Have you ever loved a book so much that you’d do anything to own something related to it? Well, that’s the position a group of presumably die-hard Harry Potter fans found themselves after they were alleged to have embezzled $190,000 to buy a boat named “Expelliarmus”.
For anyone out of the loop on all things Harry Potter-related, Expelliarmus is the name of a spell widely used to disarm wizards across the series of books, films, plays, posters, t-shirts and whatever else J.K. Rowling is flogging this week. It was commonly used to make opponents lose their wands.
Now, that catchy made up word is also the name of a luxury yacht at the center of a massive fraud investigation.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, William A. Kowalski has confessed to conspiring with two other people to embezzle at least $190,000 in order to purchase said luxury yacht.
The two other individuals included his brother, Robert Kowalski, and the former president of the Washington Federal Bank For Savings, John Gembara.
The news outlet reported:
“In July 2007, the trio purchased a Sea Ray 420 Sundancer boat named ‘Expelliarmus’ — a reference to a disarming spell featured in the ‘Harry Potter’ books and movies.
“Robert Kowalski had Washington Federal issue a $190,000 check that month payable to his brother to use as part of the down payment, the document said. William Kowalski ‘had never executed any documents’ necessary to legitimately obtain that money, it said, but he “came to understand” that his brother was able to get it because Gembara ‘used his position at Washington Federal to obtain the funds without supporting documentation’.”
William Kowalski has confessed to the charges and subsequently struck a two-year deal with lawmakers, referred to as a deferred-prosecution agreement.
The Chicago Sun Times reported that the agreement relates to a wider investigation into the demise of the Washington Federal Bank For Savings. If Kowalski cooperates with officers investigating the case and continues making restitution payments, prosecutors are expected to drop the charges against him.
According to papers released by the courts relating to the agreement, William Kowalski “never intended to repay this $190,000" that the trio was leant by the bank.
The three men also signed further contracts in order to get more than $200,000 from the bank to fund the purchase of the yacht. The deal to buy the boat in 2007 valued it at more than $400,000.
William Kowalski made no repayments on the boat, but was quoted as saying that he expected his brother or Gembara to foot the bill.