Only in His Dreams --DeWese
Honesty Is Best Policy
The audience and the press were stunned and began talking among themselves excitedly. This forced Senator Stottlemyer to rap for order. He said, "I applaud your decision. Please go on."
Cartwright continued speaking without notes. "I am indeed guilty of accounting fraud and all of your worst suspicions are true. I acted motivated by my own personal greed and my oversized ego when I ordered my CFO to cook our books in order to inflate our earnings and increase our stock price. My sins—no, my crimes—have cost thousands of people billions of dollars and I am ashamed that I cannot restore their money."
Cartwright was shaking as he continued. "I am ready to plead guilty to any and all charges brought against me for my misdeeds. I will not contest any of the charges. I will willingly serve whatever jail term is imposed."
He went on, "Finally, I have liquidated all of my holdings—the real estate, my homes, my stock holdings, my automobiles, my art collection, my yacht and all of my bank accounts—and I present herewith a cashier's check for $654,321,987 made payable to the U.S. Justice Department. It is my hope that this money can be used as partial restitution to the employees and stockholders of WorldCorp."
Cartwright finished: "I have come clean in this dramatic fashion to leave what I hope will be a historic symbol to future leaders who may be tempted to lie and cheat while motivated by greed. I also want to leave this hearing with a message to our youth and that is that the honest, high road is always the right road."
I awoke in a clammy sweat. I was moved by the magnitude of what I had just dreamed. It was so real I thought maybe I'd just seen it live on CNN. Then I realized the only way I'll ever witness that kind of integrity is in my dreams.