Principled Profit: The Good Business Blog

Musings on the world-wide movement for ethical business, frugal marketing, and how honesty, integrity, and quality combine with deep relationship building to create business success. By the originator of the Ethical Business Pledge campaign and award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and five other books

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Fox Gives Lessons at the Chicken Coop

I'm reminded of the old Doonsebury book title, "But The Pension Fund Was Just Sitting There!"

The above link is a Toronto Globe & Mail article about convicted embezzler Paul Coffin, who stole $1.55 million from the Canadian government. Somehow, the courts decided that partial restitution ($1 million) and community service were an appropriate punishment. So now he's in front of a class of 180 McGill University undergraduate business students.

He described Ottawa's sponsorship funds as a "cookie jar" that kept on giving.
"I seemed to just keep going back to the cookie jar that seemed to have no bottom and no lid," he said, according to several students.

He said the program failed to provide checks and balances. "The carte-blanche system played to my weakness."
Duh! It's not exactly rocket science that any government or private entity should have strong accounting safeguards, and that crooks will exploit weaknesses of those that don't.

Surely, having talked his way out of prison with community service, this man should be expected to provide some value for his "students"--and lessons applicable to the wider world.

I hope someone is holding him accountable--this time.


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