Some of the most talented people in our society are in trouble with the law. Some are serving time in federal and state prisons. Some are waiting to be sentenced for crimes of which they have been convicted in courts of law.
From my experience, those who succeed temporally in life started from a spiritual base. They were raised in good homes and benefited from neighborhood, church, and school leaders. Many were Little Leaguers and good Boy Scouts. Now they are in trouble and their families are humiliated.
What went wrong?
I extracted and shortened the following from [http://www.criminaldefenseassociates.com/crimes/whitecollar]
In the wake of the Enron/Arthur Anderson scandal, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, mandated the separation of auditing and consulting businesses in an attempt to restore public confidence in the investment market.
“The Act created a number of new Federal crimes (i.e., document destruction and tampering, securities fraud, certification of false financial statements, and attempt and conspiracy), many of which apply to both public and private companies, their directors, officers, and employees.
“The Sarbanes-Oxley Act also significantly enhances penalties applicable to a host of existing white collar crimes.
“A number of Federal agencies including the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service, the Secret Service, U.S. Customs, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, participate in the enforcement of Federal white collar crime legislation.
“In addition, most states employ their own agencies to enforce white collar crime laws at the State level.”
All Corporate Crimes are Not Prosecuted
At http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/deferredreport.htm is posted the report: Crime Without Conviction: The Rise of Deferred and Non Prosecution Agreements and I quote:
“This report finds that prosecutors have entered into twice as many non-prosecution and deferred prosecution agreements with major American corporations in the last four years (23 agreements between 2002 to 2005) than they have in the previous ten years (11 agreements between 1992 to 2001)…And it raises the question – are these companies too big to indict, to big to convict?”
Top Corporate Criminals
At http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/top100.html are listed the top 100 corporate criminals of the 1990s. I quote:
“The 100 corporate criminals fell into 14 categories of crime: Environmental (38), antitrust (20), fraud (13), campaign finance (7), food and drug (6), financial crimes (4), false statements (3), illegal exports (3), illegal boycott (1), worker death (1), bribery (1), obstruction of justice (1) public corruption (1), and tax evasion (1).”
Without going into details, the above report states that corporate crime damages far exceed that of street crimes both in cost to the public and in deaths.
The list comes in two versions. The Brief List simply states the corporation and the crime. The Annotated List gives more details. You will find some of our finest corporations on these lists.
Dumping: The Corporate Crime of the Century
We read this at http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/1979/11/dowie.html
“News: It’s called dumping:
“When the U.S. government forces a dangerous drug, pesticide or other product off the domestic market, the manufacturer then sells that same product–frequently with the direct support of the State Department–throughout the rest of the world.”
In an associated article at http://www.motherjones.com/news/update/1979/11/where.html Where Are They Now? we read:
“News: What ever happened to those dumped products–and their dumpers? Eighteen years later, the MoJo Wire investigates.”
The bottom line is that the restrictions placed by our government to protect our people do not apply to other peoples of the world.
It’s okay if a person dies from faulty drugs or medical machinery in Podunktoo.
Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness: Exodus 20:16
As Martha Steward will testify, bearing false witness to our government is a major crime. She spent five months in the slammer because of that law.
Bearing false witness to the public is a crime that our government is exempt from. That is a law we need to fix. Public officials should be held accountable for what they say.
I think that Martha should have been fined $1000.00 and required to spend two weeks in public service sweeping the streets of Manhattan and passing out cookies to vagrants in front of the New York Stock Exchange.
Her silly lies were just a miner crime in my opinion.
News Flash: Corporate Crimes are People Crimes
Corporate crimes are performed by people, the employees of the corporation. Often they are not intentional.
Joe Blow opens Valve Number 609 and closes Valve 906 instead of the opposite.
Ten zillion tons of gung then flows into Little Bear Creek killing the fish, the frogs, and twelve butterflies.
The Corporation is fined and the corporation must clean up the mess to boot.
Other crimes, especially those involving money, are intentional. Corporate Fat Cats full of greed want to pad their retirement funds.
These same Fat Cats were once good citizens who grew up in good homes, went to good Universities (where some say they learned how to cheat), and were Pillars of the Community. Now they are jailbirds or disgraced.
Help for Those Corporate Biggies Not Now in Trouble but May Soon Be
There is a rule once used by some in our country. It is Honesty is the Best Policy.
Have that framed and put on your wall.
Another one is Integrity is Doing the Right Thing when No One is Looking.
Frame that too.
For light reading go to http://www.scouting.org/factsheets/02-503a.html and read the Scout Oath and Law.
If you were not a Boy Scout, go there and read it anyway. It can’t hurt.
copyright©John T. Jones, Ph.D.