Essay: The Superrich Are Different

You can understand why Leona Helmsley might want a $45,000 silver clock modeled after a building owned by her billionaire husband, even if you wouldn't want one yourself. What's harder to understand is why she would bother breaking the law to get it. That, in fact, is part of her lawyer's answer to official charges that the Helmsleys cheated the Government of $4 million in taxes by wrongly charging off sundry personal gewgaws as business expenses: Would people so rich risk jail for an amount so (relatively) small?

Maybe Mrs. Helmsley did it as a public service. After all, her calamity...

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