Crimes & Criminals

Mark Twain House Employee Embezzled One Million Over Eight Years

An employee of the Mark Twain House and Museum in West Hartford, Conn., has admitted in court to embezzling $1 million from the organization that maintains the author's historic home. The Mark Twain House, like the homes of some of America's other best-known writers, has faced financial difficulties. Most, however, were not systematically plundered. Report from LA Times Jacket Copy.

Longtime (and now former) staffer Donna Gregory regularly raided the organization's coffers for eight years; she pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and filing a false tax return, Reuters reports.

According to court documents, Gregory submitted false information over the Internet to the Mark Twain House payroll vendor between 2002 and 2010. The misinformation allowed additional pay to which she was not entitled to be deposited into her bank account, classified as payroll advances.

She then adjusted the ledgers to cover up the advances by reclassifying the amounts as utilities, maintenance and similar items. She also falsified the Mark Twain House's bank statements to hide the advances, authorities said. Gregory used the Mark Twain House's check-writing system to write checks payable to herself and forged her supervisor's signatures on those checks, authorities said.

IT Security For Libraries First In A Series

IT Security In Libraries
8. Social Media Security
7. Practical IT Security
6. Integrating IT Security In Your Library
5. 20 Common Security Myths
4. How To Stay Safe Online
3. Passwords
2. Privacy
1. IT Security Foundations

Today's post is long on theory. I'll argue that most any library can be a target, and present some ideas on how to make things more secure in your library.
My first post will cover privacy, because I think it's closely related to security, and it's something we as librarians take seriously. Then I'll cover a bunch of ways to stay safe online, how to secure your browser, PC and other things you and your patrons use every day. I'll also cover some common security myths. Then we'll talk passwords: everything has a password now, and I want to make sure we all understand what it takes to make your password as secure as possible. Then we'll talk network security for a bit, followed by hardware and PC security. Then I'll focus on security issues that you'll find in your library. And last, but not least, some things I think you'll find interesting that sysadmins do with servers to make things safer for you, and that you'll never see as an end user.

One way to begin thinking about security for your library is by asking yourself few questions:

What do you have to lose?
What does your library & patrons have to lose?
What are the bad guys after?

Coming up with even a few quick answers to these questions can be helpful, I think, because it's important to remember we all have something to lose, and that we all have a part to play in keeping ourselves and our libraries safe.

It's also important to know that, ultimately, there is no such thing as a secure computer. Nothing we do can make things 100% safe. We can just make things safer than they were before. All of the security work we do is about reducing risk. It's about knowing what we're up against. We want to reduce the possible frequency of loss (by securing things as much as possible, given our resources) AND we want to reduce the potential magnitude of loss (by limiting what can be lost as much as possible).

To help set the stage for success we should keep in mind 2 things. "Any lock can be picked", and people are the weakest link in security chain. First, people:

‘Free Culture’ Advocate May Pay High Price

Aaron Swartz, an agitator for free access to information on the Internet, has been charged with illegally downloading more than four million articles from a subscription-only digital storehouse.

Full article in the NYT:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/25/business/media/aaron-swartzs-web-activism-may-cost-him-dea...

19k papers leaked to protest war against knowledge

19,000 papers leaked to protest 'war against knowledge'
A critic of academic publishers has uploaded 19,000 scientific papers to the internet to protest the prosecution of a prominent programmer and activist accused of hacking into a college computer system and downloading almost 5 million scholarly documents from an archive service.

The 18,592 documents made available Wednesday through Bittorrent were pulled from the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, a prestigious scientific journal that was founded in the 1600s, the protester said.

Internet Activist Charged in M.I.T. Data Theft

Aaron Swartz, a 24-year-old programmer and online political activist, was charged with stealing millions of documents from M.I.T. and JSTOR, an archive of scientific journals and academic papers.

Full story

Librarians under city scrutiny for e-chat

Two members of the Pollard Memorial Library staff in Lowell, MA, are being investigated by city officials for expressing their frustrations with a coworker. During an IM chat, they discussed, apparently in jest, covering for each other if the coworker was found dead.

http://www.lowellsun.com/ci_18475557

Police Bust College Textbook Theft Ring

Police Bust College Textbook Theft Ring
An employee at an off-campus bookstore discovered a theft ring that used doctored textbooks to make quick cash from the Georgia Gwinnett College library, police said.

Four people are accused of orchestrating the plan that involved taking books from the library and cashing them in at Dorks Textbooks in Lawrenceville.

Go read this: women help fuel rise in ebook piracy

How do you know you are doing something wrong?

When 35-year-old women are a problem for your industry. Seriously, does ANYONE really believe that this age-group are pirating ebooks because they ‘hate’ publishers or dislike copyright?

No, they are downloading ebooks from illegal sources because they can’t find legal ones, the prices at legal sites are well beyond what they think are fair or simply because they haven’t been reached by legitimate publishers.

Full story at Teleread

Skimming Off the Top...for a Faux Fireplace??

From North Jersey News: The former director of the Haledon Free Public Library was arrested Friday on an official misconduct charge in connection with online purchases she allegedly paid with library funds.

Judith Erk, currently an assistant librarian at Manchester Regional High School in Haledon, is charged with one count of official misconduct and one count of theft by deception in excess of $75,000. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in state prison. North Haledon Municipal Court Judge Harold Cook set Erk’s bail at $50,000. It could not be confirmed late Friday if she had posted bail and was free.

Authorities executed a search warrant of Erk’s home Friday morning, according to authorities, where evidence pertaining to the case was recovered. Items seized included electronics, kitchen appliances, jewelry and a faux fireplace.

East Texas Librarian Robbed at Gunpoint

For a jar that contained less than $100.00 --

DAINGERFIELD, TX (KLTV) : An East Texas woman was robbed at gun point in the Daingerfield Public Library just after 9:00 am Monday morning. Police have arrested a a 19 year-old on an aggravated robbery charge.

The suspect entered the library shortly after it opened and requested to use a computer. Earlene Walton was working and agreed to sign him in and get him all situated, since he did not have a library card.

The suspect told Walton that he had forgotten something and left the building. When he returned, he pulled out a gun. Within minutes, the suspect had fled with a jar that friends of the library used to collect donations.

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