WEATHER »

Heart of Dog-ness

Have Americans Become Too Lazy to Steal?


Thursday, April 11, 2013

STEAL LITTLE, STEAL BIG: It’s been well documented the extent to which native-born Americans are work-adverse. Scientists, in fact, have determined that there’s a direct mathematical correlation: The more exertion required, the more adverse ​— ​and averse ​— ​the response. Without even trying ​— ​being native-born, I, too, am work-adverse ​— ​I stumbled onto yet a more startling revelation; native-born Americans have now become too lazy to even steal. I have come to this conclusion after reading years’ worth of press releases issued by Thom Mrozek ​— ​my favorite public information officer ​— ​of the U.S. Attorneys Office out of Los Angeles. It is Mrozek’s enviable lot in life to chronicle high crimes and misdemeanors throughout the Southland. As such, he gets to cherry-pick the worst of the worst and provide reporters ​— ​a job disproportionately occupied by the lazy native-born ​— ​the crème de la crime. I don’t know how much Mrozek gets paid, but based on his prolific output, he clearly works hard for it. Mrozek seems to take pleasure in providing detailed accounts of the various cons, frauds, and scams prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office. After subjecting Mrozek’s press releases to a rigorously scientific content analysis, I have determined that in 97.38 percent of these accounts, the perpetrators involved were foreign-born. To the extent that native-born Americans appear at all, it almost always involves child molesters, gang bangers, or medical-marijuana dispensary operators. But where cleverness, ingenuity, and raw chicanery are required, the native-born are egregiously and conspicuously absent. If I had the energy required to get worked up about anything, I would find this trend is alarming in the extreme and stay awake nights worrying about all the ill it boded.

Angry Poodle

A few months ago, Mrozek notified the media that Stanley Kuo Jua Yang ​— ​of Fountain Valley — had been sentenced to 30 months for selling counterfeit name-brand exercise equipment. The integrity of name-brand equipment like Bowflex, Malibu Pilates, and Ab Circle Pro is apparently nothing to be trifled with and is of great concern to the Department of Homeland Security. It turns out Yang had imported several 40-foot containers of such equipment and was affixing to the equipment contained therein fraudulent name-brand stickers and labels for the purpose of charging higher prices. Mr. Yang ​— ​the prefix “Mr.” is used only to denote criminal behavior ​— ​is one of three foreign-born counterfeiters investigated during the past two years by the Department of Homeland Security for the crime of selling bogus name-brand gym equipment. Yang was also found to be in the possession of 10,000 ersatz Silhouette slim pants, those stretchy things endowed with magical “slimming” powers for those too busy to use his equally ersatz exercise machines.

Just last month, Mrozek issued a release detailing how Yeon Soon Lee ​— ​a k a Susie Lee ​— ​had been put behind bars for selling counterfeit designer handbags, falsely bearing the labels of such extravagantly inflationary name brands as Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Versace, and, yes, Dolce & Gabbana. Again, we can thank Homeland Security for bringing Ms. Lee’s predations to light. The judge who sentenced Ms. Lee termed her a “clear recidivist,” adding that Lee had demonstrated “repeated disrespect for the law.” Lee, it turns out, had been prosecuted before for the same crime in 2009, when authorities seized more than 1,000 handbags bearing counterfeit labels. I won’t suggest in the case of Lee and Yang that these are victimless crimes. I would suggest, however, that anybody willing to shell out the cash to buy these name-brand products probably deserves to get fleeced and that the U.S. taxpayers should not be on the hook for the cost of jailing their perpetrators.

On a more serious note, Mrozek brought to our attention the 13-year sentence imposed on Uben Ogbu Rush ​— ​of Carson ​— ​who made over $8 million in an elaborate Medicare fraud scheme over a nine-year period. Rush owns a company that manufactures motorized wheelchairs among other things and to gin up additional “business,” she and her cronies ​— ​who included Phitsamay Syvoravong and Carlos Alberto Rezabala ​— ​got a crew of doctors to write fake prescriptions to fake patients. Everyone along the way, it should be noted, got kickbacks and payoffs. Over the years, Rush submitted over $15 million worth of claims, yet she was only reimbursed for $8.1 million. With such a low reimbursement rate, one can only be grateful no real patients were involved. Imagine the hardships they would have endured. One can readily see how real doctors serving real patients can no longer afford to do business with Medicare. The same was true for Dr. Augustus Ohemeng of Long Beach, who also got slammed for enlisting hundreds of phony patients to submit claims for services never rendered. Ohemeng submitted $5.6 million worth of claims over the years, only to be reimbursed for $3 million. No wonder there’s a screaming shortage of primary-care doctors these days. What impressed me most was not just the duplicity and dishonesty displayed, but the amount of hard work required. Imagine the sheer effort required to submit hundreds of false claims. The thought alone is enough to leave me utterly exhausted. Better to be honest; it’s less work.

These crime trends parallel to an uncanny degree the extent to which the United States has increasingly come to rely on foreign-born high-tech workers to handle the demands of living the attention-deficit-disordered life. In just five days this year, American companies exceeded the 85,000 limit for high-tech worker visa applications. Given that it took two months to hit that limit last year and 10 months the year before that, we can surmise the economy is improving. Maybe if we made higher education more affordable to more people in this country, we wouldn’t be quite so dependent upon the skilled workforce of other nations for our economic survival. Just saying. But until that fine day, the bumper sticker affixed to my car will read: “Steal American.”

Related Links

Santa Barbara Fair & Expo

Santa Barbara Fair and Expo celebrates “25 Years of Magic”, ... Read More