Posts tagged "white collar crime"

Why Do Smart People Make Bad Choices? Ethics Lapses and Emotional Triggers:

Human beings will have lapses of judgement – that’s just part of human nature.  But the question I often hear is why do smart people make bad choices?  And when they do what are the consequences?

In an article in it was reported that Assistant U.S. Attorney Mignonne Griffing of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana had a secret romance with a married FBI agent and failed to tell her bosses or defense counsel in two high-profile cases about her love interest.  Now, to be clear, when a person ceases to think from the rational part of their brain (yes this is fundamental brain science) they tend to rationalize their behavior and hence go to fight of flight mode of decision making.  That leads to consequences that are unpleasant at best and can be down right devastating.  Why do smart people make bad choices – most of the time there is an emotional trigger.  But before getting to that here’s the back story as reported in

Continue Reading

Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Ethical Behavior, ethics and tagged , , , ,

White Collar Crime Infographic

Guest information regarding White Collar Crime.

White collar crime is as old as business itself, with the pioneers of the art form resorting to crude measures to bilk others out of their hard-earned currency. One of the earliest recorded white collar crimes on record included an importer who, after taking out a loan to acquire goods for sale, planned to fake a shipwreck and make off with the goods and money. Now, plans to steal money have only grown more sophisticated, with scammers coming up with new and innovative ways to part people from their money. With insider trading, kickbacks and money laundering marring the reputation of corporations both small and large, some are coming to associate Wall Street with organized fraud and unchecked corporate greed.

Continue Reading

Posted by Chuck Gallagher in white collar crime and tagged , ,

5 Things to Know About White Collar Crime

Ethical transgressions manifest in a number of ways, including outright criminal behavior tied to an offender’s professional conduct within an organization. As one might expect; power and financial gain are common motivating forces prompting employees to go rogue. To many onlookers, however, white collar crime White Collar Crimecannot be easily rationalized. After all, many white collar criminals are already rich, so Middle America has a hard time relating to their drive to use fraudulent schemes to rein-in even bigger profits.

Each case is unique, but recent ethical meltdowns across financial industries have brought high-profile cases to the public eye, prompting a general sense of mistrust among casual observers. The fact is; individuals account for ethical missteps, so sweeping generalizations don’t always hold true. There are common features present in many stories of white collar crime, however, including the following observations about white collar crime.

Continue Reading

Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Guest Blog and tagged , , , ,

Barry Minkow faces Prison again! San Diego Community Bible Church defrauded

It’s often been said, “Once a criminal always a criminal.”  I disagree!  People make choices and some of them have very negative consequences.  I know I’ve made them and live with the consequences.  But, a bad choice doesn’t mean that one is bad.  Hum…in the case of Barry Minkow…well perhaps he’s an exception.  Certainly his actions would fully support what many think.

BARRY MINKOWFormer pastor and con man, Barry Minkow, age 48, was sentenced to five years in federal prison for stealing $3.5 million from his San Diego church and its members.  The tale of betrayal made the three-time felon one of the worst white-collar criminals according a federal judge.


Continue Reading

Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Church Fraud, Financial Fraud, fraud, Fraud Pure and Simple, prison, white collar crime and tagged , , , , , , ,

Glamorizing Crime – The Wolf of Wall Street misses the mark!

A movie critic I’m not, but I do know a thing or two about white collar crime (something I’m not proud of, but facts are facts) and the new movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” fails on so many fronts.  Don’t get me wrong, is the movie depiction a fairly accurate portrayal of the real life Jordan Belfort’s actions?  Yes!  So then why would I say that this movie misses the mark?  Simple – it glamorizes illegal and unethical actions for financial gain.  To me wolf-of-wall-street-trailerthe question is what is the redeeming value that one comes away with after seeing the flick?  For me the answer was nothing!

How is it that a smart person chooses to make unethical and illegal choices?  Simple – the combination of three things: (1) Need; (2) Opportunity and (3) Rationalization.

