Sam had attended the state university in California that Charlie was currently attending. He had actually done quite well in his studies. He had gotten as far as finishing his associates degree before getting kicked out of school for what was labeled as plagiarizing and delusions of granger. The simple fact was he was writing papers for stupid lazy kids and he got caught. The ironic part of it all was that Sam was caught plagiarizing a work he himself had written for someone else. But with Sam, already making enemies with his personality and discontent with the educational system, the school board already had enough to kick him out of school and did not look back. Sam already disappointed with the money he had spent on a college education took it as a blessing in disguise. Nobody wanted him there and he didn’t want to be there. The people that Sam did seem to make a great connection with were the security guards, the maintenance workers, the cafeteria workers, and the nurses. They were all the people, in his mind, that went unappreciated for what they did. Sam had friends but not good enough friends that wouldn’t forget about him by senior year and he knew it.
After a brief stint back home a maintenance worker, Andy, had cleared up space in his garage that Sam lived in for a while. Sam helped Andy with projects on a regular basis and helped on the side projects that they did away from the school. Sam, being better with money, did Andy’s taxes and also budgeted his monthly expenses. He learned a lot from Andy over the time they spent together. They would often finish their days sitting in Andy’s backyard drinking a beer, listening to the wind, and talking about life stories. Sam had grown close to Andy and had lived with him for around eight months when Andy had gotten sick. Andy started forgetting things, getting headaches, and his vision had gotten worse. When he finally found his way to a hospital they found a tumor in his brain. It was inoperable. They had only given him a few months to live. Andy sold his house and decided he was going to go live with his brother and do some traveling. Andy didn’t leave a will. Instead he split up the money he had from selling his house between his brother and Sam. He did all of this before his death to avoid any estate taxes. That was just how Andy was. He always knew how to do things without involving “the Man.” It was something Sam had learned from him. Andy would send envelopes of cash to Sam weekly that he knew was enough to pay for any housing and food that Sam might need for the entire month. But the last thing that Andy did for Sam was find him the living space above the bookstore on campus. Andy had worked his way up to the head guy on campus maintenance and had keys to everything. He managed to slip by that the space above the bookstore was nothing but a dusty attic and when a new president of the campus came on that was what he knew it as and wrote it off as nothing. Andy had passed away by the time Sam had figured out and solved the problem of utility expenses with the lady having an affair with a graduate student.
Sam knew he couldn’t live off of the money Andy had left him and didn’t do what most kids in their early twenties would have done. He invested money in his future. And by investing I mean he found a way to obtain the proper documents for creating another identity. Driver’s license, social security, and birth certificate were what he found a way to obtain. The means were not exactly legal and would easily be deemed fake in a federal investigation but Sam needed a cover in case he worked his way into a bad situation. He had met a few people in the area through Andy and decided to put into moment a view scams he had in mind. His new name, Marcus Moreno, was what he went by with people he didn’t know or didn’t trust. It was a new character to play and a way to protect himself. He also had bought himself a used Chevy El Camino and fixed it up at a shady body shop Andy had showed him. Marcus had a few scams that would pay off from time to time. His current scam was at a strip club. He had visited there often in the past to make a new friend of the bouncer. After he had befriended him the plan was easy to execute. The bouncer would send him a text anytime there was a bachelor party being thrown in the strip club, both of them knowing that bachelor parties get out of hand easily at a strip club. Marcus would approach the bouncer at the door and slip him a twenty to get in, which the bouncer would slip back to him once he left. Each conversation would go like this.
“Hey buddy, how the ladies looking tonight?”
“Oh I’d mark them a ten. Now enjoy your night pal.”
