While talking smack with the fellas yesterday, someone brought up Mary Lynch, the lady who stole a bunch of money from the Delaware County District Attorney’s office. I told them I almost wrote her up as the ‘Stupid Criminal of the Day,’ and the fellas all chimed in with, “Why didn’t you?”

I had a busy week and didn’t do too much blogging, but upon further review, the more I considered the Mary Lynch situation, two things occurred. One, I couldn’t label her as stupid if she could do that much stealing for 10 years and not get caught while working for the top cop of the county. And two, my mind kept telling me that there was an awfully similar story in the news recently involving a young black man who I also wanted to slap with the stupid moniker.

After rereading the articles on these two potential Oscar nominees, Mary Lynch and Chaka ‘Chip’ Fattah, Jr., I thought I’d mash up certain passages to remind you how similar these cases are, and how dissimilar the outcome appears to be.

Chip’s World: The judge said the government had proved that he had defrauded banks, clients, and the Philadelphia School District out of a total of $1.1 million.

Mary’s World:… At the time of her arrest, prosecutors believed approximately $100,000 was missing. Whelan said Thursday that a continuing investigation revealed the actual figure was $715,776. Defense attorney Andrew Edelberg indicated the thefts could have gone back nearly a decade.


Chip’s World: …sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison and ordered to pay more than $1 million restitution to the clients and banks he defrauded

Mary’ World: …sentenced Lynch to three to six years in a state correctional facility…She was also ordered to pay full restitution, beginning with the forfeiture of her $109,000 pension


Chip’s World: …”Mr. Fattah, you had many opportunities and advantages that most young people could only dream about,” Bartle said. “You made a plethora of bad choices of your own free will.”

Mary’s World: …“I listened to your explanation with regard to all of the things that were going on in your life, but that can’t possibly be an excuse for what occurred…It’s an utter betrayal of trust.”


Chip’s World: “There isn’t going to be any apologizing,” he said. “I don’t care if I get five years, 10 years, 20 years.

Mary’s World: “I made poor choices,” … “I stole, lied and betrayed the trust of many people. I have great remorse for the abuse of trust against (District Attorney Jack) Whelan and the D.A.’s Office.”… (she) went into a “downward spiral” after her marriage fell apart and she was diagnosed with a severe form of thyroid cancer. Lynch also said she was left with two daughters to raise virtually on her own and suffered from depression.


Chip’s World: But at times, the charges Fattah faced were all but overshadowed by the colorful details that emerged about his extravagant personal life.

Mary’sWorld: “All of these circumstances led me to escape into a fantasy world, a world that had no worries, a temporary fix,” she said.


Chip’s World: “I lost my apartment [at Residences at the Ritz-Carlton]. . . . I lost my friends. I’ve lost money and my reputation, which was good.”

Mary’s World: She added that she has already lost her job, pension and friends, and is likely going to lose her home as well.


Chip’s World: Fattah asked the judge whether he could turn himself in to authorities to begin his prison sentence at a later date – as is often allowed in the federal system with nonviolent criminals.

But Bartle ordered Fattah taken “immediately into custody.”

One deputy marshal cuffed Fattah’s hands behind his back, and he was led away without being given a chance to talk with his father; his mother, Michelle Wingfield; or his sister, Fran.


Mary’s World: Edelberg asked the judge to delay the start date of Lynch’s sentence to June 1, noting his client suffers from myriad health problems and personal issues that she wished to address.

The judge ordered Lynch to report to the county prison in Concord on March 28 to begin her sentence.

Lynch, who remains free on $100,000 unsecured bail, is eligible for good time service and could be free in 27 months, Garabedian said.


Chip’s World: “Given the penalties he faces, it would be more than appropriate to detain him,” Gibson told Bartle. “If this trial has proven anything, it is, this gentleman’s word is not worth very much.”

Sorry. I couldn’t find anything that compared to that statement in Mary’s World!

Sources: Philly.com and Delcotimes.com

Images: Both stolen from Philly.com