Fraud and unethical business decisions are all over the news, and veterinary clinics are affected too. A recent panel discussion on white-collar crime highlighted the terrible costs of fraud and the ease with which criminals slide down the slippery slope from questionable decisions to illegal and immoral ones.
Panelists included former schemers and embezzlers. Diann Cattani, who spent 18 months in federal prison for embezzling half a million dollars from a consulting firm, said internal controls are crucial at every business. “Don’t assume employees are behaving ethically, because even trustworthy people behave differently in extreme situations,” Cattani says.
Former securities broker Justin Paperny told audience members that knowing right from wrong wasn’t enough to deter him from breaking the law. “From the first day of my job, I never understood my profession,” Paperny says. “My senior broker taught me how to lie and cheat so that we could line our own pockets. I was afraid to say no to him because I was a people-pleaser. If you’re afraid to say no to people, they’re going to own you.”
Fraud and its effects cost American companies nearly $1 trillion a year, according to panelist Neil Weinberg, co-author of a book about the infamous MCI Worldcom scandal.
DVM360.com has collected related links in internal controls, ethics, and the law below. To discuss ethical lapses you’ve seen with other veterinary professionals, visit this message board on our Community.