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Nortel Executives Found Not Guilty On Fraud Charges 151

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the on-to-the-next-job dept.
Following up on the earlier story about Nortel execs waiting for a ruling in their corporate fraud case, new submitter Unknown1337 writes "Something doesn't add up when a multi-billion dollar corporation loses it's value so quickly, but the courts have decided it wasn't intentional fraud by the executives that caused it."
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Nortel Executives Found Not Guilty On Fraud Charges

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  • Malice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RenHoek (101570) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @04:15AM (#42589341) Homepage

    "Do not attribute to malice, what can be adequately explained by stupidity."

    Still, this does not pass the smell test..

    • Re:Malice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mitreya (579078) <mitreyaNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @04:26AM (#42589353)

      "Do not attribute to malice, what can be adequately explained by stupidity."

      I don't know that someone triggering a $12.8 million bonus payout for themselves can be adequately explained by stupidity. I don't know of a lot of Mr. Bean-like millionaires that just stupidly stumbled into wealth

      ...accused of participating in a book-cooking scheme designed to trigger $12.8 million in bonuses and stocks for themselves at the once powerful Canadian technology giant.

      • Re:Malice (Score:4, Insightful)

        by telchine (719345) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @08:14AM (#42590097)

        I don't know of a lot of Mr. Bean-like millionaires that just stupidly stumbled into wealth

        GW Bush comes to mind.

        • Re:Malice (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @09:30AM (#42590455)

          I don't know of a lot of Mr. Bean-like millionaires that just stupidly stumbled into wealth

          GW Bush comes to mind.

          Seriously, you still believe this propoganda? His staff has flat out admitted they intentionally tried to make him look dumb and "Country-boyish" to appeal to his core constiuency. The guy graduated from one of the best schools in the country, lead the entire quite well (allthough you may disagree with the direction) and won 2 terms to office in what's considered to be 2 of the toughest elections in modern history. The boy ain't dumb, he was just fake'n.

          • by schnell (163007)

            The boy ain't dumb, he was just fake'n.

            Stupid is as stupid does... and I would counterargue that launching a war on false premises that cost tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars - with no real plan to "win the peace" - does not put you in Brainiac territory. Throw on top of that a well-intentioned but badly misguided "ownership society" set of policies that fueled the housing and accompanying banking meltdowns, and and you are left with a less than intellectually stellar legacy. Also, in my mind, getting accepted and gr

            • by Anonymous Coward

              But I really don't believe that you can make a case that Bush was even of adequate intelligence when it came to exercising intellect when being "the decider" on most of the big issues in his presidency.

              You just described every president I can think of in recent memory, regardless of party affiliation. In US politics, the President is controlled by his cabinet. He's just a talking head. Been that way for a long time now.

            • by Darby (84953)

              Stupid is as stupid does... and I would counterargue that launching a war on false premises that cost tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars - with no real plan to "win the peace" - does not put you in Brainiac territory.

              He and his buddies stole billions and his kids didn't get murdered for it he sent off the kids of the rubes who were stupid enough to vote for him to be murdered for the massive theft, so what does he care if he tanked the economy and murdered a lot of people to do

          • Re:Malice (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Genda (560240) <[mariet] [at] [got.net]> on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:36PM (#42596757) Journal

