped if he did use his own name 58k times

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @kain preacher

    I would have to disagree..

    I think this is one of those things that the company is trying to be cleverer than they really are. The interesting thing here is to note that they usually write this amount off without bothering. Why they're peeved is because they'll never make any money off this person.

    Had he stuck around and used the money in some way so that they could cheat him out of more than they gave him, there wouldn't have been an issue.

    Same thing with any business really. They exploit every loophole in the law they can get their paws on to stick the knives in. You, the lowly consumer, are not worth the effort of them being ethical. Hell, they won't even make safe products unless you sue them enough to make it too expensive to ignore you.

    But if you uncover a loophole that doesn't benefit them, whether you benefit or not they'll shiv you in the back. And act all pious and "injured" while they're screwing you over.

  12. John Dougald McCallum

    Acc deposits

    Online money tranfewr Co's do this to authenticate account details you tell them that you bank with The bank of XYZ and have Acc No 12332197846 they then put in to that Acc £0.50 and ask you to return it to ensure that you do indeed have that Account if you pocket the money instead you are commiting an act of theft but to do as this person did you would have to set up several thousand bank accounts and sometimes credit/debit card details also must have been a very busy fellow for some time.

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