hank lee out of jail

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billmccloskey
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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby billmccloskey » September 23rd, 2014, 9:13 pm

If you get ripped off for $500k, you're going to need a puritanical life. :)

Feel free to offer up your own credit to "Mr. Lee." But sorry, fair or unfair, he comes with a warning label now.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby NCMarsh » September 23rd, 2014, 10:39 pm

AJM wrote:Almost deserved to be in the same cell as Mr Lee on account of his stupidity.


Hell no.

Crime is never the victim's fault.

It may be unwise for me to leave my door unlocked -- but if I'm robbed another human being made a conscious, deliberate decision to take what didn't belong to him. That person is the only one at fault. I'm under no moral obligation to make it hard for me to be stolen from, he is under an obligation not to steal. End of story.

As for trusting Hank Lee with credit card information in the future: when you look behind the scenes of the massive data breaches at Target and other major retailers, and the industry of breaking into those systems (there are areas in Eastern Europe and China where hacking is a 9-to-5 office job done at an industrial scale); you're taking just as big a risk swiping your card at Walmart as you are handing it to Hank Lee. Those P.O.S. (the acronym here has two meanings) systems are tremendously vulnerable; not to mention that Hank would really need a titanium pair to commit the same crime again (especially when it is so easily detectable).

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N

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Leonard Hevia » September 23rd, 2014, 11:01 pm

Image

It looks like Hank had this just in case.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Rick Ruhl » September 23rd, 2014, 11:59 pm

Maybe start with a new conclave, but let a 3rd party handle the money

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 24th, 2014, 12:14 am

Are you really saying that you would go to a convention arranged by a convicted fellon who stole half a million dollars from a single customer? You're joking, I hope!

Nathan, your analogy is false because you are not comparing the same things. When you swipe your card at Target, or any other store, it's not that store which is stealing from you. It's criminals who have breached the store's security. That has no connection whatsoever to giving your credit card number to an individual who then proceeds, entirely on his own, to steal over half a million dollars from you.
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NYCJoePItt
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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby NYCJoePItt » September 24th, 2014, 12:39 am

I don't begrudge Hank Lee becoming a usefull and productive member of society now that he has served out his time in jail. Provided his employment match the level at which he should be trusted. He should not be handling money; including cash, credit, checks, etc.

I am serious when I say that I hope we can watch out for each other should he decide to re-enter the magic business under an alias. The service and product that came out of his magic shop the last 5 or so years under his reign was simply atrocious. I am hoping he will seek employment elsewhere.

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jjsanvert
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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby jjsanvert » September 24th, 2014, 2:36 am

I can't believe he was so foolish to do that.

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 24th, 2014, 4:31 am

billmccloskey wrote:Forgiveness and trust are two vastly different things. I have no need to forgive him because I didn't get ripped off. Forgiveness (or not) is for those who have been harmed. However trusting someone who has gone to prison for a crime...sorry, not going to happen.


Perhaps forgiveness and trust are "different things." But whether or not one was a direct victim of his crime, I believe that it is a practical impossibility to regain the latter without first arriving at the former. However, one can certainly forgive and still never arrive at trust.

I am not at either, but I am unwilling to question those who might be there and are willing to help him—figuratively or materially—travel the rough road ahead that he made for himself. That is their business.

Other convicted criminals have turned their lives around and regained the trust of the masses (Michael Milken comes to mind). Can Hank Lee do that as well? Only time will tell.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Tom Dobrowolski » September 24th, 2014, 10:20 am

I know of 4 individuals personally who had discovered erroneous extra charges on their credit card statements from Hank Lee.

I may have missed it along the way but my understanding is Hank Lee has yet to admit guilt, responsibility, express remorse, apologize. offer any restitution or rationale for the crimes he committed or make any promises, etc. to amend or change his criminal ways to the many many people he stole money from.

billmccloskey
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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby billmccloskey » September 24th, 2014, 10:26 am

A lot of people forgave and trusted Jack Abbott. That didn't turn out so good. In fact an innocent person died as a result of that trust and forgiveness.

