Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice: then must you speak
Of one that loved not wisely, but too well
— Shakespeare, Othello: Act 5
A former New York city maintenance worker was arraigned Saturday for stealing thousands of dollars for internet pornography under the alias "John Awesome".
The Manhattan District prosecuting attorney's office has fingered* Duwinn McClelland, 43, for stealing more than $4,000 from the city comptroller's office over the course of three and a half years. Most of the money was spent on automatic electronic payments of $49.95 towards two sexually explicit websites using the nom de plume "John Awesome".
"Awesome" had previously worked for the city Correction Department and began receiving worker's compensation in 1993. Prosecutors claim "Awesome" somehow used the account number on the checks to arrange the monthly transfers to the porn sites. The payments were made from November 2003 to March 2007.
"Awesome" was arraigned on the charge of grand larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument*.
McClelland's crime of self-passion was discovered in a probe* into the city's financial statements while trying to discover how another man used the same JPMorgan Chase account to allegedly steal a far greater sum. Tracy Ball was arrested just two days earlier and is accused of stealing more than $3.6m, which prosecutors say he spent on jewelry, electronics and other expensive personal items. Prosecutors are currently investigating whether the two crimes are related.
A judge set McClelland's bail at $2,500 (approx. two years of porn). ®
* Let's try to be adults about this, okay?