            I'm gonna do this real fast, so with any luck, we can all put this to bed once and for all. George isn't the worst human being alive. He isn't bright. He's not retarded either. He is a criminal, involved in criminal conspiracies (the majority of evidence points to Dick Cheney as the primary perpetrator in most cases, but George was right there in the thick of it.) George ignored critical warnings on National Security leading directly to 9/11, instead George was setting the record for the longest summer vacation by a President in History, while Dick Cheney and the Bush Cabinet were desperately trying to revive the Star Wars Program from the 80s so Dick could funnel billions of dollars into Halliburton. George was involved in multiple national deceptions leading to a completely pointless and disastrous war in Iraq. He gutted the Bill of Rights, burned down the Geneva Convention, and sequestered innocent Americans to far off countries to be tortured to no particular value for National Security. He knew precisely what Catrina would do to New Orleans (he was in an emergency National Security Council meeting going over the projected impacts of the storm shortly before storm fall.) He let the disaster in New Orleans happen without aid or intervention. To this day, there is no reliable count of the number of people that died in the flood. What is available is that tens of thousands of poor people lost their homes forever and that wealthy property speculators have made billions of dollars snapping up their property at pennies on the dollar. This my friends was a cynical land grab, foisted on the backs of the poor who the government saw as a problem, and this was their solution. The property values of the 7th ward are now dramatically up. I could go on ad nauseum, but it should be absolutely clear that this administration was little more than a criminal syndicate and that we had 8 years of corporate hit men running our nation. The fact the George might or might not be an imbecile seems frankly unimportant in the face of the damage he did. I don't care if he's stupid, I do care that he broke my country, obstructed justice, destroyed two cities, and crashed the economy not once, but twice. George W. Bush is the worst thing to happen to the United States since the Civil War. We will pay for his disasters for at least another generation. Personally I hope he's a genius so he can fully appreciate what a toxic flow of human sewage he and his entire administration were. Oh, and for those who need references, ping me, I have about 4,000, The most amazing thing was that his crimes are so well documented and like the Bankers on Wall Steet, instead of sharing a cell with Bernie Madoff, they walk the streets, free men.

          • by tehcyder (746570)

            The guy graduated from one of the best schools in the country

            In the UK there are plenty of posh thickos in highly paid jobs who went to the right public school and university.

        • by Genda (560240)

          Actually this would be the class of millionaires that became such by stumbling out of a "Jackpot" womb, and there are more than a couple of those... ask Paris Hilton.

      • I don't know that someone triggering a $12.8 million bonus payout for themselves can be adequately explained by stupidity. I don't know of a lot of Mr. Bean-like millionaires that just stupidly stumbled into wealth

        In general this is true, but the ones who just stupidly stumbled into wealth seem to buy professional sports teams in the USA. Each of the four major sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL) has owners who make you scratch your head and ask "How on earth could somebody that stupid be so rich?" In some cases it's simply that dad was a genius and rich and junior just inherited his money.

        • I like to think upper end of the spectrum intelligence is a required attribute in many of our science, engineering, mathematics, and problem-solving vocations. There are positions in industry, however, that are seemingly best suited to those with no moral compass at all. It is not that these two conditions are mutually exclusive, merely that a complete lack of ethics is the most decisive trait in determining who will Captain our industry. Very often intelligence is burdened with that pesky human conditio
    • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @04:59AM (#42589441)
      Just another example of the two tiered justice system [salon.com] we now enjoy around the world.

      two-tiered justice system — the way in which political and financial elites now enjoy virtually full-scale legal immunity for even the most egregious lawbreaking, while ordinary Americans, especially the poor and racial and ethnic minorities, are subjected to exactly the opposite treatment: the world’s largest prison state and most merciless justice system.

      • Quoted from here [salon.com]:

        In Financial Crisis, No Prosecutions of Top Figures.” It asks: “why, in the aftermath of a financial mess that generated hundreds of billions in losses, have no high-profile participants in the disaster been prosecuted?” And it recounts that not only have no high-level culprits been indicted (or even subjected to meaningful criminal investigations), but few have suffered any financial repercussions in the form of civil enforcements or other lawsuits. The evidence of rampant criminality that led to the 2008 financial crisis is overwhelming [nakedcapitalism.com], but perhaps the clearest and most compelling such evidence comes from long-time Wall-Street-servant Alan Greenspan; even he was forced to acknowledge [steadfastfinances.com] that much of the precipitating conduct was “certainly illegal and clearly criminaland that [huffingtonpost.com] “a lot of that stuff was just plain fraud.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          And yet,

          so many people who were 'against' the occupy movement and everyone still believes in trickle down economics.
          Really if you think about it. Trickle up makes a lot more sense.
          Why should millionaires who get another few million really spend any of it? Just add it to the pile.

