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.”

(AFP)

馬克‧吐溫曾開玩笑地建議,犯罪是學習道德的方法,所以這位偉大美國作家可能對一名女職員上週五,承認盜取其博物館故居一百萬美元(新台幣兩千九百萬元)的行徑,應不足為奇。

聯邦檢察官表示,五十八歲的女子唐娜‧葛雷格在康乃狄克州橋港市認罪,非法侵吞馬克‧吐溫故居與博物館款項,犯下匯款詐欺與不實申報退稅。

葛雷格任職於紀念十九世紀著有《頑童流浪記》作者的博物館,她竄改雇主帳目,並提領她無資格收取的額外報酬。

康乃狄克州檢察官辦公室表示,她將偷來的錢財花在「住家裝修、電影票、餐費、償還貸款、信用卡帳款,以及買車」。

她面對最高二十三年的入獄刑期,並易科最高兩百萬美元(新台幣五千八百萬元)的罰金。

一八七四年與一八九一年間,住在康乃狄克州哈特福的家的吐溫,可能已看到這起犯罪詼諧的一面。

吐溫關於犯罪與金錢的許多格言中,他曾說:「從犯罪行為中,你學到真道德。犯下所有罪行、讓自己熟悉所有罪惡、輪流犯下這些罪行(罪行也只不過只有兩三千種)、持之以恆、一天犯兩三個罪,將來你將能克制犯罪的衝動。」

(法新社/翻譯:林亞蒂)