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Shadowy Greed, Winning Way

March 01, 1987

Not content with wealth that runs beyond the imagination of most Americans, Wall Street's inside traders are accused of scorning the law to get even more. Greed shadowed respected money managers into dark alleys to pick up briefcases stuffed with cash. This was money, of course, that really belonged to investors holding the stock that was being manipulated by the wheeler-dealers.

And then there is the story of 20-year-old Melanie Richards of East Flatbush, a third-year business student at Baruch College in New York. Richards won $12 million in the New York state lottery last Nov. 8, but did not come forward to claim her prize until Wednesday. "I was just too excited," she said. "I just wanted to sit back and relax and take it in stride."

Richards hesitated in part because of the effect that having all that money, and celebrity status, might have on her. She is determined that the wealth, starting with the first annual after-tax payment of $457,142, will not upset her life: "I'm going to keep going to school because eventually I want to know at least as much about managing my money as the people advising me."

It seems a fair bet, too, that after graduation Richards will be the sort of business person whom people would trust with their investments--certainly not haunting dark alleys gripping satchels of other peoples' cash.

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