          I think Michael Moore did it best, he went into the Wall street buildings and tried to make some citizens arrests. That's what should've happened en mass.

          • by daem0n1x (748565) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:16AM (#42589727)

            And yet,

            so many people who were 'against' the occupy movement and everyone still believes in trickle down economics. Really if you think about it. Trickle up makes a lot more sense.

            If you succeed in destroying someone's deeply entrenched beliefs using facts and logic, that person won't change his mind but will hate your guts forever.

            • by johnjaydk (584895)

              If you succeed in destroying someone's deeply entrenched beliefs using facts and logic, that person won't change his mind but will hate your guts forever.

              Best line I've heard in a long time. I'm so going to steal it.

            • by murdocj (543661)

              I have a deeply entrenched belief that people are people, and that people who gravitate to power and wealth often do so by unethical means, and that the people in the Occupy movement would be just as bad if they came into power. If someone has some amazing way to ensure justice and decent treatment for all of us, I'm all for it, but in the absence of that, the current system is as good as it gets.

              • by daem0n1x (748565)

                Let me analyse your logic. I hear this type of non-sequitur a lot:

                1. People currently in power are bad;
                2. If OWS people went to power, they'd be bad;
                3. So, the bad people currently in power are better than the OWS people, if they were in power.

                You got Aristotle turning in his grave.

                • by murdocj (543661)

                  Did you actually bother to read what I wrote?

              • If you work on the basis that people trying to get into a position of power are doing so for one of two reasons:
                1. Personal gain, money, power, influence, and the chance to live the high life; or
                2. A genuine desire to help people and with the conviction that they are able to improve the lot of all people,

                then when the people get into power, one of three things will happen.
                Those who go in for reason 1 (and who are not dumb enough to get caught) will line their pockets. Those who go in for reason 2 will be of

              • by Hatta (162192)

                Because nothing is perfect we should never try to be better than we are? Really?

                • by tehcyder (746570)

                  Because nothing is perfect we should never try to be better than we are? Really?

                  That is pretty much the basis of conservative politics.

                  You either believe in progress or you don't, and conservatives don't: they always think that things were better fifty or a hundred years ago.

              • by tehcyder (746570)

                I have a deeply entrenched belief that people are people, and that people who gravitate to power and wealth often do so by unethical means, and that the people in the Occupy movement would be just as bad if they came into power. If someone has some amazing way to ensure justice and decent treatment for all of us, I'm all for it, but in the absence of that, the current system is as good as it gets.

                What political illiterates like you fail to realise is that the Occupy movement would at least set up a fair SYSTEM. It's the system that's wrong, individuals just have to work within that system.

                It's not the fault of the sociopathic people at the top, it's the fault of a system that requires people to be sociopathic to get to the top. A CEO should not earn 100x what a cleaner does. Both of them are part of the organisation and have specific roles to play, so should be paid the same, or at the most the

            • It's not trickle up it's flow or flood up. Then off to the Cayman Islands.
            • by tehcyder (746570)

              If you succeed in destroying someone's deeply entrenched beliefs using facts and logic, that person won't change his mind but will hate your guts forever.

              You must hang around with a lot of stupid people then.

          • by lxs (131946)

            The Occupy movement was like a safety valve, a way for the little guy to blow off steam before the whole thing blows up so the status quo can be maintained, not a movement that proposed realistic plans for reform.

          • Why should millionaires who get another few million really spend any of it?

            Because if they dont their employees will find a job that actually pays them.

          • by nedlohs (1335013)

            They both make sense. Trickle down is supply side. Trickle up is demand side.

            "Add it to the pile" is the desired outcome of "trickle down", since adding it to the pile mean investing it. That investment ends up funding businesses and the economy grows.

            Trickle up would increase spending and hence demand which businesses will hopefully then meet by expanding.

            Trickle down has problems of course. The most obvious being that not all investment goes to businesses - the US government, for example, also borrows a f

            • by cusco (717999)
              Trickle down has problems of course. The most obvious being that...

