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Corporate criminals don't face jail time.

techs

Lifer
Sep 26, 2000
28,567
3
0
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04...nInRhJFl5XOL+V/btlu5Ng

In a major shift of policy, the Justice Department, once known for taking down giant corporations, including the accounting firm Arthur Andersen, has put off prosecuting more than 50 companies suspected of wrongdoing over the last three years.

Instead, many companies, from boutique outfits to immense corporations like American Express, have avoided the cost and stigma of defending themselves against criminal charges with a so-called deferred prosecution agreement, which allows the government to collect fines and appoint an outside monitor to impose internal reforms without going through a trial. In many cases, the name of the monitor and the details of the agreement are kept secret.

Deferred prosecutions have become a favorite tool of the Bush administration. But some legal experts now wonder if the policy shift has led companies, in particular financial institutions now under investigation for their roles in the subprime mortgage debacle, to test the limits of corporate anti-fraud laws.

Firms have readily agreed to the deferred prosecutions, said Vikramaditya S. Khanna, a law professor at the University of Michigan who has studied their use, because ?clearly it avoids a bigger headache for them.?

Some lawyers suggest that companies may be willing to take more risks because they know that, if they are caught, the chances of getting a deferred prosecution are good. ?Some companies may bear the risk? of legally questionable business practices if they believe they can cut a deal to defer their prosecution indefinitely, Mr. Khanna said.

Legal experts say the tactic may have sent the wrong signal to corporations ? the promise, in effect, of a get-out-of-jail-free card. The growing use of deferred prosecutions also suggests one road map the Justice Department might follow in the subprime mortgage investigations.

Deferred prosecution agreements, or D.P.A.?s, have become controversial because of a medical supply company?s agreement to pay up to $52 million to the consulting firm of John Ashcroft, the former attorney general, as an outside monitor to avoid criminal prosecution. That agreement has prompted Congressional inquiries and calls for stricter guidelines.




My God, it's now official. Corporate criminals are getting away with, well, literally, murder.
 

EagleKeeper

Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
Staff member
Oct 30, 2000
42,599
5
0
When did Andersen get taken down?

Did this policy get created under Bush or has it been there and just now being utilized?

Should a trial start under one adminstration, will it be handled the same under another?
 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
1
0
Originally posted by: Common Courtesy

Should a trial start under one adminstration, will it be handled the same under another?
If the courts are just, then yes is should be handled the same under a different administration.
 

EagleKeeper

Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
Staff member
Oct 30, 2000
42,599
5
0
Originally posted by: 1EZduzit
Originally posted by: Common Courtesy

Should a trial start under one administration, will it be handled the same under another?
If the courts are just, then yes is should be handled the same under a different administration.
It is not the court itself, but the prosecutors and staff of the case that can be replaced under a new administration.

 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,086
493
126
This is the govt people wanted. They want big govt, they will get big corruption.
 

RightIsWrong

Diamond Member
Apr 29, 2005
5,650
0
0
WTF is this shit? I wonder how someone could use this to their advantage? Hmmmmm.....

Maybe someone could have a pretty high ranking job say...in the "Justice" department and then institute a policy where companies get to avoid costly legal battles and the bad PR that goes with doing things that are questionable legally and morally by having someone watch over them instead? Ohhh, then maybe they could start a "consulting" firm to actually perform just those duties!

Deferred prosecution agreements, or D.P.A.?s, have become controversial because of a medical supply company?s agreement to pay up to $52 million to the consulting firm of John Ashcroft, the former attorney general, as an outside monitor to avoid criminal prosecution. That agreement has prompted Congressional inquiries and calls for stricter guidelines.
Brilliant!

Edit: I should have read a little further to get Ashcroft's explanation:

At a Congressional hearing last month, Mr. Ashcroft defended the agreements, saying that they avoided ?destroying entire corporations? through criminal indictments. ?Prosecutors understand that a corporate indictment can be a corporate death sentence,? he said. ?A deferred prosecution can avoid the catastrophic collateral consequences and costs that are associated with corporate conviction.?
You know what else can avoid the consequences and costs? NOT DOING THE SHIT IN THE FIRST FUCKING PLACE!!!

