Jewish World Review July 23, 2002 / 14 Menachem-Av, 5762
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Prisoner 3423 was shown into his cell at Leavenworth. It was occupied by prisoner 3970. Thirty-nine-seventy held his hand out and said, "My name is Dude. What's yours?"
Prisoner 3423, without shaking hands, said, "Lambert."
Dude said, "What are you in for?"
Lambert replied, "I was the CEO for one of the largest energy and TV companies in America-and they caught me. That is to say, I borrowed $3 billion and laundered another two."
Dude whistled, "I never heard of anyone going to jail for that."
Lambert said, "What did you do?"
"I beat up my brother-in-law because he wouldn't pay me the $50 he owed me. You must feel terrible about being in a place like this."
"I had no choice. I agreed to four years in a deal we made that if I turned state's witness and testified against all the other executives in my company, they would put me in a witness protection program and I could live in Palm Beach under another name."
"Would your wife and children have new identities too?"
"No, because in order to plea-bargain I had to turn them into the Justice Department. What choice did I have?"
Dude said, "They didn't make a deal to give me any time off for beating up my brother-in-law. I knocked out four of his teeth. I guess you must be big time. What kind of car do you drive, man?"
"I have a dozen cars in each of my parking garages."
"You puttin' me on?"
"Do I look like somebody who would put you on? I have a yacht and five airplanes and a chateau in Aspen."
"What's a chateau and what's an aspen?"
"Oh forget it. I want the top bunk."
"I get the top bunk. I was here first."
"I'll give you $25,000 in my company's stock option plan."
"I don't know what the hell you're talking about. If you want to sleep on the top bunk, you're going to pay through the nose. I want a carton of cigarettes every week. Now that's real money."
"I don't have any cigarettes."
"You can buy them at the prison store on Thursday. But if you don't have any butts by then you're going to sleep on the floor.
"Dude, if you behave yourself, you can work for me when you get out. I could use a bodyguard who's good with his fists."
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07/19/02: The loophole game