Tom O'Larnic: Large-scale fraud

February 12, 2013 

Too big to jail

On Feb. 9 you reported that the $8 million WakeMed settlement was approved (“Judge approves WakeMed plea deal”).

It was a massive head fake by the judge. A lot of big talk, but in the end, same old story. You can get away with crimes by committing them on a large scale.

In the same edition, (“Ex-soldier gets prison for fraud”) you reported that two ex-soldiers were convicted for defrauding the government . One got 30 months in federal prison and a $480,000 fine, the other four years and an $800,000 fine. Their failure was they weren’t clever enough; acted on too small a scale, got caught and now the legal system will make them pay.

If you want to defraud the government, find a large organization, maybe WakeMed, and take your shot. So what if you get caught. Just pay the fine. Cost of doing business. After all they can’t really punish a corporation because to do so would hurt countless innocent people. What’s the downside?

Precedence set, license to steal. Here’s the playbook for defrauding the government.

Make these crimes more personal. Replace “the government” with “you and me.”

Tom O’Larnic

Wake Forest

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