Richard Kaufman wrote:Times are very tough for brick and mortar magic dealers, and ALL magic dealers. The desperation brought on my the possibility of economic catastrophe sometimes leads men to criminal acts, or suicide. If Hank Lee is guilty, then a little good old pity might be in order. There's a difference, albeit one not readily seen (and many would refuse to recognize) between stealing money to keep your business float and stealing money to buy sports cars, a fancy house, and drugs.
I do not know the details here, but I will give Hank Lee the benefit of the doubt and hope that he was doing this just to keep his business alive and pay his bills. If he is found guilty, or has already plead guilty, then he will face the punishment of the court. After that punishment he will have paid his debt to society and will be able to start anew. He also has a family, and they must be in our thoughts as well.
That's easy to say, I guess, when you're not the one who got ripped off. Hank Lee has been doing stuff like this for a LONG time. (I got ripped off by him on my first (and last) order as a poor, 18-year-old college student -- and that was before he would have been feeling much pressure from online magic stores.) And I'm not alone:
Somehow I don't think he needed that half-a-million just to keep his head above water. If you do need to rip off your customers in order to keep your business afloat, then perhaps you have an untenable business plan. And if that's the case then he should have submitted a resume at Arby's like a decent human rather than steal from other hard-working people.