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America doesn’t hold the patent on brilliant criminals

pbTicket.jpgNo sir, stupid criminals can be found in every country on this diverse planet of ours. Take China, for instance, where Ren Xiaofeng and Ma Xiangjing, along with three others, are being tried with accusations that they stole 51 million yuan (almost $7 million) from the bank they worked at (making this the biggest bank robbery in China’s history). In and of itself, this would be nothing - just another example of bank employees thinking they could pull an inside job. But Ren and Ma’s ultimate plan was particularly special.

The two men were both vault managers at a branch of the Agricultural Bank of China. Ren got involved with two other men, and the three of them stole about 200,000 yuan. But Ren had a plan to avoid getting caught - he would use the stolen funds to play the lottery, and when he won, he could then return the stolen funds, splitting the rest of the winnings with his collaborators. So the robbery was more like a big loan, really.

And believe it or not, this actually worked – Ren won the lottery and managed to return the 200,000 yuan. But then he started collaborating with Ma and things got turned up a couple of notches - over a one month span, they stole almost 51 million yuan, spending 47 million of it on the lottery. They didn’t win anything back, and ultimately got busted before getting a chance to dump the rest of the stolen funds into the lottery.

When interviewed on the courthouse steps, Ma said that if he had the chance to do it all over again, he would totally spend the stolen yuan on hookers and blow instead of scratch tickets and the Powerball.

(And for those keeping count, the fifth guy on trial allegedly harbored Ma for a time while he was on the lam.)