Corporate Greed- A review of recent events and the need for Corporate Ethics (Part II of III)

The senior executives at Enron have become an icon of corporate greed, massive fraud, dishonesty, unethical behavior, and failed leadership. Andrew and Lea Fastow have fallen from grace, plea bargained, and have been convicted. Andrew, Enron's former CFO, will begin to start his 10-year sentence for securities and wire fraud as soon as his multi-millionaire heiress wife, Lea, completes her one-year prison term for insider trading of Enron stock in her family charity. Lea Fastow, along with Enron senior executives Kenneth Lay, the (now deceased) founder and former Chairman of Enron, Jeffery Skilling, the former President and CEO of Enron, and Richard Causey, Chief Accounting Officer of Enron, all denied any wrongdoing. The juries have tried them and found them guilty, guilty and guilty.
Enron's Kenneth Lay, Jeffery Skilling, and Richard Causey all arrogantly refused to plea bargain with federal prosecutors, or admit their guilt. All three of them are now tried and convicted on a variety of criminal charges including securities fraud, bribery, collusion and conspiracy to commit fraud, wire fraud, filing false financial statements, and many more. In addition to the criminal charges pending, there are civil lawsuits from investors and employees who have lost billions in the fall of Enron.

The late Kenneth Lay continued to proclaim his innocence of any criminal acts at Enron, even after his conviction. He additionally claimed that he, the founder and former Chairman of Enron, was unaware of the Enron financial details. Yet before the United States Senate Committee Lay instead of testifying he took "the Fifth" The conclusion must be drawn that Ken Lay knows he is guilty of multiple criminal acts. He was clearly not willing to admit his guilt before the United States Senate Committee. He was convicted but died before serving his sentence.

Enron is, unfortunately, just part of the long list of corporate greed plaguing America in the 21st Century. Bernard Ebbers, former CEO of [MCI] WorldCom Inc., was indicted and convicted on charges of conspiracy, securities fraud, and making false regulatory filings. The Prosecutors allege and it was successfully proven to the jury that Ebber's was the ring leader in an $11 billion accounting fraud."

Flamboyant and extravagant former CEO of Tyco International Ltd. L. Dennis Kozlowski and his ex-Chief Financial Officer Mark Swartz are both about to head back to Federal Court for a retrial. Kozlowski has been dubbed the poster boy for corporate excess. He was convicted on a number of criminal charges including stealing $600 million from Tyco Corporation, and it's shareholders.

Kozlowski's exploits with women and wild spending are all detailed in the book, Testosterone Inc: Tales of CEOs Gone Wild (Byron, 2004). He portrays Kozlowski, along with Jack Welsh, former Chairman of General Electric, "Chainsaw" Al Dunlap of Sunbeam, and Revlon's Ron Pearlman, as having feet of clay and the morality of rock stars - drunk on power and driven by sex, greed, extravagance, and glamour.
Richard Scrushy, founder and former Chief Executive Officer of HealthSouth Corp, is another in the list of CEOs who deny any wrongdoing. He was acquitted on the criminal charges of financial improprieties. But, William Owens, former Chief Financial Officer of HealthSouth, and four other HealthSouth former CFOs have all plead guilty.

Scrushy was accused of helping overstate the company's earnings by nearly $3 billion from 1996 to 2003. Scrushy was indicted by a federal grand jury on 85 counts of fraud, money laundering, and other offenses. He faced 650 years in prison and $36 million in fines on those charges.

At Scrushy's trial, Leif Murphy, a former HealthSouth Vice President, who worked in the firm's treasury department and is not charged with a crime, provided damaging testimony about Scrushy. Murphy testified that Scrushy had gotten very angry and Scrushy had yelled at Murphy when Leif Murphy challenged Scrushy on the release of false financial information. Not withstanding the fact that Scrushy's string of four Chief Financial Officers where convicted or plead guilt, Scrushy was found not guilt of all criminal charges.

The government also was seeking $278 million in forfeitures from Scrushy, who has proclaimed "I am an innocent man" many times, including in his interview on CBS's "60 Minutes" on October 26, 2003. His lawyers somehow managed to get him off on these criminal charges related to major fraud at HealthSouth, only have Richard Scrushy get convicted on charges multiple counts of bribery and his now in prison.

See Part I and Part III of this Corporate Greed article on

Copyright 2006-2010 ©Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D.

Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D.
Chief Enlightenment Officer
The Leadership Success Institute

Author's Bio: 

Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D.
Professional Keynote & Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur, Award-Winning Published Book Author, University Professor, Author "Leadership and Adversity: The Shaping of Prominent Leaders" plus a Entrepreneurship and Leadership Academic Scholar


EntrepreneurshipBootCamp.Org is dedicated to be The Resource Center of Entrepreneurship designed to help individuals become successful Entrepreneurs and to support those who are already Entrepreneur be more successful

Entrepreneurship Boot Camp has been created by Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D. is a Successful Entrepreneur, proven Sr. Corporate Executive, a University Graduate Business School Professor

Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D.'s groundbreaking overcoming adversity and leadership research was published as a book in late 2008: "Leadership and Adversity: The Shaping of Prominent Leaders," by VDM Verlag Dr Müller AG & CoKG. This book has received great reviews which can be seen online at Amazon in the US, Canada, UK and Germany.

The 17 prominent leaders and entrepreneurship (including two Self-Made Billionaires) who overcame adversity and even major trauma, that were all personally interviewed by Dr. Haller included: Dr. Tony Bonanzino, Jack Canfield, William Draper III, Mark Victor Hansen, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, Monzer Hourani, U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, Jack LaLanne, J. Terrence Lanni, Dr. John Malone, Angelo Mozilo, Larry Pino, Dr. Nido Qubein, U.S. Army Major General Sid Shachnow (Ret.), Dr. John Sperling, Dr. Blenda Wilson, and Zig Ziglar.

Five internationally scholars and best-selling authors peer reviewed and concurred with Dr. Haller's research findings in this groundbreaking overcoming adversity and leadership findings: Dr. Ken Blanchard, Dr. John Kotter, Professor James Kouzes, Dr. Paul Stoltz, and Dr. Meg Wheatley.

Dr. Howard Edward Haller Entrepreneur and also is a award-winning published author: • Keynote and Motivational Speaker to Corporations, Associations and Colleges • He is a Professional Member of NSA • He is a successful Executive Coach & Mentor to Entrepreneurs, Corporate and Non-Profit Senior Executives in the US, Canada, China and Australia • He is Expert on Leadership, and Entrepreneurship • He is a US Presidential National Award and Prize Winning Essayist. • He is an Accomplished Screenwriter, Television writer & Member of the WGAw. • Dr. Haller is a major expert on Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Overcoming Adversity

Dr. Howard Edward Haller is a well-respected academic writer, editor, scholar and major University Trustee, University Graduate Business School Professor, and past President of University Board of Trustees.

Dr. Haller was selected and appointed a member of the Editorial Peer Review Board of the very prestigious academic journal “The International Journal of Servant Leadership” along with world renowned leadership scholars and best-selling authors.