Hank wasn't falsely accused and wrongfully convicted. He knowingly stole for one person over 130 times over a multi year period. And that is just one of the victims.

It is not "immoral" to not forgive or forget that. and it is not "immoral" not to trust him again. It is the natural consequence of his action, cause and effect as the Buddhists would say. Cause and effect.

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 24th, 2014, 12:23 pm

I'm confused by your last post, Bill. I searched the thread. Who--other than through your own comments--suggested that it would be "immoral" to not forgive and/or trust him or that he was wrongly convicted? Unless I am missing something, which is certainly possible, you are creating an argument using "facts that are not in evidence."

I also hope that you are not suggesting that Hank Lee could turn into a murderer. I've no doubt--and never implied otherwise--that that there are more criminal recidivists than there are those who find personal and public redemption through good works after the fact.

But, as I understand it, there is no redemption in Buddhism because there is no sin; no debts that can be repaid. There is only "now" and the choices one makes going forward. Of course, he will also be facing the consequences of his past deeds for the rest of his life.

He did "time" (not enough in my opinion, but more that I thought he would). The stigma of "convicted felon" will follow him forever. Any job applications and other legal forms he fills out can ask him about that. And that may well be his first test: will he tell the truth on those?

I will not presume to know the answer to that, but I suspect that the cynics here may very well be ready to answer it. That's okay too as that is also a consequence of his past deeds. But it is about him, and not those who are willing to support his future attempts at finding a positive life. (There are those who argue that the very fact that people refuse to give freed convicts opportunities actually leads to them back to crime; but that is another debate.)

And in case you have missed my original point: I am not on Hank Lee's side here. I'm just not comfortable with some of the shots being taken at those willing to give him a chance. I am not one of them. He would never work for me and I would never conduct business with him. But again, I take no issue with those who would.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Tom Gilbert » September 24th, 2014, 12:45 pm

I doubt that Hank would think he could start another mail order business and compete in the magic market. His previous business model was top dollar along with expensive and slow shipping. Much less people not getting the product that they paid for.

As for his Conclave, once I heard and confirmed that he had the venue double the room rates, I quit going. If others were happy paying double, that's good for them.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Thurston » September 24th, 2014, 2:21 pm

Dustin, I appreciate the balanced view you are putting forward. With these types of issues emotions and opinions will of course be varied.

Yes I would attend another Conclave, have attended many conventions and still do, but consistently had some of my best times at the Conclaves. Foe me the risk/reward would be worth it, for others I understand the ratio would be diffrent.

I attend a number of work related conventions and seminars and can assure you that many times room rates are significantly higher for those events, it is a common way to help offset costs.

Again I do not condone what he did just don't share the same extreme view on him never being allowed to try and be productive again. Let's face it, he is not a young man and options will be limited.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby billmccloskey » September 24th, 2014, 2:25 pm

Dustin, I'm not calling him a murderer but I am calling him a career criminal. The moral point was to counter some of comments here that imply that if you DON'T give him another chance, that you are somehow "puritanical" and an unforgiving person.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby JHostler » September 24th, 2014, 3:05 pm

billmccloskey wrote:Dustin, I'm not calling him a murderer but I am calling him a career criminal. The moral point was to counter some of comments here that imply that if you DON'T give him another chance, that you are somehow "puritanical" and an unforgiving person.


No, Bill. No one said that. What I objected to was your insistence on branding anyone who violates trust with a "scarlet T" for the rest of their life. You put it in very plain terms: "Once trust is gone, it's gone." Remember?

Re Hank specifically: With a felony on his record, the man will likely pay for his crime until the day he dies. No decent job prospects. No business loans. Caustic whispering when folks see him in public places. Why not let it go? At very least, you can still hate the man without all the chronic bashing in public fora.
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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 24th, 2014, 3:44 pm

Short of Hank Lee posting a mea culpa here, none of knows what he's thinking about at this time, except that he's probably really really glad to be out of the pokey. Now he has to repair his relationship with his family and try to find a way to pay his bills.

