The Ironical Chronicle

March 10, 2004

Police: Man Tried to Pass Fake Story About Weapons of Mass Destruction


Filed at 10:04 a.m. ET

COVINGTON, Ga. (DP) -- A man claiming to be the president of the United States was arrested by police here today for saying repeatedly that a country named Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that these were a clear and present danger to the United States. According to a source familiar with the case, the man, who is still in custody, had said someone "told him so", that he believed it "at the time", and that his belief was reinforced when he saw the story repeated "on television and in the papers" and by "scores of legislators" including "my old friend John Kerry".

"It sounded real, but of course there's nothing real about it," Covington Police Chief Stacey Cotton said Tuesday. "People say crazy things all the time. I think it's just another example of some odd things that occur."

The man, whose name was being withheld pending notification of relatives, was charged with lying with the intent to mislead, a felony in this state. Covington District Attorney Jefferson Davidson III said the felony charge was necessary because of the extent of the damage caused by the man's behavior.

Mr. Davidson said he was consulting with the state Attorney General, Roberta Leesona, because recent changes in the state's criminal statutes might require him to bring additional charges against the man. These changes define a legal concept called "killing by a corporate entity". Mr. Davidson said the man's statement that he had "help from a lot of top notch people in suits" might bring him within the legal definition of a "corporate entity".

The relevant portion of the new statute is:

The Core Offense of Corporate Killing
  1. A corporate entity is guilty of corporate killing if:

    (a) a management failure by the corporate entity is the cause or one of the causes of a person's death; and

    (b) that failure constitutes conduct falling far below what can reasonably be expected of the corporate entity in the circumstances.

  2. For the purposes of subsection (1) above:

    (a) there is a management failure by a corporate entity if the way in which its activities are managed or organized fails to ensure the health and safety of persons employed in or affected by those activities; and

    (b) such a failure may be regarded as a cause of a person's death notwithstanding that the immediate cause is the act or omission of an individual.

    A woman who gave her name as "Condy" when answering the phone at the number given by the man said, "What's he doing down there? Tell him to get his white (unprintable) up here, because we're running him for president. This is all a misunderstanding that will be cleared up by the lawyers."

    Covington is 32 miles southeast of Atlanta.

    Copyright 2004 The Differentiated Press

    The New York Times

    March 10, 2004

    Police: Woman Tried to Pass Fake $1M Bill


    Filed at 10:02 a.m. ET

    COVINGTON, Ga. (AP) -- A woman was caught trying to use a fake $1 million bill to buy $1,675 worth of merchandise at a Wal-Mart, and was later found with two more of the bills in her purse, police said.

    The United States Treasury does not make $1 million bills, but people can buy souvenirs of such a bill at some stores, police said.

    ``It looks real, but of course there's nothing real about this,'' Covington Police Chief Stacey Cotton said Tuesday. ``People do crazy things all the time. I think it's just another example of some odd things that occur.''

    A clerk at the store immediately noticed the bill was fake when 35-year-old Alice Regina Pike handed it to her on Friday, Cotton said.

    Pike then tried to use two gift cards with only $2.32 of value on them to buy the merchandise, but when that didn't work she again asked if the clerk could cash the $1 million bill, Cotton said. The store then called police.

    Pike, of Porterdale, was charged with forgery. There was no listing for her phone number in directory assistance, and she could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

    Covington is 32 miles southeast of Atlanta.

    Copyright 2004 The Associated Press