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I subscribe to Corporate Compliance Insights diary, so they really get the credit for this Diary. I just made up the "how it effects my life" part.


I'm sure many of you have read about soldiers in Iraq being electrocuted because of substandard wiring by KBR. The family of one soldier has filed suit against KBR and KBR denies responsibility. KBR also recently pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act when it paid a "consutling fee" to "agents" who then swung deals for them with the Nigerian government. KBR was spun off from Halliburton, formerly headed by the eponymously named "Dick" Cheney.

As the article linked to above points out, KBR is now arguing that continued compliance with U.S. law, which it agreed to as part of the Nigerian scam settlement, puts KBR at a competitive disadvantage. Some lawyer wrote in an SEC filing (I'm not making this up): "...limitations on our use of agents as part of our efforts to comply with applicable laws, including the FCPA, could put us at a competitive disadvantage in pursuing large-scale international projects."

I was just thinking about how compliance with the law puts me at a competitive disadvantage.

If I didn't have to comply with attorney ethics rules and all that related nonsense, I could bribe judges to get clients off the hook and charge high rates, abscond with client funds, etc. That would make for a nice living.

If I didn't have to comply with IRS regs, I could pay a lot less in taxes and have more money to buy cool stuff I don't need, like another big flat screen TV. I already have three TVs in my house for three people, but the economy needs stimulating, and I want to do my part.

If I didn't have to comply with speed limits and prohibitions against drunk driving and all those damn stop signs and red lights, I could get around a helluva lot faster, and have a good time doing it.

If I didn't have to comply with alws against theft, I could go to the mall and take anything I wanted. That wouldn't do much for the economy, but I would have lots of cool sh*t, and I would share because I am generous like that.

I am going to do all of these things, and when I get caught, I will just tell the judge that compliance with the law was putting me at a competitive disadvantage against everyone who was breaking the law, and we'll see how she reacts. I expect to get off with a $402 million dollar fine, just like KBR.

Originally posted to Turn VABlue on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 11:34 AM PDT.

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