Marcus would park down the road. Monitor the radio until he knew what cops were where and then would walk to the front of the entrance, no matter if there was a line or not, and approach his colleague. He would ask the same question every time. The response usually changed. When the bouncer said “Oh I’d mark them,” and then give a number. That number stood for how big the bachelor party was. That way Marcus would easily identify who they were. If he ended the sentence with a “pal” that meant the owner or manager wasn’t around or was busy. From there on out it was only a matter of waiting on the bachelor to do something he didn’t want his wife to see and for him to get in a good location for a good video. If it was a private party he would gain access from the bouncer, or if it was a crowded area he would buy the party a round of drinks to get closer. On the rare occasions the bachelor behaved himself he would pay the stripper a view hundred to get a little grabby with him. Marcus kept a few small hidden cameras on him to make sure he would always get a good shot. Once he had gotten the recordings he would enjoy the company of a stripper for an hour or so and then he would leave. The bouncer would get the name of the bachelor and text it to Marcus’ phone. Marcus would run a background check on him to access his email and phone. He would contact the guy and blackmail him into paying him. Normally he would state that he was actually doing the guy a favor. The mother of the bride, or the overprotective sister, the older brother, the father, or the best friend had paid him to film this video and show the bride but he knew boys will be boys and wanted to offer him a chance to buy it off him instead of his opposition. He would then create a reasonable figure that he believed the crazy future relative would pay and gave him a chance to top it. If they didn’t believe him he’d send them an email with the footage or frozen still shots if that was more convincing. A large majority of the time they’d oblige and would pay by the next day through a garage shop he often attended. Marcus would pay the bouncer $300-$500 depending on how rich the person looked. He played it off as if he was only asking for $1,000 on each transaction but really he was asking for $2,000-$3,000. More often it was closer to the lower end because he knew it was hard to come up with that type of money without a fiancée becoming suspicious and he didn’t want to get caught either. Therefore he made on average around $1,500 on each bachelor he scammed. He’d often tip his friend at the garage for providing a fake bill for the guy to provide his wife for proof of the expenses.
Marcus new that every scam he worked was more seasonal work instead of consistent. He also believed it needed to be that way or else it’d be a lot easier to get caught. He sometimes moonlighted as a follow car for another guy who stole cars. It was nothing illegal he was doing but simply listening to the radio for police reports and not reporting stolen cars. On the rare occasions a car would get pulled over he would have to create a distraction through gun shots, setting off alarms, or anything else that presented itself. As exciting as it seemed after a while Marcus had gotten bored of this job and made sure to turn this into seasonal work as well. He worked for a little while as a middle man selling fake art for the price of the masterpiece after it had been stolen. He quickly realized it was only a matter of time before he was the one who got busted. It did pay really well but the risks were too high. He attempted to work a third shift security operation, and a third shift maintenance job but grew bored of this lifestyle after three months. It was only after these two jobs when his website hosting started to take off and his writing had been noticed by a local editor that he finally started to see a more steady life with regular pay. Normally small and middle sized companies would pay to Samuel Thomas to host their site, monitor it for data, create funds through relevant advertising, and provide any information they wanted to add. The editor, who Sam frequently sent opinion pieces to, would respond to Samuel’s email account and would often post his material on their online website. He paid Sam as a freelance writer and an information assistant.
Even while Sam was earning plenty from his computer he still liked the rush of the con and made sure all of his other adventures he was to be contacted as Marcus Moreno. He continued to work through the night and sleep through most of the day. He was always writing ideas on his wall for new cons, new articles, or new ways of making money because he believed nothing could last forever. He was an abrasive loner with a large amount of exploitable friends. The few people who were capable of seeing him as Sam he preferred for them to see him as Marcus and by doing so he could keep them at arm’s length. At age twenty five he was living as if he was a teenager only having to pay for the food he liked, the gas he spent, and the clothes he wanted while also choosing his own hours to work and making the salary of a thirty year old. In addition to all that he had accrued a comfortable amount of wealth that he could easily quit everything and take a couple years off before he would need to start working again. He was comfortably content with his disconnected relationship with his family and friends but the two rings he wore on his necklace were what kept him up thinking during the day when he usually slept.