Here at the BW True Crime department, we're willing to poke fun at those hard-luck criminals who screw up rather basic schemes with absurd grandeur. But truth be told, we'd much rather chronicle the exploits of those who embrace their lot in life with the imagination, desperation and over-the-top self-confidence befitting the title of "villain." Like convenience store-robbing ninjas, for instance. Or Vicent Cunningham, an alleged international swindler who was arrested in Meridian last week. While in the Philippines two years ago, authorities say, Cunningham sold an airplane to the Red Coconut Beach Hotel Corporation for $272,000, with a $145,000 down payment. He even signed a purchase order transferring ownership of the plane to the hotel. Trouble is, Cunningham never owned the plane in question nor had any authority to sell it.
After getting his check, Cunningham abandoned scenic Southeast Asia for the placid anonymity of the Ada County suburbs. Then the U.S. Marshals showed up. They arrested the sweet-talking Cunningham and plopped him in federal court, from where he will quickly be booted back across the Pacific to face a load of red-faced Red Coconut employees.