The force is strong in California and no, we’re not talking about the LAPD. In a cinematic twist of irony, the perpetually broke state is currently in possession of $10,000 worth of Star Wars memorabilia after Eric Hodgson, a 43 year old printing contractor, pleaded guilty last week to 22 counts of defrauding the California Department of Transportation out of around $1.9 million and was ordered to forfeit his entire collection.
Originally hired to publish advertisements for construction contracts in local newspapers, Hodgson instead turned to the Dark Side by forging invoices and pocketing the cash. Bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘comic con’, Hodgson then splurged the proceeds on comic books and Star Wars goodies including replica light sabres, a model of the Millenium Falcon and a three foot rubber Yoda. As you do.
On top of his Star Wars collection, state prosecutors ordered Hodgson to forefeit homes, cars and a retirement account as part of his plea deal before being sentenced to 9 years in prison. If that was the best plea deal he could get, he just better pray they don’t alter it any further!