County Treasurer Loses Over $1 Million in County Funds to Nigerian Email Scam

The Internet Patrol - Patrolling the Internet for You

In case you are still wondering whether people actually fall for the old Nigerian 419 scam – or are wondering just who would fall for the old Nigerian 419 scam – wonder no more, and instead learn from the story of Thomas Katona, of Harrisville, Michigan. That would be Thomas Katona, the county treasurer for Alcona County, Michigan.

Because authorities in Alcona county in Michigan have reported that their Thomas Katona – their elected treasurer of thirteen years – a good old boy from a long-standing Alcona County family – has lost more than $1 million of treasury funds to a Nigerian scammer.


How could this happen?

Well, apparently Katona started by using his own funds. But, as is always the case, the target (in this case Katona) gets in deeper and deeper as the scammer draws the victim in. And as the scam deepens, you need to send more and more money in order to “help get your money” (the promised payoff) out of the country.

I’m not sure which aspect of this situation is the most hurtful for Alcona County – the fact that the money he took from the county represents more than 25% of the entire county budget, or his betrayal of Alcona County voters’ trust.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

 

Said a spokesman for the Michigan Attorney General’s office, “Every part of this makes you wonder, ‘What was he thinking?’ ”

Actually, it makes us wonder “What, was he thinking?”

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

People also searched for thomas katona treasurer, how much is treasurer for a county paid alcona county michigan, tom katona alcona county michigan

4 thoughts on “County Treasurer Loses Over $1 Million in County Funds to Nigerian Email Scam

  1. I’ve read articles about Mr. Katona and they’ve never indicated that he used county funds to try to recover his own. In fact, dates listed indicate just the opposite. Yes, this man had very poor judgement, but so many articles, like this one, try to paint him out to be so much worse than he probably is.

  2. Adam,
    Living in Cook County your cynicism is quite justified, and I offer you my sincere and honest sympathy. On re-reading the story as presented here I see that Mr. Katona is an elected official of some 13 years standing, as well, as you point out, a politically well connected “good old boy” so i would think with thirteen years experience in the office he should have picked up a little knowledge of scams and scammers. Sadly it seems he did not and now will pay a stiff price for his naivete.
    With regards,
    JWW

  3. Nothing in the article to indicate whether the county treasurer’s position is an appointed position or elected office. It’s often the case that the office holder is not truly a financial professional but rather a politically connected county resident. Forgive my cynicism; perhaps it’s all the years of living in Cook County, IL (long live Mayor Daley).

  4. I am amazed that an experienced county treasurer, a financial officer, could be suckered in this sort of scam when a simple fellow such as myself has no trouble seeing it for what it is, and avoiding it. It’s sad when greed overcomes common sense.
    JWW

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.