Over the past few years, we have witnessed the worst examples of corporate crime and intentional fraud committed by corporate bosses that our country has ever experienced. From Enron to WorldCom, with many other corporations in between, we have seen some real bad conduct by corporations and their bosses. The following are a few examples: cheating the government on federal contracts, fraud involving mutual fund practices and finite reinsurance transactions, securities fraud of all sorts, corporations cheating the federal government, large and small, on government contracts and on federal programs; cheating of the federal government by companies doing business in Iraq; massive fraud relating to Katrina; actual looting of corporations by their bosses; failures by corporations to fund employee pension plans – and the list goes on.
Sadly, bad conduct by some corporations and their bosses has dominated the news on the business pages almost daily, and that has been the case for the past five years. It has become commonplace for the news media to report cases in which corporate executives have cheated the government, other companies, the public, and even their companies’ own employees and shareholders. When will all of this stop?
The American people want corporate fraud and criminal activities by corporate executives to be stopped now, and they expect government to act aggressively to accomplish that goal. Clearly, the federal and state governments have a shared responsibility to make this happen. It’s also essential for the criminal and civil courts to be kept open and available to deal with this most serious problem, which that has become like a cancer in our country. I suppose that all of this sort of thing has been going on for years, but the public just didn’t know about it. I have always suspected that the “tort reform” movement was devised by smart folks in the very beginning to protect corporate wrongdoers. I am now firmly convinced – more than ever – that I was on target at the time in my suspicions.
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