Maruicio Aguirre-Orcutt is currently serving a 57 month sentence in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining a $4,200 pen. Over three years, Aguirre-Orcutt collected dozens of limited-edition fountain pens by telling people that the pens would be given to celebrities or political leaders.
Pen collecting is a hobby in which collectors gather to show of their special pens, often engraved or bejeweled, and sometimes worth tens of thousands of dollars. Pen designers love to have their pens shown with celebrities, as this creates a stir and can boost sales.
In 2003, Aguirre-Orcutt told a Seattle pen merchant, World Lux Inc., that he was throwing a gala event for the “Legal Institute of the Arts”. The event and the organization were phony, but he convinced the merchant to send him a $2,750 Krone “John Hancock” pen which had embedded in it a splinter from the real John Hancock’s desk.
In 2004, the publisher of trade magazine Pen World, Glen Bowen, sent Aguirre-Orcutt at $4,200 David Oscarson “Harvest”. This is an 18 carat gold fountain pen, and Aguirre-Orcutt promised that President Bush would use it to sign a Monther’s Day proclamation. But when Bowen received a picture of Mr. Bush using the pen, he could tell that someone had only superimposed the pen onto the photo.
The Secret Service eventually searched his Apartment, and found 30 pens stolen from pen merchants and designers. Aguirre-Orcutt is now behind bars for this, one of many frauds he has perpetrated in his life.