Only in His Dreams --DeWese
By 9 a.m. I had stored away my cleaning supplies and vacuum cleaner, and I slipped into one of the small side conference rooms that adjoins the big hearing room. The hearing room was filled with onlookers and press. Most of the Senators had arrived and were seated at the big desk I had just polished. Their aides were flanked at their sides and behind them.
Just then the rear doors swung open and the WorldCorp executives, their aides and attorneys walked to the front and began opening their expensive leather brief cases.
A gavel rapped hard several times and the committee chairman, Senator Angus Stottlemyer of North Dakota, announced, "This session of the U.S. Senate's Special Committee on Corporate Fraud is now in session. Today we will be investigating the events, actions and decisions of the leaders of WorldCorp that led to their restatement of $3.8 billion of earnings for the years 1999, 2000 and 2001.
"As you know, these accounting shenanigans have led to WorldCorp's bankruptcy, the loss of tens of thousands of jobs and the loss of the retirement nest eggs of those employees who had trusted their management and invested their 401(k) funds in WorldCorp stock which, I hasten to add, has been delisted by the New York Stock Exchange and closed trading yesterday at 6 cents per share—down from a high of $128 a share in June of 2001. I invite WorldCorp's Chairman and CEO, Mr. E. Niles Cartwright, to make his statement."
Mr. Cartwright stood. That surprised me because most of the rip-off CEOs have read a prepared statement while seated.
Mr. Cartwright looked drawn and gaunt. He was clearly nervous and cleared his throat before he spoke. "Thank you Mr. Chairman. Contrary to the advice of my attorneys and my family, I will not be invoking the Fifth Amendment at this hearing. I will answer all questions directly and honestly."