Hackers steal $4.2 million from OK Highway Patrol Pension!

The prospect of retirement is pretty baffling to most people my age group or younger that don’t have rich parents. In order to grow old and not become a Walmart greeter, you either need to…

A) Have rich parents that will leave you money

B) Work a government job that still offers a pension, or

C) Become a cyber-thief and steal from that pension

Apparently, option C seems like the easiest route to build a retirement nest egg. According to this article in The Oklahoman, some Ocean wannabe stole $4.2 million from the State Troopers pension fund.

From The Oklahoman:

The FBI is investigating a cybertheft of $4.2 million from the state’s pension fund for retired Oklahoma Highway troopers, state agents, park rangers and other law enforcement officers.

The Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement System (OLERS) posted an announcement online about the investigation Thursday, 10 days after the money went missing.

“We are certain the stolen funds will be recovered,” the state agency said. “Most importantly, no pension benefits to members or beneficiaries have been impacted or put at risk. All benefits will continue to be paid in a timely fashion as always.”

The state agency made the announcement only after being contacted by The Oklahoman about the cybercrime.

How comforting is it that the State was going to stay silent if it wasn’t for those pesky Oklahoman reporters discovering the story? It must be pretty embarrassing to have a huge state fund that is unprotected enough for a few randos to break in and pull out enough money to fund their own cushy retirement. The fact that it was stolen from cops is doubly face-palming.

“The total diversion was $4.2 million,” OLERS executive director, Duane A. Michael, told The Oklahoman on Thursday. “Of that, we’ve recovered $477,000.”

The system has almost 1,500 retirees and more than $1 billion in funds. It is separate from the larger Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System.

If Kevin Stitt wants Oklahoma to be a “Top 10 State,” it seems like investments in cyber-security would be a good move in the future. Now that hackers know we’re an easy mark, they might come back. If he doesn’t want to lose more money, sinking some cash into tech would be advisable. Then again, knowing what we know about the GOP ‘s thoughts on state-funded pensions, maybe we’re leaving the door unlocked for a reason.

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19 Responses

  1. D) Work hard and save your money

    1. Minimum-wage workers don’t work hard?

      1. Lucas didn’t say anything about minimum-wage

      2. Like every other population, there are some minimum wage workers that work hard, and there are some that don’t. For example, at a fast food restaurant, there are some min-wage workers constantly prepping the food, serving the customers, cleaning the establishment, etc. Then, there are the min-wage workers at the McD’s at the Y in SW Austin that stand around, text on their cell phones, and curse each other out while customers are waiting to order in a filthy dining area.

        Minimum wage isn’t meant to be earned for your entire career. By working hard and being conscientious, you’ll eventually progress in your career and earn more money, perhaps making multiple jumps throughout a career. Therefore, keep working hard, and saving that money.

        1. You’ve either acquired this opinion from someone who hasn’t gained any new knowledge in 40 years or you haven’t gained any new knowledge in 40 years. Neither of those are good options. Nothing in your 2nd paragraph correlates to the modern work experience.

          1. Okie in Austin is correct.

            People like yourself need to get out of Oklahoma and experience life. There are real jobs with real careers out there. If you’re unaware of that, perhaps you shorted yourself somewhere along the way.

          2. I never said they were good options. I was making two points; 1) some minimum wage workers work hard and some don’t, and 2) agreeing with Pete’s post by working hard and saving money.

            Everything in my second paragraph correlates to modern work experience. I’ll use myself as a case study. With 25 years in the workforce since college (and several more years to go), I’ve done exactly what I wrote in my second paragraph. I’ve worked hard, obtained more responsibility, accountability and leadership through promotions and a few job changes, and been awarded with higher salaries. I live below my means while always keeping my eye on that retirement egg that i plan to crack one day.

            1. I don’t know why Okie in Austin is getting flack. Circumstances have changed and it’s harder, but he is more or less right in how you can retire. There are always exceptions and outliers, sure. Some people get the snakes, some people get the ladders. Some people may be born in a dying town without the money to get out and retirement may not ever be a real possibility.

              But in general, yeah, you don’t start at McDonald’s and work as a cashier your entire life. You either move up to management or change careers. Most of the time, if you do things right, you’ll have a better chance to meet your financial goals and retire. There may be things that happen that wreck them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself the best shot to get there.

              I know I got lucky in my circumstances in life, but I also lived in my means and have worked hard to have a better career and put myself in a better financial situation. It’s not really 70’s thinking, it’s just financial common sense.

