MULTIPLE MALFEASANCES BY TYCOONS, Enron is not alone
A look at some of the other high-profile corporate scandals of recent
years and the status of legal action in each. ALL the POOR SCHLUBS
who trusted these wolves & invested in the companies got rooked!
CREDIT SUISSE FIRST BOSTON Former CSFB investment banking star Frank
Quattrone, who made a fortune taking Internet companies public during
the dot-com stock boom, was convicted in May 2004 on federal charges of
obstruction of justice, after his first trial ended in a hung jury. The
2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the conviction in March,
granting Quattrone a new trial. The appeals court said the jury
instructions in Quattrone's trial were erroneous.
QWEST COMMUNICATIONS INTERNATIONAL INC. - Former Qwest CEO Joseph
Nacchio was indicted last December on 42 federal charges of insider
trading accusing him of illegally selling $101 million in stock. In July
2005, Robin Szeliga, former CFO, pleaded guilty to one criminal count of
insider trading in a scandal that forced the telephone company to erase
billions of dollars in revenue. On March 3, former Qwest executive Marc
B. Weisberg was fined $250,000 and sentenced to 60 days of home
detention after pleading guilty to wire fraud.
Qwest agreed last year to pay $250 million to settle SEC charges of
fraud in a deal that did not include individuals.
ADELPHIA COMMUNICATIONS CORP. - Michael Rigas, a son of the founder of
Adelphia Communications Corp., pleaded guilty last November to a charge
of making a false entry in a financial record, eliminating the need for
his retrial on securities fraud and bank fraud charges in a scandal that
forced the cable giant into bankruptcy. He was sentenced to 10 months of
home confinement. John Rigas and his son Timothy were convicted in
federal court last year of conspiracy, bank fraud and securities fraud.
Last June, John Rigas was sentenced to 15 years in prison, and Timothy
Rigas to 20 years. They are free pending appeal. A fourth executive,
Michael Mulcahey, was found not guilty of conspiracy and securities
fraud. Last October, John and Timothy were indicted in Philadelphia on
charges they and other family members didn't pay $300 million in taxes.
WORLDCOM INC. - Bernard Ebbers, who as CEO of WorldCom oversaw the
largest corporate fraud in U.S. history, was sentenced last July to 25
years in prison. The sentence was handed down in U.S. District Court in
Manhattan three years after WorldCom collapsed in an $11 billion
accounting fraud. A judge ruled last September that Ebbers can stay out
of prison while he appeals his conviction.
HEALTHSOUTH CORP. _ Former CEO Richard Scrushy was acquitted last June
on all 36 federal counts of conspiracy, false reporting, fraud and money
laundering in an alleged $2.7 billion earnings overstatement at the
rehabilitation and medical services chain over seven years beginning in
1996. He blamed the fraud on 15 former HealthSouth executives who
pleaded guilty. Hannibal "Sonny" Crumpler, a former HealthSouth
executive, the second person to stand trial in the fraud, was convicted
last November of conspiracy and lying to auditors for his role in the
fraud. Last December, Bill Owens, a one-time HealthSouth chief financial
officer, was sentenced to five years in prison. Owens was a main
government witness in the failed prosecution of Scrushy.
TYCO INTERNATIONAL LTD. _ Former CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski and CFO Mark H.
Swartz were convicted in a New York state court last June on 22 of 23
counts of grand larceny, conspiracy, securities fraud and falsifying
business records. Prosecutors accused the two of conspiring to defraud
Tyco of millions of dollars to fund extravagant lifestyles. The two were
sentenced last September to eight and one-third to 25 years in prison. A
judge refused to release Kozlowski and Swartz on bail while they appeal
MARTHA STEWART: A federal appeals court on Jan. 6 upheld the convictions
of Martha Stewart and her one-time broker, Peter Bacanovic. The founder
of the homemaking empire was released in March 2005 after serving five
months in prison, and finished serving an additional five months and
three weeks of home confinement at the end of August. She was convicted
in federal court in 2004 of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and
making false statements related to a personal sale of ImClone Systems
Inc. stock. Bacanovic, her former broker at Merrill Lynch, served a
CENDANT CORP.: Former Cendant Corp. Vice Chairman E. Kirk Shelton was
convicted in federal court in January 2005 of conspiracy and securities,
wire and mail fraud. He was sentenced last August to 10 years in prison
and ordered to pay full restitution for his role in an accounting
scandal that cost investors and the company more than $3 billion.
Shelton was ordered to pay $3.27 billion to Cendant. Shelton stood trial
with former Cendant Chairman Walter Forbes, whose case ended in a
mistrial. Forbes was retried last October and on February 10 a federal
judge declared a mistrial. Prosecutors plan to try Forbes for a third
time. Shelton is free pending his appeal.
FANNIE MAE: Federal regulators found in an investigation that the
mortgage finance giant, which is the second-largest U.S. financial
institution, manipulated accounting so executives could collect millions
in bonuses from 1998 to 2004. The government-sponsored company was fined
$400 million on May 23 in a settlement with the Office of Federal
Housing Enterprise Oversight and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Fannie Mae's anticipated restatement of earnings later this year is
expected to total some $11 billion. A criminal investigation by the
Justice Department continues.
A joint RECIPE BOOK "THE JOY OF COOKING THE BOOKS" should be out this Autumn but so far no prison has a printing press.