I wonder if this option is available for pedophiles or murderers so that they don't have their families' costs disrupted should they be convicted?

 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
1
0
Originally posted by: Common Courtesy
Originally posted by: 1EZduzit
Originally posted by: Common Courtesy

Should a trial start under one administration, will it be handled the same under another?
If the courts are just, then yes is should be handled the same under a different administration.
It is not the court itself, but the prosecutors and staff of the case that can be replaced under a new administration.
By courts I meant the whole legal system. I guess your out and out admitting we don't have a just legal system?
 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
34,853
4,799
126
Originally posted by: Genx87
This is the govt people wanted. They want big govt, they will get big corruption.
Nice spin.
Actually, this is small government in action. Big government would send these perps to the big house.
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,587
9
81
Originally posted by: senseamp
Originally posted by: Genx87
This is the govt people wanted. They want big govt, they will get big corruption.
Nice spin.
Actually, this is small government in action. Big government would send these perps to the big house.
Sure it would. The big government of China and the former USSR are well known for their fair dispensing of justice. :roll:
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,086
493
126
Originally posted by: senseamp
Originally posted by: Genx87
This is the govt people wanted. They want big govt, they will get big corruption.
Nice spin.
Actually, this is small government in action. Big government would send these perps to the big house.
Now that is spin. Or are you denying govt has expanded at huge rates under Bush?

Small govt is circ late 20s when it consumed under 2% of GDP. The current budget for the federal govt puts it at about 23%.

 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
34,853
4,799
126
Typical Republican approach to governing. Screw it up, then blame "big government."
This is not a case of big government, it's a case of not enough government interference and prosecution.
 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
1
0
Originally posted by: Genx87
Originally posted by: senseamp
Originally posted by: Genx87
This is the govt people wanted. They want big govt, they will get big corruption.
Nice spin.
Actually, this is small government in action. Big government would send these perps to the big house.
Now that is spin. Or are you denying govt has expanded at huge rates under Bush?

Small govt is circ late 20s when it consumed under 2% of GDP. The current budget for the federal govt puts it at about 23%.
Yes, back in the good old days when you payed your doctor with chickens.

 

thraashman

Lifer
Apr 10, 2000
10,911
1,063
126
Originally posted by: Common Courtesy
When did Andersen get taken down?

Did this policy get created under Bush or has it been there and just now being utilized?

Should a trial start under one adminstration, will it be handled the same under another?
Taken down is probably not the best term for Arthur Andersen. But in 2002 they were convicted and surrendered their license. In 2005 the Supreme Court reversed the decision. But the company now has only like 200 employees. So effectively, they were "taken down" because the company is now defunct.
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,086
493
126
Originally posted by: senseamp
Typical Republican approach to governing. Screw it up, then blame "big government."
This is not a case of big government, it's a case of not enough government interference and prosecution.
Yes this is another classic example of big government. Show me a big government that doesnt have big corruption.

 

zephyrprime

Diamond Member
Feb 18, 2001
7,506
1
81
This is what happens when you let the criminal run the country. Bush is nothing but a shill for corporate interests.
 

bamacre

Lifer
Jul 1, 2004
21,034
1
61
Originally posted by: 1EZduzit
Originally posted by: Genx87
Originally posted by: senseamp
Originally posted by: Genx87
This is the govt people wanted. They want big govt, they will get big corruption.
Nice spin.
Actually, this is small government in action. Big government would send these perps to the big house.
Now that is spin. Or are you denying govt has expanded at huge rates under Bush?

