“All I did was spend Other People’s Money. Is that a crime?”

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“All I did was spend Other People’s Money. Is that a crime?” is how Kidron defends himself to business associates. It is when there is no remorse, no guilt, no feeling that he ever did anything wrong. So what if he promised to pay loans back, let them think there would be IPOs, that their money was going to the exact place it was intended to: the business, not his pockets.

There are many who think he’s insane. A former record label associate of Adam Kidron’s remembers running into him at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona a couple of years ago. Kidron was regularly overbidding on hardware, buying them for unrealistically inflated prices. 

“I bid $ 250,000 on a platform that was barely worth that, and Adam bought it for $ 450,000,” the executive recalled. “He was spending other people’s money, so he’d give himself a blank cheque well in excess of what made commercial and practical sense. He’d make a pile of money for himself on the side with kickbacks. Everybody knew what he was doing. I went over to him and said, ‘You’re bidding this stuff up much higher than it’s worth, and you’re hurting everyone.’ “

Adam shrugged, smiled out of the side of his mouth and said, “I’m good for the economy.”

(Similarly, Anna Sorokin, the Russian immigrant convicted this year of conning New York society into thinking she was a German heiress named Anna Delvey, defrauded hotels and banks of hundreds of thousands of dollars by pretending to be rich. She’d hand out $100 bills to anyone and everyone. “For a stretch of time in New York, no small amount of the cash in circulation was coming from Anna Delvey,” Jessica Pressler wrote.)

Some think it’s a prima facie thing: Anyone who’d steal that much money has to be insane. No sane person could steal like that, steal so much from so many, and live with the guilt. Others believe Kidron demonstrated his insanity by steadfastly insisting — even in the face of irrefutable proof — that he’d done nothing wrong. “He actually believes that,” a former employee says. “He’s crazy.”

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