Saturday | July 13, 2002
Fox guarding the henhouse
Bush appointed Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson to head his "corporate SWAT team" task force. But, like Bush himself, Thompson carries plenty of baggage.
Turns out that Thompson was a director at Providian Financial Corp. at a time when the company engaged in massive consumer and securities fraud. I say "massive" because the company paid more than $400 million to settle the charges. The company is also facing a class-action suit by employees alleging Enron-style shenanigans.
Of course, Thompson's spokesperson claims his boss was ignorant of any wrongdoing, and then "personally took the lead in making the company do the right thing." Yeah. Once the fraud was exposed by investigators. Directors have a fiduciary duty to a company's investors. If Thompson didn't know about Providian's frauds, then he was negligent in his responsibilities. If he did know, then he was a party to the fraud. Neither option inspires much confidence in his ability to, as he said, pursue corporate criminals with “with vigor and an aggressive manner.”Posted July 13, 2002 10:13 AM | Comments (1)