Tom Petrocelli's take on technology. Tom is the author of the book "Data Protection and Information Lifecycle Management" and a natural technology curmudgeon. This blog represents only my own views and not those of my employer, Enterprise Strategy Group. Frankly, mine are more amusing.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

He's in the Jailhouse Now

Well, it looks like Greg Reyes has finally found out what his sentence will be. While not as bad as it could be, 21 months in the slammer along with a $15 million fine is not fun. Of course, the fact that he might have the $15 million to pay the fine kind of blows my mind but some guys get lucky. This, however, may be the luck you can do without.

Anyway, it's still not fair. Okay, the guy lied but no one has been able to show that he profited from his lie or that anyone was hurt by it. Give him a spanking but not 21 months in jail and a reputation what will follow him for the rest of his life. And remember, when he did this, it was not clear if backdating was even a crime. Scooter Libby out a CIA field agent and gets a pardon. Reyes adjusts some options and he gets the big house. It ain't right.

What is clear to me is that going after executives for accounting irregularities is the new witch hunt. The average jury can't even understand what this is about but it doesn't matter. The fact that there is no evidence of hurt to anyone doesn't matter. We just want to start stoking the fire around the stake and need someone to tie to it. So let's burn Reyes!

And do you know why he was picked for particular honor? The answer is in the witch burning scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Crowd: She's a witch! Burn her!
Sir Belvedere: How do you know she's a witch?
Peasant in the Crowd: She looks like a witch!

That's pretty much it. I don't have to understand the intricacies of securities law to figure this one out. Reyes looks like a witch so we should burn him.

The good news is that his charity work counted for something. We should all remember that next time the PTA asks for volunteers.

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