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Hackers steal $4.2 million from OK Highway Patrol Pension!

5:26 AM EDT on September 9, 2019

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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