Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This is not a fete

Lawrence Duprey
I imagine that the reason that Lawrence Duprey, former executive chairman of CL Financial (a company so poorly-managed and well-connected that its collapse nearly destabilized the national economy and has cost the taxpayers $21 billion) can boldly declare (in a 50 page witness statement, naturally) that he did nothing wrong while Auditor Chanka Seeterram freely admits that he cooked the HCU books to hide a $31 million loss is because this country has never prosecuted anyone for white collar crime.

I also imagine that we like it so, because Lord knows that the public perception is that you can't make it to the top without doing a little (or a lot of) dirt.

I mean, Duprey is describing himself as "a hardworking and dedicated citizen who worked hard to create wealth for all and was instrumental in the creation of thousands of jobs". If Allen Stanford or Bernie Madoff had made such a taunting statement and gotten away with it, I suspect they'd have needed police protection.

By the way, in case you're wondering why he filed a witness statement instead of testifying:
Duprey said he has been severely hampered in the process of making the witness statement by several factors:
a) the lack of access to material;
b) he was now 78 years of age and did not have the detailed recollection that he used to of events and people he once did;
c)he now resides outside of Trinidad and Tobago "in the main as a consequence of the vilification I have been subject to and the fear of my family for their and my safety";
d) his health is not as robust as it used to be and he is not able to spend hours concentrating without becoming tired and forgetful. "This has been a life-changing and very shocking period for me since January 2009 and I have taken it all very badly," he said.
He's too old and infirm to face the music. I'm always amazed at how these people are fit enough to sit at the top and make the big bucks but too frail to accept the consequences of their actions. Ah well, he's not the first person to suffer that fate.

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