              The most obvious being that it doesn't work and has never worked anywhere in the dozens of countries that it has been implemented. Ever. Anywhere. The historical reality is that giving the rich and powerful more riches and more power just means that they will grab an ever-larger share of everything for themselves at the expense of the less-rich and less-powerful. This has been the outcome of every case of trickle-down economics that
              • by nedlohs (1335013)

                How is that not working?

                Does GDP not go up? What does income and wealth distribution have to do with it?

                Or are you referring to what the "will trickle down to the poor" part of the name, but everyone knows that's garbage so why resurrect it?

                • Because GDP is a calculation of cost centers, and not a calculation of utility or productivity, what your really looking for is total factor productivity.

                  You could hire a dozen painters to do nothing but paint your portrait, and the GDP and employment would certainly go up, but would it do anything better for the world?

                  The problem is that much of the raise in GDP is "non productive consumption" or "luxury goods" or just cartels creating piles of imaginary capital.

                • Here is an example:

                  Your iphone breaks, the replacement screen is $50. You fix it yourself in 2 hours GDP goes up $50

                  You sell it to someone online to fix it up $200, take 2 hours to fix it with the $50 part, and they sell it online again (back to you) for $350 GDP goes up $600

                • by tehcyder (746570)

                  How is that not working?

                  Does GDP not go up? What does income and wealth distribution have to do with it?

                  Or are you referring to what the "will trickle down to the poor" part of the name, but everyone knows that's garbage so why resurrect it?

                  The people who invented "trickle down" economics most certainly did say that it would make everyone richer, and thus "trickle down to the poor".

                  Remember "a rising tide floats both large and small boats" or whatever other metaphor sounded good?

                  As someone says below, GDP in itself doesn't prove anything.

            • by Genda (560240)

              No they don't. Trickle down has never made sense. Its what George H. W. Bush called "Voodoo Economics" and wherever it had been tried before lead to uncontrollable "Boom - Bust" cycles terminating in economic collapse. This is not a new theory and is directly attributable to the "Panic of 1896 [wikipedia.org]". Paul Krugman said "The specific set of foolish ideas that has laid claim to the name "supply side economics" is a crank doctrine that would have had little influence if it did not appeal to the prejudices of editors

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          I've come to believe that it's down to appearances in the end.

          Take a wall street exec for example - they dress nice, they may be a bit extravagant, but are otherwise "normal" in the eyes of society. They "obey" the rules (for the most part), generally follow the norms of society, wash regularly and look presentable. Prosecutors know if you want to charge them, you really need an airtight case, otherwise they'll just pull out the charm card of how they help starving children, blah blah blah and are otherwise

      • by daem0n1x (748565) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:11AM (#42589699)

        Fortunately we don't live in a Communist system. Remember how in the former Soviet Block the members of the Intelligentsia used to commit crimes with total impunity while the common people had to obey the law and dissidents were convicted based on bogus accusations?

        I'm so happy we live in Western Capitalist Democracy where none of those things happen.

      • by raind (174356)

        Another example: HSBC where one of the penalties was to reduce bonuses for executives.

        http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213 [rollingstone.com]

      • by steelfood (895457)

        No, they allowed the DOJ install wiretaps on their boxes, so they call in a favor and get a pass.

        On the other hand, Joseph Nacchio, who did not allow the Feds to act with impunity, got convicted of insider trading.

        Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

    • ...the courts have decided it wasn't intentional fraud by the executives that caused it

      That's not exactly true. This is what was said by the judge. Notice how very careful the judge is with his words.

      Ontario Superior Court Justice Frank Marrocco dismissed fraud charges against former Nortel chief executive Frank Dunn, former chief financial officer Douglas Beatty and ex-controller Michael Gollogly, saying the Crown had failed to meet “the high standard of proof” in a criminal case.

      “I am not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Frank A. Dunn, Douglas C. Beatty and Michael J. Gollogly deliberately misrepresented the financial results of Nortel Networks Corporation,” Justice Marrocco said in his ruling.

