My recent post about investigations into activities involving GM and the United Auto Workers Union has already elicited three separate enquiries about content of the Post.
One reader asked “What’s with Wire Fraud, what’s the big deal?” First of all, here’s an official description of the term:
Wire Fraud (Mail Fraud) is a crime in which a person concocts a scheme to defraud or obtain money based on false representations or promises. This criminal act is done using electronic communications or an interstate communications facility (mail).
Jurisdiction is claimed by the U.S. Federal Government if illegal activity crosses interstate or international borders. What this means is that almost anyone acting criminally can be arrested for Wire Fraud; and it’s a crime very often prosecuted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
In perhaps the most famous example, it was the IRS, which charged Al Capone with Wire Fraud (and tax evasion), that put him behind bars for 11 years – not for the heinous crimes of murder and intimidation that most people thought he would be charged with.
Another reader asked why it was necessary to refer to Mary Barra, if she was not charged with a crime, and I have to refer you to the famous sign on the desk of President Harry S. Truman: "The Buck Stops Here"
The phrase refers to the notion that the President has to make the decisions and accept the ultimate responsibility for those decisions.
It’s the contention of many people that those at the very top of the pyramid are ultimately responsible for the actions of those whom they command. Denial of knowledge of a misdemeanour or a crime, according to the US Supreme Court (and many other courts) is not a satisfactory defence. This speaks directly to the competence of management.
The third enquiry was about my reference to the fear instilled in US citizens and corporations of investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. It is now folklore (and fact) that many of the biggest and most successful convictions in American jurisprudence history have been prosecuted by the IRS.
One fact which stands out, is if the IRS can show satisfactory prosecutorial evidence against a person(s), they immediately ‘go to jail’, and remain there until the case is taken to court.
The IRS doesn’t mess around.