Just got an email from Hank that was sent to all his customers. He did admit guilt and pleaded guilty in federal court today. He has taken all precautions to recuse himself from his company and turned everything over to others. His sentencing is next June and he may have enough points to get probation. But the judge could put his fanny in the federal prison system for several years. Hey he learned his lesson.
Turn his company over to others...I hope Hank Lee Magic NEVER gets to sell any magic again and goes out of business.( I can't see anybody stupid enough to give H.L.M. a credit card number again)...HES A THIEF !
Enough points to get probation...whatever "enough points" means.He should be locked away for years...he stole 500K (and who knows how much more he never got caught stealing)
He learned his lesson.All he learmed was how sorry he is for getting caught.
I feel bad for those who depend on him, but I agree that he shouldn't be allowed to be in business at this point. I have to be skeptical at the idea that he's removed himself from the business. Just because others may be answering phones and filling orders, my guess...and it is only a guess....is that Hank is still calling shots. I also would be amazed if his business survives this scandal.
I wouldn't be surprised if he has to serve some time. Not necessarily for the credit card fraud alone, but for lying to investigators over and over again, each lie digging himself a deeper hole. Had he come clean right away, I think probation would have been a given.
Reading other magic forums, I was amazed at how many had the same complaints against him that I had (being charged for an item that wasn't in stock only to be told that it was on backorder, and then having emails ignored). My guess is that his company couldn't change with the times fast enough as brick and mortar companies fell way to a plethora of online magic shops (not to mention ebay). Not sure if this is what led him to first steal, but apparently once he did, he was unable to stop until it was way too late.
Personally I don't care if he serves time or not. Yes, he stole. But the shame he must feel from this has got to be severe, and he has largely become a joke within the industry he once loved. That can't be discounted as a form of punishment. Not when the only (known) victim of his crime is in reality no worse off than before (I'd be curious on the victim's opinion on whether he'd like to see Hank do time or not). And while it hasn't happened yet, I assume it's only a matter of time before HLMF goes under. Jailed or not, Hank's life will never be the same as a result of this, and no doubt he will forced to pay restitution to the one he stole from. My guess is that will easily take the rest of his life.