Sopo couldn’t help but tell friends how fun Cancun was
People like Maxi Sopo give criminals a bad name. He used to sell roses at Seattle nightclubs, but decided that the late-night retail floral business wouldn’t make him rich, so he graduated to the more profitable field of bank fraud.
Along with partner Edward Asatoorians, he convinced others to lie about their incomes to get loans for fake auto purchases, then used the money for more pressing things, like partying in Vegas. Asatoorians was convicted last week, but Sopo wisely decided to flee to Cancun, since Cancun is generally considered way more fun than most Washington prisons…
The feds had no idea where he went. Though they regularly check social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, Sopo had apparently gone off the grid.
But Secret Service agent Seth Reeg decided to check Facebook again several months after Sopo’s disappearance. Guess who popped up? Maxi Sopo with his own Facebook page, featuring him looking fabulous on a night on the town as he poses before a backdrop of BMW and Courvoisier logos. It seems he just couldn’t resist telling the world how good life as a fugitive could be.
“LIFE IS VERY SIMPLE REALLY!!!!” he wrote in one June post. “BUT SOME OF US HUMANS MAKE A MESS OF IT…REMEMBER AM JUST HERE TO HAVE FUN PARTEEEEEEE.”
Party indeed. Though Sopo’s Facebook page was set to private, agent Reeg could still comb through his friends. That’s where he found a former Justice Department official who’d met Sopo at a nightclub.
The official didn’t know Sopo well, nor did he know the party monster was a fugitive. So at the behest of Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Scoville, the official tracked down our dimwitted hero. It seems he’d been spending his time on the lam living at a nice apartment, working at a Cancun hotel, and enjoying the resort’s beaches, pools and nightclubs. Sopo was arrested and now sits in a Mexican jail, awaiting extradition to Washington.
If we can take any lesson from his tragic downfall, it is this: If you ever find yourself on the run from a bank fraud pinch, restrict your internet time to surfing ESPN and porn sites. That’s what all the leading fugitives do.