      He noted, however, that the case is separate from civil actions brought by securities regulators and a mediation process resuming in Toronto this week aimed at divvying up about $9 billion in insolvent Nortel’s remaining assets.

    • by jbeaupre (752124)

      I recently asked a former prosecutor this question: "People demand that Wall Street bankers be prosecuted. What offenses could they be charged with?" His short answer was nothing. His explanation was very enlightening.

      The long answer is they could be charged with all sorts of stuff, but proving it is difficult. There are two things that need to be proven: Guilty hand and guilty mind. The guilty hand is easy to see. With financial disasters, it's easy to prove that somebody is guilty of screwing the po

      • by cusco (717999)
        Interesting, especially since they have emails and memos from Goldman Sachs personnel where they clearly talk about how they're perpetrating fraud. I suppose it might be difficult for a prosecutor to get re-elected if he manages to piss off the financial community sufficiently that they bankroll his opponent (or set him up with a prostitution charge).
        • by idontgno (624372)

          Interesting, especially since they have emails and memos from Goldman Sachs personnel where they clearly talk about how they're perpetrating fraud.

          Interesting. But I don't think awareness that they're breaking the law would really be enough. The element not visible in retrospect is that they expected to get away with it. No one turns in a successful (i.e., money-making) fraud, not if they're defrauding a tenuous and ill-defined mass of humanity (e.g., mortgageholders). If you're making money, you're presu

          • by Genda (560240)

            This doesn't explain where clear and obvious fraud was perpetrated by banks selling what they new were bad stocks to their customers while at the same time betting against those same stocks to increase their own bottom line. Still nobody went to jail, committing obvious acts of fraud, with documented testimony from witnesses and still nobody goes to jail.

            FACE IT... bankers are like Hollywood stars... unless you actually arrive at the scene and film them sawing someone's head off... they don't go to jail.

    • by Pinhedd (1661735)

      Any sufficiently shocking display of stupidity is indistinguishable from malice

  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @04:35AM (#42589373)
    That shows how good they were at cooking the books, if malpractise can't be proven. They should open a school for Creative Accounting.
    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      That shows how good they were at cooking the books, if malpractise can't be proven.

      They should open a school for Creative Accounting.

      What for? The guy is already a millionaire several dozen times over?

  • by jimicus (737525) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:04AM (#42589453)

    This is one of those cases where the defendant can't possibly win.

    If guilty: they dishonestly re-jigged a companies accounts so as to pay themselves a massive bonus. Fraudsters of the highest order.

    If not guilty: Not the point. They were in charge of Nortel. If they (totally innocently) re-jigged the accounts thinking it would do the company good, gave themselves a massive bonus as a big pat on the back and then found the company collapsing around their ears, they're still responsible. Only instead of being fraudsters, they're dangerously incompetent.

    • Never work again. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rande (255599) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:25AM (#42589535) Homepage

      Oh gee, how will they ever survive on the mere millions they've got in the bank? They might have to cut back right down to the bone, where they can no longer afford a new car every month, have to give up 3 of their 5 mistresses, and settle for only a gold swimming pool instead of the platinum one they set their little hearts on.

      • What's worse (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DarthVain (724186) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:54AM (#42591803)

        What's worse is this is one of those cases where the corporation dipped into or underfunded the pension plan, so when they went under they took all their past and current employees with them.

        Just imagine how you might feel having worked your whole life, retire on a fixed pension, then hear about these execs that get 12million bonus OVER their salary, and stock, to tank the company (perhaps illegally cooking books in process), which btw ends up reducing your pension income by 33% or whatever.

        I'm just suprised these sort of jerks (Nortel isn't the only one) arn't beaten to death by walkers and canes from cheated pensioners.

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      Yeah, I guess they'll have nothing but the millions of dollars they swindled to cover up the shame of having swindled money. The fuck? They got away with murder, plain and simple.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:18AM (#42589497)

    Download academic articles? Go to prison and be tortured for decades.

