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“My carelessness has cost too many people too much. It has cost the thousands of shareholders in my company half the value of their investment. It has taken its toll on the 600 employees of my company, who have suffered through the uncertainty and distraction of my problem while trying to do their jobs.”
“I have worked hard for everything I’ve got. Many people have helped, but nothing was ever given to me. Don’t let my carelessness in this one instance as a private investor do any more damage to the people or products of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. I deserve my punishment, but the employees, shareholders, and consumers of the company don’t.”
4. Then shut up. Don’t offer to cooperate with the government and don’t plead guilty to anything like conspiracy or obstruction of justice, which automatically implicates others. That’s the decent thing to do, and you can even brag about it. Tell the world that you didn’t make any deals for leniency in exchange for ratting out others. Mention that anybody who lied or covered anything up did so only to protect you because you didn’t have the courage to step forward.
People will respect that you told the truth and took full responsibility. A $50,000 wire fraud will not get you put in prison and your company will recover. May your biggest problem in 2003 be the amount of calories some of those desserts really contain.
Very Truly Yours,
P.S. - I’m giving you this advice free of charge, but if you do pay me something, could we do it as a cash transaction? No reason the government has to get its paws on this money, right?
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