March 14, 2006

An Evil Twin defense for Claude Allen?

The President's former domestic policy adviser, who resigned because of charges of retail fraud, has an identical twin with a long record of legal trouble named Floyd. The NYT reports:

People close to [Claude Allen] said they were stunned at the charges. Friends described him as the "goody-two-shoes" of his family who never drank at fraternity parties and went out for ice cream instead. His identical twin, Floyd, a former football player at the Virginia Military Institute, never matched his brother's achievements.

If only their parents had named them Claude and Flawed ...

"It's just the darnedest thing," Renee Allen, their stepmother, said from her retirement home in Atlanta. "I actually started to call Floyd to ask him what happened, but then I saw it wasn't him."

Through his lawyer, Mr. Allen denied the charges, saying there was a mix-up concerning his credit card. Maryland authorities charged Mr. Allen, 45, last Thursday with trying at least 25 times over the last five months to return and collect refunds for goods he never purchased, including a home theater system, clothes and items worth as little as $2.50...

Like others who know him, his stepmother cannot understand the turn of events. "I simply have no idea where things could have gone wrong in his life," Mrs. Allen said.

Floyd was the twin who "kept running into bad times," while Claude Allen intervened repeatedly to help him, she said.

In 2001, Floyd Allen declared bankruptcy in Virginia; a year earlier he was ordered to pay $6,450 in a civil suit brought against him by a travel company, according to state and federal records.

The evidence against Claude Allen is apparently mostly security camera videotapes of him picking up items off the shelf that are the same as the ones he had bought previously and lugging them over to the Returns counter and getting a refund. If I was his lawyer, I'd ask the witnesses, "Can you be sure the man in the videotape is not Claude Allen's evil twin?" Or, if I had established that they were fans of "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey," I'd ask, "Can you be sure the man in the videotape is not Claude Allen's evil android twin from the future?"

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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