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Man bilks online brokerages a few cents at a time

Pennies_2Who says you can't get rich from saving pennies -- or in this case stealing them.
California resident Michael Largent allegedly made $50,000 by opening 58,000 brokerage accounts using an automatic script.

The companies he's accused of scamming -- E-trade and Schwab.com -- apparently send ‘‘micro-deposits'' between a few cents to a dollar when a customer opens an account to make sure the account number and routing information are right.

Among the people Largent allegedly opened accounts for, Hank Hill, Johnny Blaze and Rusty Shackelford.

Sound familiar? That's cause they're all animated characters.

The Feds charged him with four counts each of computer fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud.   

Wired has the story.


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Dan M

The reason he used these names are because they are from "King of the Hill" which Mike Judge created.

The pennies scam was the same scam they used on "Office Space" which was also written and directed by Mike Judge.

I guess it was a homage to Judge.


A company offers the money. So go get it. Is this really any different than having multiple Email addresses? I do not see a problem here, but then again I am an evil far right winger.

Evan Benn

Dan, I was just thinking, Isn't this like the scheme they used in Office Space? Thanks for making the Mike Judge connection. I wonder if one of the names Largent used was Michael Bolton.

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