Some folks seem willing to forgive him since he paid his penalty as required by law. Continue your discussion, but please keep it calm and rational.
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billmccloskey
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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby billmccloskey » September 24th, 2014, 4:23 pm

never mind
Last edited by billmccloskey on September 24th, 2014, 4:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby mrgoat » September 24th, 2014, 4:27 pm

Bill. I think you've made your point.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » September 24th, 2014, 4:38 pm

For how long was Hank Lee doing business in selling magic?

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 24th, 2014, 4:53 pm

Long enough to steal half a million from a single customer.
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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Rick Ruhl » September 24th, 2014, 6:34 pm

Hank Lee Opened in 1975.

What I said Richard, was he has some 3rd party company handle the money and let him set up conclave.. this way, we know it would happen and he wouldn't double or triple charge someone.

So under those conditions, we could see how the magic community would support him without risk.

1. You make sure the invited performers are paid if the conference happens or not
2. You pay for the room and airfare of the performers.
3. if you dont reach X number of registries by x date then it canceled, no last minute panic like Kennesaw magic did a few years ago.
4. No charging credit cards until the day before the show.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 24th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Why would anyone go to a convention organized by a convicted felon who stole over half a million dollars from a customer?

Is there suddenly a lack of magic conventions?

Someone pinch me.
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billmccloskey
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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby billmccloskey » September 24th, 2014, 7:09 pm

I don't know if you have ever organized a conference Rick, but I have and I know Richard has. Hotels require all sorts of up front, non refundable fees. You have to predict how many meals you are going to serve and pay a per head price for those. When I did a conference in the early 2000's, I did 3 city one day conference. I was on the hook to each hotel for about $50k each. And this is LONG before I know if anyone is going to come or if I have any sponsors. Someone is going to have to front Hank the money since I'm sure most of his funds are going into restitution. I would be VERY wary of giving my credit card to any conference in those circumstances.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby GlennWest » September 24th, 2014, 7:36 pm

Hank Lee did put on a great convention year after year.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Rick Ruhl » September 24th, 2014, 8:13 pm

Just speculation Richard. Im pretty sure it wont happen...

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 24th, 2014, 8:18 pm

Good. I didn't want to get pinched!
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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Bob Farmer » September 25th, 2014, 7:26 am

I am now unable to read any trick description that uses the word "steal" (e.g., steal the top two cards under the packet"), without thinking of the Magic Factory.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Bill Mullins » September 25th, 2014, 8:19 am

I think, as a favor to Bob, we should change how we write up tricks.

"Embezzle the top two cards under the packet."

Does that help?

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Thurston » September 25th, 2014, 11:39 am

Richard, as you point out there are no shortage of good conventions (yours is a prime example). For me the Conclaves were a relaxed fun weekend with a "homey" feel that I have not felt at other events. I also love Cape Cod so it waqs a great excuse to go. I am sure some of my feelings are pure nostaliga... like they say "you can't go back"...

I don't know, I cannot hate the guy, I understand why many have very negative feelings though. At this point he has to try and repair alot of damage in his personal life I am sure, and at a minimum I hope he is able to do that.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Bob Farmer » September 25th, 2014, 12:11 pm

Bill, I've just done a "search-and-replace" on all my trick descriptions.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Dave » September 30th, 2015, 2:19 pm

Anyone know what is up with the building that was Hank Lee's? I happened past there today, and it still has all the Hank Lee signage, and is just all locked up tight. Wondering if anyone knows what's up there...

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby John Bowden » September 30th, 2015, 5:49 pm

Firstly I never had any dealings with Hank Lee so my ability to furnish forgiveness is of little relevance here.

However I understand he committed a crime of fraud and has served the term of imprisonment imposed by a judge and as such has served his time and should be free from any discrimination as a result of his prison sentence.

Forgiveness is for each person who was defrauded to offer, not just for Hank Lee's benefit but for their own benefit in letting go.

