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Showing posts from November, 2006

Wall Street Journal Law Blog Asks Are Sentences Meted Out for White Collar Felons Too Long and I Answer Their Blog

In a recent commentary written by Peter Lattman in the Wall Street Journal Law Blog entitled “Are Sentences for These Men Too Long?” he listed the following sentences recently given to white collar felons:



Twenty-five years for WorldCom’s Bernie Ebbers. Twenty-four years, four months for Enron’s Jeff Skilling. Twenty years for Adelphia’s Timothy Rigas. Twelve years for CA’s Sanjay Kumar. 8 1/3-to-25 years for Tyco’s Dennis Kozlowski. Six years for Enron’s Andrew Fastow. Five years for WorldCom’s Scott Sullivan.

His commentary was based on an article posted in the Sentencing Law and Commentary blog entitled “The realities of mass US incarceration” which is based on a report by National Council on Crime and Delinquency entitled “US Rates of Incarceration: A Global Perceptive" by Peter Hartney.


The report specified that:

The US incarcerates the largest number of people in the world. The incarceration rate in the US is four times the world average. Some individual US states imprison up t…

Crazy Eddie Trademark - Not very Valuable

I read other blogs and from time to time post my comments. Recently I came across the Strategic Name Development blog and took notice of a commentary posted “Trademarks and Superstitions” about trademark issues.

At the bottom of the commentary written by William Lozito published on November 6, 2006 was the following observation:

“And sometimes, as is the case with the Crazy Eddie trademark, you may think you have a valuable trademarked brand name… and be unable to sell it.”
Recently the owners of the Crazy Eddie trademark attempted to sell it on ebay but were unable to sell it at the price they were seeking.

I posted the following comment on his blog:
“It is ironic that you chose November 6 (the same day we lost control of Crazy Eddie in a hostile takeover) for your post about the value of trademarks - specifically ‘Crazy Eddie.’"

A trade mark is only as good as the public's perception of the integrity behind it. The Crazy Eddie name is and probably always will be associated with o…

Audit Committees and External Auditors: A Perfect Storm for Disaster

We are supposed to believe that public company external auditors working with audit committees pose an effective deterrent against corporate malfeasance.

However, from my own experience at Crazy Eddie and listening to the experiences of others audits are over-used as training grounds for inexperienced, under trained, and not adequately educated staffers no more than a couple of years out of college.

Worst yet, is the lack of sufficient supervision and oversight their managers and audit partners exercise over them. Many of these managers and partners too suffer from an educational background that did not adequately prepare them to deal with clients such as criminals like I was.

As a result we get “packaged” and “process oriented audits” where a “fill in the blanks” and “check the boxes” approach on audit programs are prevalent. The criminal like I was who always has the initiative and uses a judgment based approach has a fundamental advantage over the external auditors. The external audit…

Response to Senator Schumer and Mayor Bloomberg Commentary on Sarbanes-Oxley “Reform”

Dear Senator Charles E. Schumer and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg:

I read with great interest you commentary entitled “To Save New York, Learn from London” published in the Wall Street Journal on November 1, 2006.

While your commentary raises many valid issues, there are some issues I respectfully ask you to consider before you decide on any “reform” of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

In your commentary you wrote:
“Since its passage, auditing expenses for companies doing business in the U.S. have grown far beyond anything Congress had anticipated.”Prior to Sarbanes Oxley accounting firms used to offer consulting services to the client’s they audited. I ask you to consider that prior to Sarbanes Oxley accounting firms would keep audit fees artificially low (as a loss leader) so they could attract higher margin consulting business from their current and future clients.

In addition I would caution against “turning back the clock” and having the inherent “conflict of interest” of having such accounting f…