The Null Device

Hacker for the Mob

A hacker working for a Mafia gambling operation tells his story:
I'm building a secure, online, peer-to-peer, encrypted, redundant bet-processing system with an offshore data warehouse. Ordinary companies would hire a team to put this together; I'm working with one guy. Getting the system up and running is a three-step process. First, eliminate all those incriminating little pieces of paper. Instead of writing down a wager, the operator will enter the bet onto an online form. The whole transaction will be encrypted by a browser and sent over the Net to a server running in an undisclosed country where the laws are more liberal than they are in the US. Essentially, the system acts as a market maker, matching up people who want to take different sides of a sports bet.
The fact remains that I could be pulling in $150,000 as a programmer on the open market. But I make a third of that. So why am I risking a prison sentence or the potential of a lifetime in witness protection for a job that doesn't make me all that rich? Simple: When you start making a lot of money, you get noticed by the biggest bullies on the block - the cops and the IRS - and I don't want that. I like living below the radar. I sublet a friend's apartment and pay his utility bills with money orders that I purchase at the post office or at one of those check-cashing storefronts. Because I get paid entirely in cash, I don't fork over any taxes. When you get right down to it, I'm an idealist. I don't condone the actions of the US government. By refusing to pay taxes, I withhold my financial support. And, truth be told, I like mobsters. They're more willing to accept you at face value. They aren't hung up on college degrees, or where you live, or how many criminal convictions you have.

There are 2 comments on "Hacker for the Mob":

Posted by: kstop http:// Mon Nov 24 15:50:06 2003

Hopefully said self-delusional prick sees sense before he ends up with a bullet to the head. Illegal betting is just a way for loan sharks to grow their customer base, and if he thinks that the worst that happens to people in thrall to said people is having their "underground credit rating" ruined, he might just deserve the bullet.

Posted by: Ben Tue Nov 25 01:28:21 2003

Yes, makes me wonder if the whole article isn't BS.