    Falsify records, ruin a company for your own personal enrichment, and defraud hundreds of thousands of shareholders along the way? No fucking problem.

    America is winning a worldwide race to the bottom.

  • by beckett (27524) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:42AM (#42589599) Homepage Journal
    Nortel was subject to an organized [www.cbc.ca], sustained industrial espionage effort conducted by Chinese companies. Huawei [www.cbc.ca] was specifically named by Brian Shields [theglobeandmail.com], Systems Security Advisor for Nortel at the time of the attacks (at the time Huawei supposedly were even copying Nortel's instruction manuals). Shields petitioned Royal Canadian Mounted Police [cdfai.org] in 2004, because even the CEO's computer had been compromised.

    the rootkits employed on Nortel hardware were sophisticated enough to survive formatting [canada.com]. it wasn't until recently that Canadian Security and Intelligence Service became interested in the role Huawei had in Nortel's demise [cantechletter.com]

    I suggest the story of Nortel's demise has not been fully revealed. Nortel presented with a sudden, public exanguination and it has been a mystery in Canadian IT industry. This is not just another "golden parachutes" story.
    • by Maow (620678)

      Nortel was subject to an organized [www.cbc.ca], sustained industrial espionage effort conducted by Chinese companies. Huawei [www.cbc.ca] was specifically named by Brian Shields [theglobeandmail.com], Systems Security Advisor for Nortel at the time of the attacks (at the time Huawei supposedly were even copying Nortel's instruction manuals). Shields petitioned Royal Canadian Mounted Police [cdfai.org] in 2004, because even the CEO's computer had been compromised.

      The rootkits employed on Nortel hardware were sophisticated enough to survive formatting [canada.com]. it wasn't until recently that Canadian Security and Intelligence Service became interested in the role Huawei had in Nortel's demise [cantechletter.com]

      I suggest the story of Nortel's demise has not been fully revealed. Nortel presented with a sudden, public exanguination and it has been a mystery in Canadian IT industry. This is not just another "golden parachutes" story.

      Thank you for posting these links in one convenient location. I'm working my way through them and ... just ... "Wow".

      I was vaguely aware of some of the allegations previously, but not the extent of them.

      I've considered us to be engaged in a "cyber-war" for quite a while, but still there's more I have to do to lock down my systems.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I was an employee of Nortel, and I do not buy this completely. It might have happened - for sure, but Nortel was so slow that even otherwise, its demise was on the cards. Once I was part of a big project - which was supposed to be 50+ people for 9 months - which in the end ballooned to 150+ people and was not over even after 2 years. Not that these sort of overruns doesnt happen in other companies - but the project itself was to implement one existing specification in their system 2 years after all their co

      • by terjeber (856226)

        Please note that I was a small time developer in one area, so in other areas they might have been much better

        They were not. I think remember the management software side of Nortel had a couple of thousand people in it at one point in time. They produced less than tiny startups with skills did, and were utterly incapable of taking advice. At least until about 2005-6 or so. At that time they were open to advice, but it was too late.

      • by rochrist (844809)
        The also were a telco trying to move away from a dying business. Their 'solution' was to buy technology left and right and then have no clear path to integrating it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I agree that Brian Shields' claims do not add up. As a fellow former Nortel employee employed at the time, it was not Huawei the execs were concerned with. The groups they were most concerned with were Cisco and Lucent. I had never heard them even mention the name of Huawei at the time (~2001 when the biggest decline started). The timeline doesn't even make sense. Supposedly, the hacking started in 2000, but the big downturn (and massive layoffs) hit throughout 2001 (in seemingly endless waves). That

    • by terjeber (856226)

      Come on, those things were not part of the Nortel demise. Nortel's demise started long before Huawei was a serious player outside of the poorest third world countries. Huawei has also gone after CISCO's market far more than Nortel's market. Nortel collapsed due to incompetence. For example:

      A small company called Xros (X as in the Greek letter Chi) was started by some guys who wanted to create a laser printer using mems technologies. The VC said "no, forget about laser printer, her is a ton of cash, go and c

      • by terjeber (856226)

        Oh, and I should mention, about a year or two later, all activities related to the Xros acquisition was halted. Nortel wanted to play cool with the likes of CISCO, but had none of the (management and sales) talent.