Small govt is circ late 20s when it consumed under 2% of GDP. The current budget for the federal govt puts it at about 23%.
Yes, back in the good old days when you payed your doctor with chickens.
Exactly. Today one would need to pay with thousands and thousands of chickens.
 

bamacre

Lifer
Jul 1, 2004
21,034
1
61
Originally posted by: Genx87
Originally posted by: senseamp
Typical Republican approach to governing. Screw it up, then blame "big government."
This is not a case of big government, it's a case of not enough government interference and prosecution.
Yes this is another classic example of big government. Show me a big government that doesnt have big corruption.
Senseamp sees Bush as a fiscally conservative, small-government Republican.
 

NaughtyGeek

Golden Member
May 3, 2005
1,065
0
71
It just amazes me that with all the steps our government takes to expand it's control, there are still people who find a way to defend those actions. Corporate America has been financing elections for so long that this only seems natural. So now we've basically put our government in the position of protecting big business from public scrutiny and basically telling them "go ahead and break the law so long as you figure in the cost of the fines that we'll negotiate behind closed doors." Freaking unbelievable! How a rational American citizen can justify this action is beyond me. I need some of that brain damaging Kool-Aid for myself so I can quit noticing my country going down the toilet as the retards sing "God Bless America."
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,991
2
0
In my mind, this whole thread is acting as a smokescreen for the real question which is government regulation. Maybe the Arthur Anderson question is somewhat classic. First the government punts the question of the financial soundness of Enron to a private firm, and for a pile of bucks, Arthur Anderson says yep, Enron is financially sound. Based on that
people buy Enron stock and get robbed when Enron goes broke shortly thereafter. This fraud nets billions of dollars and we are unwilling to put these crooks in jail. Meanwhile we take the slow boat road to get Ken Lowe into a court room, finally convict his ass, and he dies an innocent man because the case was on appeal when God called him home.

Same damn thing with the mortgage crisis. Where were the government regulations that would have prevented these loans destined to fail mess? As it is the people who made out like bandits got in and then out leaving others holding the bag. Even the responsible pay when home prices nationwide plummet. Or should we go back to the S&L crisis in
1989 which was a direct result of a combination of de regulation and changing rules in the middle of the game.

What the hell happens has to prevention? Bickering over punishing the partly guilty and certainly irresponsibly greedy becomes un necessary when the problem is prevented from happening in the first place. Its sort of like asking a group of bank robbers already in jail if there should be laws against robbing banks, you kind of know the answer in advance which is no, these laws are un necessary because we never would be irresponsible and rob banks.
 

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,912
46
91
www.alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: NaughtyGeek
It just amazes me that with all the steps our government takes to expand it's control, there are still people who find a way to defend those actions. Corporate America has been financing elections for so long that this only seems natural. So now we've basically put our government in the position of protecting big business from public scrutiny and basically telling them "go ahead and break the law so long as you figure in the cost of the fines that we'll negotiate behind closed doors."

Freaking unbelievable!

How a rational American citizen can justify this action is beyond me.

I need some of that brain damaging Kool-Aid for myself so I can quit noticing my country going down the toilet as the retards sing "God Bless America."
Are you serious? What's wrong with you?
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
126
Originally posted by: Genx87
This is the govt people wanted. They want big govt, they will get big corruption.
That's one of the most confused statements I've seen here.

Its confustion is reflected in the lack of even defining 'corruption': government or business?

Its confusion is further reflected in defining 'big government': big in the regulatory functions, or big in areas more subject to corruption, like military spending?

NOT having adequate government oversight of corporations causes an increase in business corruption.

Corporate corruption in America, to the point of crippling our very financial infrastructure, was rampant under the 'laissez-faire' conservative approach up until the Great Depression; it was the creation under FDR of the Seecurities and Exchange Commission - which business largely actually supported, including the government regulation to prevent the abuses, which reduced corporate corruption and increased the efficiency of the marketplace.

However, corruption can creep back, and you can see an increasing pressure from corporations to let them get away with more - and conservatives who say yes.

The old days of government corruption, when you had 'Boss Tweed' doling out big money form the government for pure government corruption, are long gone. Governent corruption now typically involves the private sector - awarding no-bid contracts, appointing industry representatives as regulators, and refusing to prosecute crimes.

