Woman steals US$1 million from Mark Twain house 馬克‧吐溫故居遭女職員盜領一百萬美元

Wed, Aug 10, 2011 - Page 17

Mark Twain jokingly recommended crime as a way of learning morals, so the great American writer might not have been shocked at the woman who on Friday admitted to stealing US$1 million (NT$29 million) from his museum-home.

Donna Gregor, 58, pleaded guilty in Bridgeport, Connecticut to wire fraud and filing a false tax return as part of schemes to embezzle the Mark Twain House and Museum, federal prosecutors said.

Gregor, a longtime employee of the museum dedicated to the 19th century author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, siphoned the money from her employer by fiddling accounts and drawing extra pay to which she was not entitled.

She used the stolen money for “home improvements, theater tickets, dining out, mortgage payments, credit card payments and car payments,” the prosecutor’s office for Connecticut said.

She faces a maximum term of 23 years in prison and fines of up to US$2 million (NT$58 million).

Twain, who lived in the Hartford, Connecticut home from 1874 to 1891, might have seen the funny side.

Among his many humorous maxims about crime and money, he said: “By commission of crime you learn real morals. Commit all crimes, familiarize yourself with all sins, take them in rotation (there are only two or three thousand of them), stick to it, commit two or three every day, and by and by you will be proof against them.”