  • Wealth (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaMattster (977781) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:10AM (#42589689)
    It would seem that - with isolated exceptions - having wealth is a get out of responsibility free card. Society generally is more forgiving of the transgressions of the wealthy than of the working class. I wonder why this is because these transgressions can be just as serious yet we more readily forgive them. Look at past political figures and scandal: they often make comebacks. It is difficult for the working class person to make any kind of comeback after scandal. It is an interesting double standard.
    • by paiute (550198)

      It would seem that - with isolated exceptions - having wealth is a get out of responsibility free card. Society generally is more forgiving of the transgressions of the wealthy than of the working class.

      This has been the way of the world since... well, forever.

    • by nebosuke (1012041)

      In the interest of being pedantic (this is /. after all), I would argue that Society is not necessarily more forgiving, but that the punishment is effectively negligible or trivial to people with sufficient resources.

      It is difficult for a working class person to make a comeback simply because a large enough scandal will ruin him/her to the point that all of their attention is focused on scraping together the basic necessities of life, whereas someone with sufficient funds in the bank can focus their time on

    • by cusco (717999)
      I'll guarantee that within a couple of years all of these bozos will be leading other companies into their own financial train wrecks. And then go on to other companies and keep it up until retirement. They all sit on the boards of other corporations as well, in the incestuous little world of corporate executives who reward each other with cash and stock options for doing nothing but dialing into a conference call once every month or two to provide "leadership" to the plebes. If you've ever been a fan of
  • by Dynamoo (527749) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:13AM (#42589713) Homepage
    What a load of bullshit.. Nortel's infamous "return to profitability" is almost a textbook example of a dying company fiddling the books. I hope that the Canadian government takes this to appeal, else it looks like Canadian corporations can get away with whatever they like if they blow enough cash on lawyers..
    • by SeaFox (739806)

      Why would the Canadian government appeal the case when their country suddenly took a step up in the list of best places to incorporate your business? Still a long way from Ireland, but an improvement that might bring in more investors.

      • by Dynamoo (527749)
        Well, I suppose putting a sign up saying "Fraudsters Welcome" might attract business. Actually, isn't that what Delaware has been doing for years?
  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @08:48AM (#42590247)

    I just heard an interview with a forensic accountant who served as an expert witness for the plaintiffs. He said he was surprised the prosecution tried to make its case on the most difficult, least provable grounds possible. He also suggested other lines of attack that would have been much more likely to get a conviction.

    For anybody interested, the interview was on the CBC Radio show Metro Morning.

    • by cusco (717999)
      I'm not surprised, the prosecutor probably was well aware that it's dangerous to piss off people of that income level. Be too successful and your next target might try a preemptive attack on your finances/reputation/security clearance/whatever. If they've already committed on massive fraud affecting thousands of people, what's one more affecting just one?
    • by Genda (560240)

      As other will certainly point out, the prosecutors will appear to do their best, fail and shake their heads saying we gave it our best shot, when in fact no real attempt has been or will be made to hold any of these people to account. There are many good reasons, but the best is that this is a small circle of very well connected people. They look out for their own because when you live at the top you need to lock arms and and fight together to keep the top tiers safe for those in power.

      These people have the

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @10:53AM (#42591035)
    "Something doesn't add up when a multi-billion dollar corporation loses it's value so quickly"
    I figured out what it is! It's the apostrophe in the word "it's." It isn't supposed to be there grammatically. Woo, tricky one but I got it.
  • Nortel? How long does it take? No wonder the banks haven't been charged with anything...
    • by Mashiki (184564)

      In Canada the Criminal Code has no statue of limitations(unless specified) and there are two. Treason(no more than 3 years), and summery conviction charges(where the person can be served with time in prison under 2 years).

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