Man Uses Star Trek Invention to Con Company For $800,000

Man Uses Star Trek Invention to Con Company For $800,000


Howard Leventhal was arrested after he tricked Paragon Financial Group Inc. with phony plans to make a Star Trek Tricorder.

How would you fancy $800,000? If that piques your interest, you might want to look up the folks at Paragon Financial Group Inc. The only thing you'll need to do is give your favorite sci-fi gizmo a new name and they'll apparently just start handing over checks. Just ask Howard Leventhal, who recently managed to con the company out of $800K which he was supposed to invest in the "Heltheo McCoy Home Health Tablet," better know as the Tricorder from Star Trek.

As amusing as it might seem to think of someone being deceived by this, we'll cut Paragon Financial Group a bit of slack on account of the fact that Leventhal actually put a lot of effort into his ruse. He initially told the company that Health Canada, the Canadian government's department of public health, owed him upwards of $4 million dollars. He also presented them with phony documents including plans for a device "designed as a platform to maximize the patient benefits through broadband-augmented in-home telemedicine" and a forged contract between his company Neovision USA and the Canadian government. "Leventhal claimed to have lucrative connections within the Canadian government and cutting edge technology that could help save lives," said U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch, announcing Leventhal's arrest. Believing the documents to be authentic, Paragon gave Leventhal the aforementioned money.

Leventhal was caught when he gave the same forged documents to an undercover agent while trying to obtain another $2.5 million in financing for his bogus invention. He was arrested and then released on bail after posting $100,000 bond. He was then ordered to attend an October 30th hearing where, according to his court appointed lawyer, he intends to contest the charges. While we wait to see how that turns out we'll be busy working on plans to pitch our own invention, a multipurpose cutting device we're calling the Lucas Skywalkian Light Cutter. Somehow we think we might be able to find someone willing to help us out.

Source: Bloomberg


Dumbass is going to get a good long stay in a Federal prison for this, and you know what? He deserves it.

"While we wait to see how that turns out we'll be busy working on plans to pitch our own invention, a multipurpose cutting device we're calling the Lucas Skywalkian Light Cutter"

The name made me LOL, thanks!!! :D

Does anyone want to invest into the development of self replicating and self adapting, swarm-based, combat and multipurpose robots?
Trust me, I'm an engineer. I only need "a few" million dollars and there is nothing that could ever go wrong with that.

To turn a classic phrase on its head:

"Dammit Jim I'm a conman not a doctor!"

So the moral is "had he not tried to steal 2.5 million, he could have gotten away with 800K?"

To turn a classic phrase on its head:

"Dammit Jim I'm a conman not a doctor!"

Actually, i was thinking;

Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor not a conman.

You know, since he got caught.

Also, when captcha asks you what a vegetarian eats, cheeseburger is not the correct answer.

Whoa now! Did someone say patents on Star Trek?

Clearly, the man wanted to get away with it using just a HINT that he was full of shit, and thus achieve the Hellsing Abridged award for Best Cheeky Dickwaffle.

Should have quit when you were ahead. He got the 800k then got greedy when the White Whale of 2.5 mil was spotted off the port side of the HMS Scammer.

I give him props for pulling a good scam, but he's a fucking idiot because he didn't take that money and ran like a mofo across the border. Now he gets to stay in Canada jail. Which is nothing more than a big pit with walls made out of grizzly bears.

This reaffirms what I've always said: Never trust a Ferengi.

How crazy were his claims aside from the forged papers? I mean the article doesn't say he was claiming these tablets would pack a portable MRI machine that could tell you what was wrong with a person, just that they were "broadband-augmented telemedicine devices." That could easily be technobabble for "has a web browser that can access WebMD, and maybe a skype app that you can contact your doctor with if the doctor wants to let you." The McCoy part could easily be an unfortunate similarity, going just on the facts as reported in the article.

Besides, my phone is already a general tricorder[1], why not make a medical one? :P

[1] Or rather, I have a tricorder app for it that can detect and measure gravitational fluctuations, magnetic fields, certain types of radio signals, and sound waves using the various sensors and radios that come standard on a smart phone

What's hilarious is he could've gotten away with it if he hadn't gotten greedy.

Can I get a Light Cutter? That sounds awesome!


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