Should there mandatory sentences for Corporate Fraud?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Reginald Trent, Jul 11, 2002.

  1. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    I believe there should, given the impact of corporate fraud on the country ie job losses due to layoffs, firings etc.
     
  2. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    I'm just guessing here but I have to believe that there are already laws on the books regarding this type of fraud. My biggest gripe about this situation is that these characters keep most if not all of the money they've 'earned' during their tenure. I'd like to see every penny they've made on stock options, bonuses and the like taken and placed into a fund that is then divided among the workers who eventually pay for their boss's greed with their jobs.
    The only real way to teach a rich person a lesson is to make them a poor person.
     
  3. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I don't know that there needs to be mandatory sentencing, but there needs to be sentencing- period.
    Re: Enron and Arthur Andersen- I'm sure that they have a laundry list of names who worked on the "creative accounting" (the average Joe calls this Theft- but that's too common a word for rich crooks[​IMG] ). THESE people need to be incarcerated, under the current laws. No new laws- use the existing ones. Simply finding a company guilty doesn't do anyone any good.
    True Story- there was a guy on my sub (back in the day[​IMG] ) that used to carry this little book with him. If you got on his bad side, he wrote your name in the book. One day I asked him what it was for. He said "if, for whatever reason, the sub is sinking, and we're all going to die, I'm going to kill these people first." Very matter-of-fact.
    I wonder if people like Ken Lay and Andrew Fastow are on anyone's "short list."
    Todd
     
  4. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I'll second Lew's opinion. We have the laws, just not the right sentencing. I'd prefer to have a convicted person's assets, (and I mean all of them here) liquidated and divided up among the workers. This should not be done under a bankruptcy law though. If the judge had a total amount for his assets and fined him/her that amount, they could declare bankruptcy and get to keep some. What should happen is that they sould be left with a $1000 and whatever they can carry (clothes and stuff) on them. No car - and drop them off in a not so hot district of a large city. No leeching off of friends, either.

    Glenn
     
  5. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    I don't think there should be any mandatory sentences for any crime.
     
  6. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    Jay Leno had a joke along the lines that new "get tough" policy on corporate corruption will result in them getting a "slap on both wrists".
    It seems that these guys rarely go to jail and often get to retire with a few 10s or even 100s of millions. They should no tbe allowed to get away with these sort of crimes with any money at all IMO. I want to see Ken Lay et. al. working in McDonalds after they do 10 years in a FPYINTA* Prison.
    However, for reasons I can not go into here, I don't think either the serious jail time or the massive fines thing is going to happen any time soon, in fact I don't think any fundamental changes are going to be made at all.
    * Office Space reference [​IMG]
     
  7. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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    I tend to agree with Chris ... "Mandatory" is not a solution. Tougher laws and sentancing guidelines is moving in the right direction. Make sentancing mandatory and you'll have the following:
    REMAINING U.S. CEOs MAKE A BREAK FOR IT
    Band of Roving Chief Executives Spotted Miles from Mexican Border
    San Antonio, Texas. (Reuters) Unwilling to wait for their eventual indictments, the 10,000 remaining CEOs of public U.S. companies made a break for it yesterday, heading for the Mexican border, plundering towns and villages along the way, and writing the entire rampage off as a marketing expense. "They came into my home, made me pay for my own TV, then double-booked the revenues," said Rachel Sanchez of Las Cruces, just north of El Paso. "Right in front of my daughters."
    Calling themselves the CEOnistas, the chief executives were first spotted last night along the Rio Grande River near Quemado, where they bought each of the town's 320 residents by borrowing against pension fund gains. By late this morning, the CEOnistas had arbitrarily inflated Quemado's population to 960, and declared a 200 percent profit for the fiscal second quarter.
    This morning, the outlaws bought the city of Waco, transferred its underperforming areas to a private partnership, and sent a bill to California for $4.5 billion. Law enforcement officials and disgruntled shareholders riding posse were noticeably frustrated.
    "First of all, they're very hard to find because they always stand behind their numbers, and the numbers keep shifting," said posse spokesman Dean
    Levitt. "And every time we try to close in, they refer us to investor relations. I've been on the phone all damn morning."
    "YOU'LL NEVER AUDIT ME ALIVE!"
    The pursuers said they have had some success, however, by preying on a common executive weakness. "Last night we caught about 24 of them by disguising one of our female officers as a CNBC anchor," said U.S. Border Patrol spokesperson Janet Lewis. "It was like moths to a flame."
    Also, teams of agents have been using high-powered listening devices to scan the plains for telltale sounds of the CEOnistas. "Most of the time we just hear leaves rustling or cattle flicking their tails," said Lewis, "but occasionally we'll pick up someone saying, 'I was totally out of the loop on that.'"
    Among former and current CEOs apprehended with this method were Computer Associates' Sanjay Kumar, Adelphia's John Rigas, Enron's Ken Lay, Joseph Nacchio of Qwest, Joseph Berardino of Arthur Andersen, and every Global Crossing CEO since 1997. ImClone Systems' Sam Waksal and Dennis Kozlowski of Tyco were not allowed to join the CEOnistas as they have already been indicted.
    So far, about 50 chief executives have been captured, including Martha Stewart, who was detained south of El Paso where she had cut through a barbed-wire fence at the Zaragosa border crossing off Highway 375. "She would have gotten away, but she was stopping motorists to ask for marzipan and food coloring so she could make edible snowman place settings, using the cut pieces of wire for the arms," said Border Patrol officer Jennette Cushing. "We put her in cell No. 7, because the morning sun really adds texture to the stucco walls."
    While some stragglers are believed to have successfully crossed into Mexico, Cushing said the bulk of the CEOnistas have holed themselves up at the Alamo. "No, not the fort, the car rental place at the airport," she said. "They're rotating all the tires on the minivans and accounting for each change as a sales event."
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    The problem isn't the sentencing laws. It's the fact that crimes involving financial manipulation (which generally fall under the heading of "white-collar" crime) are notoriously difficult to prove, because they typically don't turn on a single act that is readily identifiable. If someone robs a store at gunpoint or commits a murder, it's easy to pinpoint the criminal act. A complex financial fraud, which usually involves a continuous series of actions spread over time and often conducted by many different people, is a much greater challenge to present and prove in court. This often gives defendants accused of such crimes greater leverage in plea-bargaining.