One excellent example is the Bush crimes at Harkin, when as a Director on the board, he was appointed to lead a 3-person committee to investigate the company cooking the books. The board had been warned not to sell their shares of stock during a period of time when it wouold be insider trading. Bussh found they were cooking the books and sold all his shares just before the info came out, letting him sell for a much higher price. So why wasn't he prosecuted for insider trading?

The answer: the SEC investigator was Bush's own lawyer who had handled the Texas Rangers deal for him, and the head of the SEC was appointed by President Bush 41.

The staffers at the SEC were infuriated and issued their own statement about as strong as they could in protest when ordered to announce they would not prosecute, saying Bush had definitely NOT been exonerated as part of the investigation. It was clearly they'd simply been prevented from prosecuting him.

The government doing more to fight corruption is not what is meant by "big government" by any sensible person.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
126
Originally posted by: Genx87
Originally posted by: senseamp
Originally posted by: Genx87
This is the govt people wanted. They want big govt, they will get big corruption.
Nice spin.
Actually, this is small government in action. Big government would send these perps to the big house.
Now that is spin. Or are you denying govt has expanded at huge rates under Bush?

Small govt is circ late 20s when it consumed under 2% of GDP. The current budget for the federal govt puts it at about 23%.
And business corruption was at a peak in the late 20's under that small government.

You're confusing two things - Bush's big spending, and his lack of law enforcement.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
126
Originally posted by: Lemon law
In my mind, this whole thread is acting as a smokescreen for the real question which is government regulation. Maybe the Arthur Anderson question is somewhat classic. First the government punts the question of the financial soundness of Enron to a private firm, and for a pile of bucks, Arthur Anderson says yep, Enron is financially sound. Based on that
people buy Enron stock and get robbed when Enron goes broke shortly thereafter. This fraud nets billions of dollars and we are unwilling to put these crooks in jail. Meanwhile we take the slow boat road to get Ken Lowe into a court room, finally convict his ass, and he dies an innocent man because the case was on appeal when God called him home.

Same damn thing with the mortgage crisis. Where were the government regulations that would have prevented these loans destined to fail mess? As it is the people who made out like bandits got in and then out leaving others holding the bag. Even the responsible pay when home prices nationwide plummet. Or should we go back to the S&L crisis in
1989 which was a direct result of a combination of de regulation and changing rules in the middle of the game.

What the hell happens has to prevention? Bickering over punishing the partly guilty and certainly irresponsibly greedy becomes un necessary when the problem is prevented from happening in the first place. Its sort of like asking a group of bank robbers already in jail if there should be laws against robbing banks, you kind of know the answer in advance which is no, these laws are un necessary because we never would be irresponsible and rob banks.

And the Savings and Loan scandal before that...

The thing is, these administrations are only in power 4 to 8 years, so rob away.

Not that I want them in power longer, but what exactly is the pressure on Bush not to do what his corporate backers want him to do?

It's all about who the leaders represent, and with the elections dominated by money, the only viable candidates pick up big obligations, generally.

What more need be said about 'liberal' Bill Clinton backing the Telecommunications Act the industry wanted, backing NAFTA the corporations wanted, and so on?

In my opinion, citizens should subscribe to independant media, join independant political groups for reforming these issues, and donate to the progressive groups and candidates.
 

WHAMPOM

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2006
7,630
181
106
Originally posted by: Genx87
Originally posted by: senseamp
Typical Republican approach to governing. Screw it up, then blame "big government."
This is not a case of big government, it's a case of not enough government interference and prosecution.
Yes this is another classic example of big government. Show me a big government that doesnt have big corruption.
Classic example of No government, lax government, corrupt government, Bush(smartest guy in the room) government, a classic repeat of former Republican governments. The Republicans' idea of deregulation is like throwing the engineer out of the locomotive and then wondering why the train goes out of control and runs off the track. :evil:
 

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