Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Today we will consider the case of one Maxi Sopo, now sitting in a Mexican jail awaiting extradition to the U.S. on bank fraud charges.
Federal authorities say Sopo and an associate bilked Seattle-area banks and credit unions out of about $200,000, and when Sopo caught wind of an investigation in late February, he rented a car, headed to Mexico and disappeared. A scan of social networking sites is now standard procedure in a fugitive hunt, and while an initial check turned up nothing, a Secret Service agent took another look through Facebook a few months later, and there was Sopo, smiling and extolling the virtues of the carefree, partying lifestyle. Sopo’s profile was private, but the names of his Facebook friends weren’t, and among them was a fellow who used to work for the Justice Department. Authorities got in touch with the former fed, who said he knew Sopo casually from the Cancun nightclub scene but had no idea he was on the lam. The ex-fed managed to find out where Sopo was living, passed the information along, and now Sopo has some new friends in a Mexico City jail and faces up to 30 years in prison if he’s convicted on his return to the U.S. Said a satisfied Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Scoville, “He was making posts about how beautiful life is and how he was having a good time with his buddies. He was definitely not living the way we wanted him to be living, given the charges he was facing.” One such post from June (and he should be jailed for using all caps, if nothing else): “LIFE IS VERY SIMPLE REALLY!!!! BUT SOME OF US HUMANS MAKE A MESS OF IT … REMEMBER AM JUST HERE TO HAVE FUN PARTEEEEEEE.”