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Here's a Christmas-season tale to warm your otherwise black and withered heart. From today's News:

Two former top-ranking members of the city medical examiner's office siphoned off millions of federal dollars that flowed into the office after the Sept. 11 attacks, sending at least $5.5 million to overseas accounts as they staged their getaway, federal prosecutors said .

Natarajan (Raju) Venkataram, 41, and his girlfriend, Rosa Abreu, 38, were charged with a scheme to embezzle more than $10 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency cash meant for a computer system that analyzes DNA and was used after the attacks to identify thousands of bodies.

Now, don't think we're the kinds of squares who get too worked up about a little embezzlement between friends. But $5.5 million's a lot. From the government is worse. And from the agency working to identify 9/11 bodies, well, that's what makes it pretty evil.

Except there's this: Apparently the DNA-analyzing computer system worked just fine anyway. Which brings us back to, what's $5.5 million among friends, anyway?

Coroner Office Duo in 9/11 Con [NYDN]