A Titillating White Collar Crime Story

Jeffrey Burnham, formerly a low-ranking executive for TD Bank and Kennebunk Savings in southern Maine, has pleaded guilty to embezzling almost 220 grand from TD Bank. He used a corporate credit card for seventy-two personal expenses in four states in 2011 and 2012. Ho hum, so far, unless, like me, you find white collar crime in general to be interesting and important. It is more salacious than usual, though: he used those funds to pay for excursions to strip clubs. Now we have a story that could get serious attention—but that has not happened yet. Perhaps when the sentencing is announced, this odd news item will get the buzz it so richly deserves, but so far few media outlets outside Maine seem to have picked up on the AP story. One web site based in the UK ran a short original piece, though, complete with a stock photo of strippers. This story is begging for TV news items loaded with anchors’ double entendres and stock footage of women working on poles and talking heads in the studio pretending to be shocked and offended.

Seriously, though: why did he think he could get away with this scheme?


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