By Collecting Lots of Free 'Micro-Deposits' Like in the Movie OFFICE SPACE!!
A California man has been indicted for an inventive scheme that allegedly stole $50,000 from online brokerage houses E-trade and Schwab.com in six months -- a few pennies at a time.
Michael Largent, of Plumas Lake, California, exploited a loophole in a common procedure both companies follow when a customer links his brokerage account to a bank account for the first time. Often too verify that the account number and routing information is actually owned by the person creating the account, the brokerages automatically send small "micro-deposits" of between two cents to one dollar to the account, and ask the customer to verify that they've received it.
Michael Larchent allegedly used a script to open 58,000 online brokerage accounts in the names of cartoon characters, and other aliases. He allegedly was linking each of them to a handful of online bank accounts, and accumulating thousands of dollars in micro-deposits.
Largent's script allegedly used fake names, addresses and Social Security numbers for the brokerage accounts. Largent allegedly favored cartoon characters for the names, including Johnny Blaze, King of the Hill patriarch Hank Hill, and Rusty Shackelford. That last name is doubly-fake -- it's the alias commonly used by the paranoid exterminator Dale Gribble on King of the Hill.
The banks involved included Capital One, Metabank, Greendot and Skylight. Largent allegedly cashed out by channeling the money into pre-paid debit cards.
Holy shit, this guy needs to be either working for the government or working with me!!! This is pure genius. While he may be convicted on fraud charges at the same time, he likely has a lot to contribute to the world in between his ears..http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/0 ... dly-b.html