London woman embezzles 4.3 million from her (patently rather stupid) employers, eventually gets caught and sentenced to 7 years in jail, gets out after 3, gets to keep her swanky ill-gottenly gained apartment and lands a plum job in the arts (albeit for a prison charity). Lord Luck clearly rides alongside this lady.
Londonist is impressed by the scope for outrage here – the outrageous sum of money she stole, the surprisingly short sentence she served, the outrageous truth that she seems for the most part to have benefited from the theft, and the news that anyone is daft enough to employ her again after she was described as:
‘duplicitous, deceitful and thoroughly dishonest’
by one judge.
But what the story does most of all is to highlight our double standards. I mean, if she had stolen money from a charity, or a little old lady, then we’d be wanting her banged up for life. But the fact that she robbed from the obscenely rich lends a slightly pantomimesque, Robin Hood-ish feel to the tale (as does the fact that she commendably disdains to take state benefits), and our whilst we may not approve of her actions, the tale generates a rueful smile rather than table-thumping rage.
Joyti de-Laurey does not belong behind bars: but nor should she, in our opinion, have been allowed to keep her swagger. She should instead be out there on the lecture circuit (one is tempted to suggest as a careers adviser, but Londonist is not irresponsible), telling complacent and cocky banker-city-types where they are going wrong.
Artistic jail-bird piccie courtesy of gnackgnackgnack’s flickr photo stream.