Undergrad Rag

Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

College Book Buying Actually a Mafia Scam

In Uncategorized on February 11, 2010 at 3:57 pm
Fatone, counting the thousands of dollars he made off overpriced used copies of The Baghvad Gita, and The Collected Works of William Blake.

Nicky “Two-Tone” Fatone was escorted from the Philadelphia district court today in handcuffs after being convicted on several counts of fraud and money laundering. Fatone, who had been in the crosshairs of the local authorities and the FBI for the past several years, was finally tied with an intricate money laundering scheme involving the sale of college textbooks.

FBI Lynne Rosewood spoke with UR about the elaborate plan that had put so many colleges and their professors under the thumb of organized crime. “In retrospect, the obvious disparity between the actually cost of books and the prices demanded for them in university bookstores seems obvious,” said Agent Rosewood, “but for a long time it was simply glossed over as a necessary evil in the costly world of higher education.”

Agent Rosewood never thought of it herself until her two children went to college and she saw the receipts for their books each semester. “When your own child pays 15 dollars for a used copy of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, and 120 dollars for a 200 page chemistry textbook, you can’t help but notice that something is eschew,” said Rosewood.

Philadelphia ADA Harvey Karne said that though it was plausible that the egregious prices at the bookstores were merely a way to fill the overflowing coffers of high-priced academic institutions, he “couldn’t really imagine that people devoted to the education of America’s youth would pull such a dick move.”

The inability to reconcile the criminal prices with basic human decency demanded an investigation. When authorities dug further into the warehouse suppliers for a majority of college bookstores, they uncovered an intricate money laundering scheme.

“The book binding business had been set up by Fatone nearly tenyears ago as a way to claim legitimate income and avoid tax evasion charges,” said ADA Karne. “It’s only been in the past few years that he saw the potential there to clean his money. He would dump the dirty money into his printing businesses, and then coerce the universities into only using his suppliers for exorbitant prices. When he got paid by the universities he took the money out and put it back into his criminal enterprises.”

Many wondered why the scam wasn’t uncovered sooner. Maybe Fatone put it best when he was hear over a federal wiretap proclaiming sarcastically, “Who is gonna’ say shit? You can’t put a price on a good education.”

Rosewood called the conviction “long awaited justice for those who have been victimized by the 65 dollar paperbacks and 130 dollar hardcover books peddled shamelessly over the past five years. Hopefully we won’t see any more Chemistry majors paying 600 dollars a semester for books they only a open a handful of times”

When asked if there would be any charges brought against professors who use classes to sell their own books even though they aren’t directly tied to the course, ADA Karne was less optimistic. “We are combing the cannons of law for some way to charge these people, but unfortunately, there is no law against being an asshole.”


Undergraduate Unaware of Economic Crisis

In Student Issues on February 5, 2010 at 12:31 am

Never having learned the value of a dollar, some students are suprised to find out that others go wanting. Incidentally, a high proportion of these students are also douchebags

It was a startling Wednesday afternoon this past week when Drexel Junior Andy Willhaukis suddenly became acutely aware of America’s current economic recession. According to Willhaukis, it was just like any other day: a lecture at 11, midday smoke with friends, and a pleasant evening of lighthearted drinking in the works. The day took a dark turn, Willhaukis said, when he went to the ATM to get money and was instead greeted with a screen that said “Insufficient Funds.”

            “I had never seen that before, I thought something was wrong with the teller machine, so I went to another…then another, then another. They all just kept saying the same thing,” Willhaukis lamented, “those same two words just staring back at me. Mocking me.”

            Unsure of what to make of the whole ordeal Andy assumed that someone was playing an elaborate prank on him. After confirming the card was indeed his and he was not being “Punk’d” or any some such business, he called his parents. What he received was a rude awakening.

“They told me that my account was empty because I had spent all the money. When I was like ‘Helloooo…fill it up again’ they laid some guilt trip on me about how money doesn’t grow on trees. And I’m like ‘well its made of paper, so figure something out.’ They hung up on me shortly after.

“I mean, I spent the money on things I needed. Food, books, cigarettes, booze, Asian massages parlors…etc. It never ran out before and I’ve been doing the same things for three years.”

It wasn’t until Willhaukis came home raving about his parents unreasonable actions that his friend, Fred Tuck, handed him a copy of Time Magazine. Tuck readily admits that “Andy has never been the most cost-conscious person. I’m pretty sure he has totaled and bought more cars in one semester than I have in my entire life. The funny things is” Fred mused, “I know he voted for Obama, but I am almost positive it’s because he thought his wife was hot and not so he could fix any of the serious problems in the country. I distinctly remember him celebrating ‘four years of chocolate eye candy,” on election night…at least I hope he’s talking about the First Lady.”

It didn’t take more than twenty minutes browsing through the financial section of Time magazine for Willhaukis to realize the gravity of his errors. Andy had no idea the effects of the economic downfall had spread their tendrils as wide as they had. Later on he shamefully admitted that he thought the status quo would basically remain the same, “but the poor would just get poorer.”

Tuck quickly chimed in, “you weren’t too far off.”

Despite the alarming realizations, Willhaukis does not seem poised to change his behavior. “My parents will come around…I mean its just money right? How hard can it be to make?” He was promptly slapped by his roommate.