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Dennis Black on tape: a grand larceny inspired playlist


A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what is cool? Roughly $320,000 worth of funds stolen from university bank accounts and funneled through falsified tax forms and charitable donations, as former UB Vice President Dennis Black and former UB Campus Living Director Andrea Costantino admitted to last week. As “Baby Driver” proved this summer, any good crime needs a good playlist. So if you’re thinking of committing some light larceny in the near future, we’ve got you covered.

Big Boi ft. B.o.B. & Wavves – “Shoes for Running”

An escape plan is essential for any sort of crime. You must be ready to get the heck out of dodge if you are caught stealing, so a good pair of running shoes is a must-have. That may explain why Costantino bought four $300 Fleet Feet Sports gift cards.

David Tunis-Garcia is a senior arts editor and can be reached at david.garcia@ubspectrum.com.

Though when you’re pulling down a $123,542 salary as Costantino was before her resignation, you’d think you could afford a decent pair of kicks without resorting to stealing university funds, funds that could have been used to benefit the students who pay tuition and work jobs for minimum wage to scrape by. But Costantino didn’t seem to be thinking about the students.

“Hey, one percenters, the 99 say what you gonna do for us?” Big Boi asks in the song.

The answer is steal from us, apparently. You should have had a better escape plan, Andrea. If not running, what are those shoes for?

The Barenaked Ladies – “If I Had $1,000,000”

“If I had $1 million, I would buy you a house.” I guess $300,000 can only buy tickets to minor-league baseball games. The ’90s hit from the Barenaked Ladies enumerates what you could buy for your sweetheart if only you had the money to do so.

The gifts become increasingly eccentric over the course of the song, beginning with cars and furniture and ending with John Merrick’s remains and Dijon ketchup. Black’s list of purchases is almost as off-the-wall, including tickets to Liza Minnelli shows and donations to Barksgiving, a Thanksgiving for dogs.

OK Go – “Here It Goes Again”

This song by OK Go is probably best known for its accompanying music video in which the four band members perform a synchronized dance routine on treadmills.

Perhaps Costantino wanted to reenact the music video on the treadmill she bought, or perhaps it was to train for the Boston Marathon. Both the treadmill and the entrance fee for the marathon were paid for with the stolen money, in case you were wondering.

The Beach Boys – “Kokomo”

Aruba. Jamaica. Bermuda. If you’re going to use stolen money to pay for a vacation, why not take a page out of The Beach Boys’ classic tune? I’d feel better knowing my stolen money was paying for something exotic instead of the basic interstate travel that Black used it for.

If he was smart, he would have at least travelled somewhere without an extradition treaty.

Oingo Boingo – “Bachelor Party”

A bachelor party is supposed to be the wildest night of a man’s life – a wild ride of debauchery and booze-fueled shenanigans before he settles down for a quiet life with the person he is about to marry.

What could make it even naughtier? Why, financing the whole thing with embezzled cash of course!

Considering the amount of money Black stole, the party he threw for his son better rival the classic bash thrown for Tom Hanks in the 1984 film “Bachelor Party,” complete with new wave hit by the band Oingo Boingo, led by composer and Tim Burton collaborator Danny Elfman.

Brad Kane – “One Jump Ahead”

Costantino seems to be a huge Disney fan. Her Facebook page is overflowing with pictures of her with costumed characters from one of the company’s theme parks. One of which – Disney World – is located in Florida where Costantino went for a four-day conference. It turned out the conference did not exist.

Perhaps Andrea took Disney hero Aladdin’s mantra to heart when he says “gotta eat to live, gotta steal to eat” in this song from the 1992 classic. But there is a notable difference between a young man stealing a loaf of bread to feed himself and his monkey, and a middle aged woman stealing $15,000 to visit a theme park.


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