However TRUST is another matter, a bit like respect, it isn't something that you can demand or even expect without earning it. Part of the price you pay for a crime, any crime, is a mistrusting by those who had once favoured you with it.

It is sad that a man, once much regarded and highly respected, stooped so low as to defraud those who weren't just his clients but in some cases his friends. Had it happened to me I would be understandably angry and annoyed.

Hopefully Hank Lee will put all this behind him and try to make amends where possible. Perhaps with the help of his family he might be able to do something meaningful with whatever time he has left and while I doubt he will ever be able to regain the trust and respect of the magic community I hope he regains the love and friendship of his family.

"There but for the Grace of God go I".....................and the temptation of $500,000 was never placed in front of me.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby performer » September 30th, 2015, 10:39 pm

Judge not that ye be not judged. The only difference between Hank Lee and the rest of you is that he got caught and you didn't. Come to think of it one of the posters on this very thread stole from me too. He suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder and I fervently hope and pray he has it for the rest of his useless life. However, I do not wish to sound vindictive. I tried to put a hex on him but alas he was cursed already.

Who among you has not sinned?

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Leo Garet » October 1st, 2015, 9:54 am

performer wrote:Judge not that ye be not judged. The only difference between Hank Lee and the rest of you is that he got caught and you didn't. Come to think of it one of the posters on this very thread stole from me too. He suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder and I fervently hope and pray he has it for the rest of his useless life. However, I do not wish to sound vindictive. I tried to put a hex on him but alas he was cursed already.

Who among you has not sinned?

The only difference between Hank Lee and the rest of you is that he got caught and you didn't".
Really?

"Who among you has not sinned?"
Considering your powers, you should know. ;)

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby performer » October 1st, 2015, 1:38 pm

You have all sinned. Every one of you. Perhaps not stealing although that seems to be the most common. But you have all sinned in some other way. Assaulted someone, slandered someone, stolen someone's idea, committed arson, insurance fraud, abused your wife etc;

I don't know what your particular sins are. I just know that you have committed them. Verily I say unto ye, he who has not sinned cast the first stone. There. I wanted to sound all biblical. I am a reverend after all.

So Hank Lee sinned. He went to jail. He has paid the price. You got away with it whatever you did. So count your blessings, shrug your shoulders and say, "There but for the Grace of God go I" and remember. You haven't been caught yet.

Oddly enough the person who first gave me the above wisdom decades ago is in a spot of bother himself at the moment. I won't go into the details.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby John Bowden » October 1st, 2015, 7:01 pm

Gosh................when I knew you many decades ago you weren't in the habit of taking wisdom from anyone. You, however, did impart some good advice..........generally about what books I should buy...........from you.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby performer » October 2nd, 2015, 1:01 am

I took wisdom from many people but never about magic. After all when you know everything about a subject you really don't need to to know any more.

One bit of advice which seems relevant to this thread was by my favourite rogue Murray the escapologist. He once told me "If you go through life and never do business with a crook you will never get anything done"

I have found that to be true. To prove it I used to do business with Murray all the time.

I still remember visiting him in hospital with some magician or other and he brightened when he saw me saying, "It is nice to see this thief here". The greatest compliment I have ever received from him and I treasure it to this day.

A wonderful man. I bet he would get on with Hank Lee very well.

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby Jonathan Pendragon » October 2nd, 2015, 5:03 am

Thank You Dustin. I was really upset for a moment. I went to jail, he went to federal prison. I am very picky about the company I keep and he wouldn't have been welcome in my cell block. The next block might have taken him, there was a guy in there who defrauded people out of ten million dollars, with his mother's help! They both ended up in the Fed-Pen with a very very long sentence.

The rumor I heard was that Hank was going to become the new owner pf Snap Illusions. :-).

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Re: hank lee out of jail

Postby hugmagic » October 2nd, 2015, 7:54 am

Good one Johnathan. unfortunately, neither was a joking matter.
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