          3. Yeah, showing up, being dependable, working hard, moving up the ladder; that’s so 1970’s.
            I’ve worked a minimum wage job….for 3 months…when I was 15.
            When your career path consists of bouncing from one minimum wage job to another, you’ve got more problems than the minimum wage job.

            1. von Hugenstein – well said. Minimum wage should be temporary…not permanent.

              Blaming others, your background, your education, your social status, etc. is a cop-out. You’re avoiding the real problem. If you’re not progressing in your career, then it’s your fault. You’re either not trying, you’re either not good, or you’re dis-interested. It may be time for a career change.

      3. It is hard for some people to understand that not everyone has a stable 8-5 job with health and retirement benefits. Too many people often think that if someone does not have this, it is simply because they did not try hard enough in life. That might be true for some, but this view completely ignores institutional obstacles such as inadequate education from underfunded schools, a family’s finances being wiped out due to an unexpected health emergency, a family’s finances being wiped out due to an economic shift that destroys that family’s income (manufacturing jobs disappearing), etc..

        It is easier for someone to think that since things seem to be working well enough for them (at the moment), then everyone could have what they have if they just tried hard enough.

        1. circle cat, I agree. Everybody’s situation is unique. Life happens. I’ve dealt with medical emergencies and am still not back to where I was prior to the economic recession of 2008/9. My family and I have struggled in the past 10 years. I have colleagues that are my age, similar families and backgrounds, but they’ve progressed further in their careers than I have. Being out of work for 18 months due to health issues, and companies’ reluctance to take a chance on me getting back into the workforce has made it more difficult for me. I don’t use it as an excuse. If anything, I use it as fuel to outperform my superiors (who are my age and even younger).

          One of my original points (that i didn’t make eloquently, obviously) is that nobody should be working a minimum wage job on a permanent basis. Regardless of economic background or current situation, educational level obtained, or any other socio-economic factor – anybody that starts at a minimum wage job should not be at this level on a permanent basis.

          Any person, regardless of any excuse that you can provide, is/should/can/will be able to outperform his/her co-workers. Strive for more. Obtain a leadership role. Request more responsibility. Challenge yourself and ask your leadership to challenge you. The money will follow.

          1. Minimum wage jobs are all there are for some people, whether because of location or their circumstances or their innate lack of talent. It’s just fatuous to say they “shouldn’t” permanently be at this level. There isn’t anything else for them!

    2. Exactly

  2. According to the Oklahoman article, the loss is covered by insurance – carried either by the investment manager, by OLERS, or by both. Insurance rates will be going up!

    Good thing for the coverage – I doubt that they will recover much from the perps. The money is probably resting safely in one of Putin’s accounts in Panama by now, having bounced around the world in wire transfers a dozen or so times.

    How ironic that the money was stolen from law enforcement! Haven’t they ever heard of two-factor authentication? I’m subjected to that every time I want to send money to my college-age grandson from my barely-there bank account.

    If the Oklahoman didn’t have a “mole network,” would the general public ever have heard about this? Doubtful. Transparency is for suckers. It’s the Oklahoma Standard.

  3. “IT abstinence only”
    – Oklahoma on cyber-security

  4. My understanding is that an employee’s email account was hacked; probably by some phishing software. The Oklahoman’s version indicated this and that the employee wasn’t terminated.

  5. As a child of the sixties, I’ve always tried to keep as low a profile as possible. “Hey, Big Brother, look the other way.” About three weeks ago, I was forced into Spotify and YouTube in order to get to some music from Barcelona. Facebook? Forget it.

    I got my first cell phone Thursday just to quiet those who don’t like me wandering off into the mountains alone. Friday morning, the guy I called at my phone provider assured me that the two messages from “his company” in my email inbox, and which duplicated the company’s official website, were both bogus. Of course, I had to wonder how real he was, too.

    Cursed with a good memory, I know that increased cyber-security was one of the promises after the Sept. 11 attacks nearly 18 years ago. OK, there are some smart crooks out there. But, somebody needs to be trying harder.

  6. Show of hands…. who believes there is actually an insurance policy that will cover this loss?

    This was a classic “business email compromise” attack. A business process without an adequate amount of control being abused to great effect.

    I am shocked that there is so little outcry. Let’s check back in a few months as see if any of the stolen funds were recovered or paid out by an insurance policy. My bet is “nope”.

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