Breakin’ Da Law

Filtered against the kids, who don’t need to know and won’t hear it from me.

I work for a company that is family owned & run. They have always been privileged, and act as if that is the natural order of things. They place moderate value on ability, more value on loyalty, but don’t truly value much of anything. The company is in a lawsuit to try to get payment for several millions of dollars.

Today the CEO called me – from the arbitrator’s office, and on a cell phone, double idiot – and asked me to prepare to commit fraud on behalf of the company. He didn’t phrase it like that. He asked me to falsify some comuter files so that the time/date stamps, both external (file attribute stuff) and internal (line item timestamps) indicated that they were created several years ago.

I’m supposed to be loyal. Refusing would, in the eyes of this family, indicate a failure of loyalty. I’ve seen people fired for lesser failures in loyalty.

Anyone who knows me knows that fantasies fly from my mouth with utter conviction. Lies. I lie. I try not to do so in any but playful and harmless ways (like claiming to a waitress that my son just got sprung from parochial school). This wouldn’t even be my lie; it would just be facilitating someone else’s lie.

I don’t equate lawful and right. No problem there.

I don’t want to do this. I don’t seem to think that it’s right to lie, or support a lie, to get money. If I do this, my career with the company is a goldmine – for a while. The family’s memory is short, but for a while, I would be rewarded. I would be likely to get more assignments like this one, if the need arose. Repetition would solidify my standing, and I could live fat. In media-mafia terms, I would be a “made man”, having proven my loyalty by breaking the law for the company.

I’m not doing this.

I think I’ve come up with reasons why the CEO should not do it. For one, he’s not a sophisticated liar, and this will need to be a sophisticated lie. Changing all the timestamps to the same date, for instance, would be a shallow and easily uncoverable lie, and what he would likely do without guidance. I’ll try to convince him that false evidence in court is a BAD idea, but, failing that, I’ll tell him straight out that, if I’m involved, I’m a danger to the case and the company. Much better if I don’t see, if I don’t know.

I think I can do this and sound loyal. I find that I don’t much care. If I need to be fired over this, I’m good with that.

I had some bad moments, wondering just how much reward I could bargain for taking part in this. It would be considerable. Like, a new house kind of considerable, built for me by the company. I was moderately pleased to discover that I’m too expensive a whore to be bought for a house.

I’ve backed up some files, with original timestamps, where moth and corruption enter not. If I am fired, I’ll cheerfully mention their existance, and suggest that the company not mess too much with unemployment benefits or job references. Apparently, blackmail is okay, but fraud isn’t. I don’t pretend to understand that, but it’s nice to know where I stand.

…this is just so bizarre. I find that I very much resent being put in the position of having to think about these things.

11 thoughts on “Breakin’ Da Law”

  1. I have absolutely nothing intelligent to say to this except, “Well, obviously you shouldn’t do it.” The dramaticist in me wants to say, “Go to the prosecuting attorney with the files!” πŸ™‚

    1. I did, briefly, consider overturning the company. There have been many instances of fraud that I’ve become aware of…but it would take forensic computer/accounting people to work out what constitutes probable cause, let alone proof. And, the Family is intimately part of the government around here.

      But, yeah, there’s an enormous urge to go on the run, have all “owned” law enforcement after me, participate in a couple of car chases that end in explosions that let me squeak to safety, save Bridgette and Othello from a hostage situation and then triumphantly deliver a satchel of discs and papers to a state cop or the atty general’s office. Big names, huge budget, release the first week in June….

  2. Go you!

    It seems like it’d be so not worth it to have it all backfire and go to jail. Geeze, what happens to the kids then?

    You’ve gotten some good skills at this company, so here’s hoping that you can find another great job soon, if you have to. And, even if they don’t ask you to leave, it’s still probably worth at least looking. This is one of those conversations that the relationship is never the same after.

    1. Yes, exactly, on all points. The resume is being honed. For the first time, I am pleased that they don’t pay me particularly well; it makes job hunting much easier.

      This is one of those conversations that the relationship is never the same after.

      Just so. I feel there should be a rule in the criminal/lawless community, that one may not suggest unlawful behavior to anyone who has not exhibitted, admitted to, or explicitely offered such behavior.

      Grmp.

  3. Even if you’re okay with breaking the law for them, if/when they do get caught, they seem the type who’d be willing to sacrifice the hired help, heap the collected sins of the family on your back and send you out into the desert to die. Loyalty, I’ve noticed, tends to only work in one direction with The Priveleged.

    1. In fact, you understand the Family well. I have no doubt that, if I were to agree to take part, the CEO would be thinking two things:

      1. Good luck! An useful accomplice!
      2. Good luck! A scapegoat!

      There is no scenario that is both realistic and works out well for me, unless I agree that complete ownership of my life by the Family is well for me.

      Thanks, no.

      1. I really didn’t come to an understanding of this mindset until I watched such a patrician dynasty in crisis. Thank you, GHW Bush, for deepening my understanding of humanity.

  4. Well, you sure get the fun dilemmas. I agree with the rest–don’t do it, don’t trust the Family, look for work, etc.

    And I applaud you for grabbing backups. I hope you never have to use them, but applying blackmail to unscrupulous persons for your own safety and well being seems to me a non-crime. At least morally, especially under these circumstances.

    I hope all goes well and you can get that house by getting a new job and a couple digits raise in pay!

    1. Almost as fun as yours, yes.

      The backups will never be used. I’ll post about it later. Hell hath been harrowed, and I am relieved at the break in the heat.

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