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Criminal Advice - Never Steal Anything Small: Gary Weiss

The class will please settle down. If you registered for Corporate Crime 101 you came to the right place. Today's lecture will focus on two cases that arose just before Memorial Day. Those of you who are taking this course as part of the Core Syllabus, preparing for careers in Applied Crime, should pay close attention. The alleged criminals we are examining today -- Kenneth Starr and Arthur Samberg -- provide wonderful examples of the right and wrong way of engaging in white collar criminal wrongdoing.

Let us begin by analyzing these cases from the standpoint of Leading Indicators of Criminal Success, or LICS as they are known in the trade. One recognized LICS is the number of words one needs to describe the alleged perpetrators, and to delineate what they allegedly did. Criminal failure is usually described briefly, as in "Joe Doaks was a bartender and he stole from the till."

Thus, we can say that "Kenneth Starr was an investment advisor, and he is accused of running a Ponzi scheme." Compare that to "Arthur Samberg used to work at a hedge fund called Pequot Fund Management, and he has settled Securities and Exchange Commission charges that he engaged in insider trading, neither confirming nor denying the SEC's charges."

Another LICS is physical appearance. Both men are in their late sixties, so they can be fairly compared. Samberg is usually shown with a cheerful, prosperous, devil-may-care, squinty smile. Starr is scowling in the pictures I've seen, and he bears an uncanny resemblance to Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein .

There are many other indicators that point to the failure and success of these persons in their alleged criminal ventures. Spousal Indicators, for example: Mrs. Samberg is found with the mister on various distinguished philanthropic donor lists; Mrs. Starr can be found in the tabloids, where her career as a stripper is recounted.

I think the best LICS is the current residence of each individual. Starr currently resides in jail, and he is facing trial. If convicted, he very likely will exit prison via what has become known as the Bernie Madoff Prison Release Mechanism, which is a pine box. Samberg currently resides in Palm Beach, or Southampton, or one of the other places where hedge fund managers can be found when they've retired and don't have a care in the world. He is facing bubkis. It's all over for him. He got away with whatever it was that he was alleged to have done.

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