We often view successful CEOs as very intelligent and hard-working people who played their games right and go rewarded immensely. While this is true for most, a good number of chief executives did cut corners to get to where they are. Some got up there through honest works and were corrupted by power.
The law takes care of any criminal who is caught, and we have seen many CEOs go from the boardroom to the cell block. Here, we will briefly discuss four high-profile arrests of CEOs that will likely interest you:
Martin L Grass
Martin Grass is one lucky kid who messed up along the line. The son of the company founder, Alex Grass, Martin was heading the drugstore chain, Rite-Aid. Four years into his reign, he was forced to resign with several other high-ranking executives of his company. He pleaded guilty in 2004 and agreed to serve at least eight years in prison.
Walter Forbes’ story started on a sweet note. As CEO of Comp-U-Card (GUC), he was proud to merge with Hospitality Franchise System in 1998 to form Cendant. He retained his position as the CEO of the new company, but the corporation discovered that he grossly misrepresented the financial status of GUC. He insisted he knew nothing about the situation but was indicted in 2001. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison and $3.28 billion in damages.
Joseph Nacchio was running a supposedly successful telecommunication company, Qwest, until his indictment in March 2005 by the SEC. He was actually indicted with several executives for offenses ranging from inflating revenue estimates to lying about nonexistent forthcoming government contracts. He was sentenced to six years in prison in 2007 but has continued to fight.
Richard Scrushy was getting away with several illicit practices for as much as 20 years. He was nabbed while serving as the CEO of HealthSouth. He was first indicted on charges of conspiracy, securities fraud, money laundering, and mail fraud in 2003. A true criminal, Scrushy escaped justice and was acquitted on all charges in June 2005. The bigger one hit him just four months afterward when he was indicted on 30 counts of extortion, obstruction of justice, money laundering, racketeering, and bribery. He was sentenced to six years and ten months in prison.
There are several other CEOs who have been disgraced from their positions for fraud and other crimes. The ones above are the ones we consider high-profile cases. On another note, their respective corporations would do well to revisit their crisis management plans.