The Ethics Of The Enron Scandal

1902 Words Jun 7th, 2015 8 Pages
Ethical Scrapbook In the three excerpts that will be discussed in this report there is a theme. That theme is ethics or the lack there of. What all three of these cases have in common is that people were willing to trade in their reputations, their livelihood and in some cases their personal freedom to get what they wanted. In two of the examples, the prize they sought was money, pure and simply a case of greed. Importantly, these people already had significant wealth, and they were willing to take the chance on losing what they had already attained to get more. In the other case, the defendant’s ethics are what initiated his behavior.

The first story is without a doubt one of the most serious cases of its kind. The Enron
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In February 2004, Jeffrey Skilling pled not guilty to charges of wire fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy, insider trading and making false statements on financial reports (Silverstein, 2013). In addition, Kenneth Lay was charged with fraud and making misleading statements, he pled not guilty. The trial began in January 2006, in the end Mr. Lay and Mr. Skilling were found guilty of lying to investors, employees and regulators in an effort to conceal the loses of the company (Silverstein, 2013). Eventually, Mr. Skilling was sentenced to twenty-four years in prison however, in July 2013 his sentence was reduced by ten years. Although, Mr. Lay was also found guilty, he died July 5, 2006 at his home in Aspen Co. before being sentenced. This scandal epitomized the excesses of the 1990’s and the management failures of that era.

The Secret Sharer On September 11, 2001 Thomas Drake began his first full day of work as a civilian employee at the National Security Administration (N.S.A.) (Mayer, 2011). Mr. Drake is a linguist and a computer expert with a background in Military crypto-electronics, he had worked for twelve years as an outside contractor at the N.S.A. under a program code named “Jackpot”, he focused on finding and fixing weaknesses in the agency’s software programs (Mayer, 2011). As the 9/11 attacks took their toll on the country, what the N.S.A, knew or should have known became a hot topic.

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