    M.
     
  9. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    We'ins shouldt bee a do'in thangs like Angland. There should be a stiff sentence that can be reduced. Reductions should be based on how much of the money is returned.
     
  10. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    Well it seems to me if we can have mandatory minimum sentences and 3 strike laws for penny anti crimes involving a few dollars, we should have them for people that manipulate, shred records and destroy millions of lives (Investors and Workers) in the process.

    Those people are worse and pose a more serious threat to society than the petty criminal.
     
  11. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    Reginald, I agree with your point, but I don't agree with mandatory sentences.
     
  12. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    Chris these are your two quotes.

    I don't think there should be any mandatory sentences for any crime.
    ---------------------
    Reginald, I agree with your point, but I don't agree with mandatory sentences.
    ----------------------

    OK, Chris apparently yopu think they are bad. So do you care to say why you don't want mandatory sentences?
     
  13. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    I'll try not too get to political.
    For one, is this report from the Federal Judicial Center: http://www.fjc.gov/CRIMLAWPRO/cons_m...and_minim.html
    Summarized: [RANT]
    I don't think that mandatory minimum sentences are fair. For example, there can be different guidlines for crack cocaine (generally a person of low socio-economic status) versus powder cocaine (generlally a wealthy person). I believe too much discretion is given to individual prosecutors, who may dismiss charges or offer a plea bargain. I think that adding to the already over-populated prison population when other forms of punishment/treatment are available serves no good purpose. I believe that mandatory minimum sentences blur the Constitutional right to a trial by jury. I believe that each case may have unique characteristics and facts that should be taken into consideration for sentencing.
    [/RANT]
    Just my opinion.
     
  14. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    If all prison terms are just mandated, what role do judges have? Not enough. Let the judges judge!
     
  15. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    They have mandatory minimums for drug offenses, so why not for criminals in business suits?
     
  16. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    Reginald, did you read my post?
     
  17. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    Yes I did Chris. However, suits have never been in the crosshairs of mandatory sentences. I believe they might behave differently (better) if they knew they would definately face time if caught perpetrating corporate fraud.
     
  18. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  19. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    I'm speaking about white collar crime in general never being under the microscope for mandatory minimum sentences. And yes I know technically in legal terms corporate fraud does not exist. However, by the same token neither does drug offenses.

    Quote:
    Again, for what indictable crime?
    ------------------------

    How about fraud? Wire fraud and using the U.S. Mail to commit fraud/crime?
     
  20. Allen W

    Allen W Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't agree with mandatory sentences either. I'll give you an example. This spring a high school kid in the area with the help of his father helps to move his grandmother over the weekend. A small knife falls out of one of the boxes into the back of the pickup. No one notices it until a security guard at the school finds it in the back of the truck on Monday in the school parking lot.

    Now, because the school district has a mandatory sentence of expulsion for one year for any weapon brought to school the kid is automatically expelled immediately for a year. Is that fair? Well, apparently the other parents in the district want their kids safe and bought into the policy when it went into place originally. After this incident they realized how crazy this was and several hundred parents packed a school board meeting and got it changed and got the kid back in school. I think the punishment should fit the crime and juries should have some flexibility.

    Fraud is already illegal. Unfortunately, these guys are not even going to trial to be prosecuted though. Have you seen the Enron campaign contribtion list for the last few years? That's a little hint why.
     

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