Continue Reading

Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Business and Personal Ethics, business ethics, Corporate Ethics, Ethical Behavior, Financial Fraud, fraud, Fraud Pure and Simple and tagged , , , , , ,

Wyoming Official – John Johnson – Charged for White Collar Crime. Every Choice has a Consequence!

At every business ethics presentation I have been involved with as of late, I start with the statement that “every choice has a consequence”.  It is a fundamental truth that none of us can escape and for those caught in white collar crime – it’s a statement at the root of the consequences that inevitably must be faced.

White Collar CrimeIndeed, if there is one single message in the world of ethics, it is to be aware of your choices and accept that consequences – either good or bad – will follow from the choices you make.

Case in point is the recent story reported by the Associated Press in a Sheridan Wyoming online publication dated March 28, 2013 entitled: “Wyoming Official Charged for White-Collar Crime.”

Continue Reading

Posted by Chuck Gallagher in business ethics, ethics, Ethics - Political, Insider Trading, Political Ethics, securities fraud, white collar crime and tagged , , , , , ,

KPMG India Fraud Survey – Patterns of Crime – Business Ethics and Fraud Prevention Expert Chuck Gallagher Comments

KPMG India

White Collar Crime up and Business Ethics Challenged?  Is that any surprise considering the vast changes in the world economy over the past four years?  With high profile cases like Bernie Madoff and a host of others, I have been asked multiple times if we reached a point where “White Collar Crime” may be on the decline.  My response is “heaven’s no!”  In fact, there are three components of an ethical lapse and the proliferation of “White Collar Crime” and NEED is at the top of the list!

When the Economy stinks NEED IS HIGH…

To my left is a graph from a KPMG India Fraud Survey – the entire report is found HERE.    In their report KPMG states that “White-collar crime in corporate India has witnessed a ‘substantial increase’ over the last two years.”

Continue Reading

Posted by Chuck Gallagher in ethics, Ethics - Political, ethics training, fraud, Fraud Pure and Simple, New Website, white collar crime and tagged , , , , ,

Michael Van Gilder Indicted for Insider Trading – Van Gilder professes Innocence.

If your buddy or close friend shares information about what’s going on with their company, visit in your head ( – made up website) and keep your mouth shut.  You can’t know something that someone else does not know, act on it for personal gain, and expect to remain free.  Van Gilder, a young man, now faces substantial time in federal prison – something that is life changing.

Notice how simply his alleged crime started and how it mushroomed.  There is a lesson here for others to learn!


Continue Reading

Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Insider Trading, New Website and tagged , , , , ,

Business Ethics as a Core Course in Business Schools? What a novel idea…or do you prefer an Orange Jumpsuit and Handcuffs?

Business Ethics as a core course in Buiness schools: What a novel idea is right…  It seems that what is OBVIOUS sometimes is missed by the masses.  Honesty, integrity, and ethics are – or should be – the core foundation for which we operate in life.  Yet, as Luigi Zingales points out in his article: “Business School should count ethics as a core course” it appears that all to often those who are at the top of the business food chain seem to forget the core of business fundamentals.

Zingales, in his article, states: “Recent scandals at Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and other banks might give the impression that the financial sector has some serious morality problems. Unfortunately, it’s worse than that: We are dealing with a drop in ethical standards throughout the business world, and our graduate schools are partly to blame.”

Continue Reading

Posted by Chuck Gallagher in business ethics, Business Schools, ethics, ethics training, New Website and tagged , , , , ,

Ethics and Consequences: Lessons Learned in Strange Places

Ethics and consequences: Thinking back 11 years ago, I would never have considered that I, a competent, well educated man, would be sitting in prison. That was a life educational experience where I learned, really for the first time, that there are consequences to every unethical choice we make. Though one might think that we can avoid the consequences, the reality is that they are unavoidable and certain. We just don’t know how or when we will face the inevitable.

ethics and consequences

Continue Reading

Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Business and Personal Ethics, business ethics, Choices and Consequences, CPA, white collar crime and tagged , , , ,