Briana majored in History & Gen. Studies at Georgia Military College, focusing on the Ancient World and Old Testament.
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A Brief Overview of Business Crimes and Scandals
Business crime occurs around the world at a rate most would not believe. The major stories we know about are blasted on multiple media platforms; they are shared in all languages, and they are accessible on hundreds of networks. We are highlighting just a few of these white-collar crimes, scams, and scandals that have taken place, there are many that will not make the cut.
The disaster that took place in Ecuador was the fault of Chevron, and it is one of the worst catastrophes of this century. This is mainly due to the fact that it pulls at the heartstrings, and not the pocketbook. It affected people and the quality of their lives, it even caused many to perish. Chevron had been dumping toxic waste water into the Amazon rainforest for over thirty years, purposely. Chevron dumped over sixteen billion gallons of waste, leaving the inhabitants of the area to fend for themselves. The natives of the area(s) developed multiple types of cancers and birth defects, this was a serious issue because the majority of children were born horribly disfigured.
These children were also prone to an early death, if they had been “lucky” enough to make it to full term. Miscarriages were common, and many mothers passed away during childbirth because of the increased difficulty and strain on their bodies. (*this is attributed to delivering misshapen babies in areas where medicine/equipment for C-sections isn’t accessible). If that isn’t bad enough, Tyson Foods also dumped over one hundred and four million pounds of their waste into the waters of the US.
The Bank of America is a nationally known corporation, with hundreds of thousands of clients. They betrayed their members (and the country) by lying and deciding to sell billions of dollars' worth of faulty mortgage backed securities. This would eventually contribute to the two thousand and eight financial crises in the United States.
Another bank and major corporation to lose trust with the people is Wells Fargo. They, like the Bank of America, would lie and try to turn a profit from it. The banks were forcing their employees to sell and create fake and fraudulent accounts. Not only did Wells Fargo create a mass amount of fake accounts, they also decided to support efforts for projects that were socially detrimental and environmentally harmful. They also financed the projects they supported.
Elon Musk is a well-known name as of late, and it is because he used a strange platform to air his thoughts. He tweeted about considering that Tesla may go private for four hundred and twenty dollars a share. That tweet impacted and manipulated the market. (He said he had secure funding for it and he did not). That would crush most of his short sellers, and he needed them to keep him in business.
Another guy in the news lately was Bernie Madoff, and back in 2009, a judge sentenced him to 150 years in prison. He was found guilty of money crimes due to a Ponzi scheme he orchestrated. This scheme caused thousands of his investors to lose billions of dollars.
World.Com and Cedant would also be destroyed by their scandals and financial schemes, though Enron is the most notable name out of the examples. Enron was a massive company that fell under the weight of their own crooked business affairs.
Across the world, the founder of a Chinese company that issues insurance, as well as owning the Waldorf hotel in New York City, was sent to prison for eighteen years. He raised billions of dollars from investors, all for his selfish gain. The kicker, he owned the Chinese company and the hotel.
The United States held their presidential election in twenty sixteen. Trump ran for office and has been making massive headlines ever since. It is no surprise that the election process was thought to be infringed upon, especially after the data breach with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica is a data company that was linked to Trump and his campaign. They leveraged millions of users and their data.
Harvey Weinstein, founder of the Weinstein Company, was a film producer in Hollywood. More than seventy women accused him of sexual misconduct, and he was convicted. His company went bankrupt. He was, at one time, one of the most influential men in Hollywood. Behind closed doors, he was a sick Individual.
Since these types of crimes happen every day, many don’t make the mainstream news outlets unless heavy hitters are involved. According to Justice.gov, several things happen every day that are recorded into their system and displayed online for all to view. Some of the names in this system are those of Rueben Goodwin, Phillip Jones, and Dwight McTizic. These men were arrested and convicted in a United States District Court, by a jury, for conspiring to commit health care fraud. They were also conspiring to pay for illegal kickbacks, they were charged with eleven counts.
Another dirty deed, caused by Fiat, (along with the former UAW Vice President), plead guilty to conspiracy for making illegal payments to union officials.
There are also several cases that involve Wall Street insider knowledge.
Gambler Billy Walters was alleged to have information that led to his arrest. The bigger story came when a federal prosecutor in Manhattan stated that two law enforcement officials had taken the confidential information about Walters’ case and leaked it to the press. They told their information to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Two of the other typical American cases of crime belong to Corazon and Core Civic. These two corporations are making money off of the incarceration of immigrants and American citizens.
White Collar Crime can be considered another name for business crime, and has been considered one of the oldest tricks in the book. Who better to trick than the person who owns the company?
Donald Trump, and Trump Corporate affairs are being integrated into the American political system. There are several reasons that the Presidents company should have been set aside for the duration of his term, or either given to one to oversee in his absence. A major corporation that has had power in the financial markets over an extended period of time has Inside knowledge. This knowledge was used as leverage and many people lost their jobs as a result. The connection between politics and power in the states is evident if one looks at the coincidences that occurred during the campaign of Donald Trump and his terms thereafter.
Elizabeth Holmes lured investors with her promise to change the world of medicine. According to the source, she used another company's technology to persuade investors and profited for her company, Theranos. Holmes was charged by the SEC with lying, she gained over seven hundred million dollars under false pretenses. She had to give away nineteen million shares of Theranos, as well as pay a half a million dollar fine.
The term Ponzi scheme is given to any scam that involves financial investments or pyramid schemes. Charles Ponzi was from Italy, and he immigrated to the United States. He committed the schemes on US soil and for two years, from nineteen eighteen to nineteen twenty, he made as much as two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a day overseeing a huge, international trading scam involving mail stamps and reply coupons.
Household name, Martha Stewart, was found guilty of conspiracy and obstruction of a agency for lying. Stewart was sentenced to five months in jail. A major new wave of business crime is on the rise, and it involves the world of cryptocurrency.
The first Ponzi scheme to involve Bitcoin started back in twenty twelve. A man named Trendon Shavers was found guilty of wire fraud and securities. He had ultimately scammed investors out of over one point two million dollars at that point. The real number is unknown, as the users of the platform did not know how mining and block chains worked. They had no knowledge because it was a new network, it was overlooked. (2012, remember)?
The Trump Organization was involved in corruption, and the Sinclair Broadcasting Group inserted political commentary into the shows it aired, mostly news broadcasts.
Amazon was charged with poor work conditions, and for being very rude to their labor.
Pepsi Corporation violated their worker's rights and General Electric did not pay all of their taxes. There are several other companies that have been involved in scandals over the last decade. Some of those are: Blackstone, Cadent, Straight Talk Wireless, Round Up Weed Killer, Pfizer, Merck, The National Football League of North America, and McDonald’s.
These companies were responsible for undercutting, or misleading their clients and employees.
A small-town incident happened in Fort Valley, Georgia at the courthouse in Peach County. A clerk there in a specific department had been embezzling the county funds for years. The lady accused was found guilty and put on probation. Thousands of dollars were lost, and in a small community, that could have made a big difference. Her husband was the Chief of the Fire Department and her son still works as a police officer. If one was to investigate their local government or officials, they may be surprised as to what they find.
Many are covering up for someone or being covered up for by someone. It can be a strange, dangerous world to become involved in.
Business Crimes can and do occur frequently and they affect the top of the chain down to the bottom.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Bri S