Greed+Opportunity=Trouble in River City
There’s a saying that “too much is not enough!” And, closely related, “everyone has their price!” Well, the 2nd saying suggests bribery. The 1st saying . . . ? Consider this story.
You earn $80,000 US a year as the city treasurer of a small rural community in the Great State of Illinois (also known as the corruption capital of America). Let’s call the city Dixon where 15,000 hard-working citizens reside. You have been employed by the city for nearly three decades, know many people in the community, and are highly respected as a fully trustworthy person by the mayor and council.
You also have a penchant for raising and showing horses and, over the years, have been able to acquire two successful horse farms where you raise champion quarter horses. You are able to take off four months a year (all but one month unpaid) to operate the horse business and travel to shows. You like to travel in style and have a $2.1 million luxury motor home fit for a rock star. You like fashionable jewelry too.
As it turns out you are also the city comptroller and charged with the responsibility to see that city funds are appropriately accounted for.
Do you, dear reader, begin to smell something rotten in Denmark? Yes, tis so, greed and opportunity are powerful elixirs. The city treasurer and comptroller (one and the same) provide the opportunity for greed to take hold. Alas, the temptation is just too great . . . FBI agents descend on city hall with new bracelets for the treasurer/comptroller and charge her with embezzling $30 million.
The moral of the story–too much is enough and maybe everyone does have their price, even if self-imposed.
Want to know more about this true story?
Go to: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-dixon-comptroller-embezzle-charges-20120418,0,5457912.story