Bank Robbers Buy Hawks Suite

Suites Slideshow


From a suite at the Hawks Philips Arena to a suite in the pen. Okay, not a suite, more like an 8’ x 12’ cell.

Do I need to back up? Okay. In 2009, four guys from Atlanta – Zach Vaughn, Derek Spinks, Henry Cobb and William Leese – concocted a scheme to syphon $4.3 million dollars from the Bank of New York Mellon and then went on a five year spending spree. Before they were recently caught, convicted and sentenced, they spent money on vehicles, gold, trips and a suite at the Hawks games.

Apparently, the idiots didn’t realize that had they not bought or leased a Philips Arena suite, they would not have ended up in a Silliman on Sports column. Otherwise, there would not have been a sports angle. When a crime caper enters the sports world, all bets are off.

We checked the Philips Arena suites. The rental ones are nice – big screen TVs, wood paneling, fully stocked bar and cookies. Yummy cookies. Macadamians. Probably not worth spending five years at Ray James Correctional or UCO Atlanta tasty, but delicious cookies otherwise.

Zachary Vaughn worked at the bank from 2005 to 2013. He noticed that one of the bank’s customers had $4.3 million sitting there in reserve funds. Not moving at all. Idle! Just sitting there. Money needs to move around, not just sit idly. We’re sure this is what banker Zachary Vaughn thought. This money needs exercise! It needs to be wired to my friend, Derek Spinks. Spinks can then give it more exercise by investing it in a company owned by C & L Logistics and Transportation owned by Cobb and Leese. Spread money around! Enrich the community. Put the money back into the idle account after it’s done the community some good!

The court testimony didn’t quite come out like this but we’re sure Zachary Vaughn had good reasons for freeing the money from its sedentary state. Maybe, during his testimony, he might have even mentioned cookies. Hey, macadamia farmers got to eat, too!

How did Vaughn get away with it for years, you ask. He moved more money. He found bigger bank accounts with idle money, moved 500K here, 300K there and pretty soon he had placed the $4.3 million back into the original idle account. He was a money moving machine as well as a good money trainer. Zachary Vaughn was the Billy Blanks of moving money from one account to another. Money from twenty different Bank of New York accounts got exercise.

Vaughn did all this without once consulting Jimmy Conway. If Vaughn had talked to Jimmy (played by Robert DeNiro in “Goodfellas”), Jimmy would have told him not to spend any of their stolen funds. “No jewels, no furs, no fancy cars. If I catch you, you’ll end up in the trunk on the way to the garbage heap,” Jimmy would’ve told him. “And if Tommy DeVito gets wind, your knee caps will look like Derrick Rose’s.”

Alright, Jimmy would have never mentioned Derrick Rose… but I’m writing a sports column. And, by the way, tying up the Billy Blanks reference with the Atlanta Hawks? The Hawks now have a player named Thabo. You’re welcome.

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