How Egregious Does It Have To Be?

I just read in the Wall Street Journal that MF Global, former Senator and Governor Jon S. Corzine's investment firm, took $1.2 Billion from customer's account, more than double that which was previous estimated.

A couple of days ago I tweeted that the ex-Guv/ex-Sen must have forgotten that only government can play fast and loose with money (both theirs and other people's) in that manner without suffering the penalty of illegality.

Now it appears that they have stolen (there is no other word for it) a HUGE sum of money. What will the penalty be?

At what point does over a billion dollars become a big enough sum to warrant swift and harsh retribution by the authorities? At what point does the management of that company forfeit everything that they personally own in order to make investors whole? At what point do these people spend the rest of their lives in jail?

A long, long time ago I sat on a jury which convicted a ghetto guy of grabbing 10 cartons of cigarettes from a 7-11 and dashing out the front door. Yes, he was a repeat offender, but he did not threaten the clerk with a firearm, nor did he hurt anyone in the process. He had gotten off easy with his earlier offenses and I think that our jury wanted to teach him a lesson.

Can someone explain to me how MF Global is any different from the ghetto dude, except that MF Global has upped the stakes by 10,000,000X?

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