News & Politics

The 100 Top Corporate Criminals

Every year, corporate lists emerge -- the Fortune 500, the Forbes 400, the International 800 -- that identify and glorify the biggest and most profitable companies. Now there's a new list to add to the roster: The Top 100 Corporate Criminals, compiled by the watchdogs at the Corporate Crime Reporter. This year's list -- including criminals such as Exxon, Coors and GE -- proves that corporate crooks dominate every aspect of our market, culture and politics.
The criminal element has seeped deep into every nook and cranny of American society. Forget about the underworld -- these crooks dominate every aspect of our market, culture, and politics.They cast a deep dark shadow over life in turn of the century America.We buy gas from them (Exxon, Chevron, Unocal).We take pictures with their cameras and film (Eastman Kodak).We drink their beer (Coors).We buy insurance from them to guard against financial catastrophe if we get sick (Blue Cross Blue Shield).And then when we get sick, we buy pharmaceuticals from them (Pfizer, Warner Lambert, Ortho Pharmaceuticals).We do our laundry washers and dryers from them (General Electric).We vacation with them (Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines).We buy our food from them (Archer Daniels Midland, Southland, Tyson Foods, U.S. Sugar).We drive with them (Hyundai) and fly with them (Korean Air Lines).All of these companies and more turned up on Corporate Crime Reporter's list of the Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the 1990s, released this past week at a news conference at the National Press Club. Standing before a roomful of reporters and cameras (including a C-Span camera which took us live to our TV nation), we made the following points:Every year, the major business magazines put out their annual surveys of big business in America. You have the Fortune 500, the Forbes 400, the Forbes Platinum 100, the International 800 -- among others. These lists rank big corporations by sales, assets, profits and market share. The point of these surveys is simple -- to identify and glorify the biggest and most profitable corporations.The point of releasing The Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the Decade, on the other hand, was to focus public attention on the pervasive criminality that has corrupted the marketplace and that is given little sustained attention and analysis by politicians and news outlets.To compile The Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the 1990s, we used the most narrow and conservative of definitions -- corporations that have pled guilty or no contest to crimes and have been criminally fined. And still, with the most narrow and conservative of definitions of corporate crime, we came up with society's most powerful actors.Six corporations that made the list of the Top 100 Corporate Criminals were criminal recidivist companies during the 1990s. Exxon, Royal Caribbean, Rockwell International, Warner-Lambert, Teledyne, and United Technologies each pled guilty to more than one crime during the 1990s.And we in no way imply that these corporations are in any way the worst or have committed the most egregious crimes. We did not try to assess and compare the damage committed by these corporate criminals or by other corporate wrongdoers. We warned that companies that are criminally prosecuted represent only the tip of a very large iceberg of corporate wrongdoing.For every company convicted of health care fraud, there are hundreds of others who get away with ripping off Medicare and Medicaid, or face only mild slap-on-the-wrist fines and civil penalties when caught. For every company convicted of polluting the nation's waterways, there are many others who are not prosecuted because their corporate defense lawyers are able to offer up a low-level employee to go to jail in exchange for a promise from prosecutors not to touch the company or high-level executives.For every corporation convicted of bribery or of giving money directly to a public official in violation of federal law, there are thousands who give money legally through political action committees to candidates and political parties. They profit from a system that effectively has legalized bribery.For every corporation convicted of selling illegal pesticides, there are hundreds more who are not prosecuted because their lobbyists have worked their way in Washington to ensure that dangerous pesticides remain legal.For every corporation convicted of reckless homicide in the death of a worker, there are hundreds of others that don't even get investigated for reckless homicide when a worker is killed on the job. Only a few district attorneys across the country (Michael McCann, the DA in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, being one) regularly investigate workplace deaths as homicides.An argument can be made that the most egregious wrongful corporate acts -- the genetic engineering of the food supply, or the systematic pollution of the nation's air and waterways, or the bribery by corporate criminals of the political parties -- are totally legal.For your convenience, we print here the list of 100 crooks that fall well within a very conservative definition of criminality. Carry this list wherever you go, and when the subject turns to crime, feel free to pull out the list and lash the criminal element.THE TOP 100 CORPORATE CRIMINALS OF THE 1990s1) F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.Type of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $500 million2) Daiwa Bank Ltd.Type of Crime: FinancialCriminal Fine: $340 million3) BASF AktiengesellschaftType of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $225 million4) SGL Carbon Aktiengesellschaft (SGL AG) Type of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $135 million5) Exxon Corporation and Exxon ShippingType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $125 million6) UCAR International, Inc. Type of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $110 million7) Archer Daniels Midland Type of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $100 million8)(tie) Banker's TrustType of Crime: FinancialCriminal Fine: $60 million8)(tie) Sears Bankruptcy Recovery Management ServicesType of Crime: FraudCriminal Fine: $60 million10) Haarman & Reimer Corp.Type of Crime: AntitrustCriminal fine: $50 million11) Louisiana-Pacific Corporation Type of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $37 million12) Hoechst AGType of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $36 million13) Damon Clinical Laboratories, Inc.Type of Crime: FraudCriminal Fine: $35.2 million14) C.R. Bard Inc.Type of Crime: Food and drugCriminal Fine: $30.9 million7 Corporate Crime Reporter 41(1), October 25, 199315) Genentech Inc.Type of Crime: Food and drugCriminal Fine: $30 million16) Nippon GohseiType of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $21 million17)(tie) Pfizer Inc.Type of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $20 million17)(tie) Summitville Consolidated Mining Co. Inc. Type of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $20 million10 Corporate Crime Reporter 20(3) May 20, 199619)(tie) Lucas Western Inc.Type of Crime: False StatementsCriminal Fine: $18.5 million9 Corporate Crime Reporter 4(6), January 30, 199519)(tie) Rockwell International CorporationType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $18.5 million21) Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.Type of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $18 million22) Teledyne Industries Inc.Type of Crime: FraudCriminal Fine: $17.5 million23) NorthropType of Crime: False statementsCriminal Fine: $17 million24) Litton Applied Technology Division (ATD) and Litton Systems Canada (LSL) Type of Crime: FraudCriminal Fine: $16.5 million25) Iroquois Pipeline Operating CompanyType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $15 million26) Eastman Chemical CompanyType of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $11 million27) Copley Pharmaceutical, Inc.Type of Crime: Food and drugCriminal Fine: $10.65 million28) Lonza AGType of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $10.5 million29) Kimberly Home Health Care Inc.Type of Crime: FraudCriminal Fine: $10.08 million30)(tie) Ajinomoto Co. Inc.Type of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $10 million30)(tie) Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI)Type of Crime: FinancialCriminal Fine: $10 million30)(tie) Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co. Ltd.Type of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $10 million30)(tie) Warner-Lambert CompanyType of Crime: Food and drugCriminal Fine: $10 million34) General Electric Type of Crime: FraudCriminal Fine: $9.5 million35)(tie) Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.Type of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $9 million35)(tie) Showa Denko CarbonType of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $9 million37) IBM East Europe/Asia Ltd.Type of Crime: Illegal exportsCriminal Fine: $8.5 million38) Empire Sanitary Landfill Inc. Type of crime: Campaign financeCriminal fine: $8 million39)(tie) Colonial Pipeline CompanyType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $7 million39)(tie) Eklof Marine CorporationType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $7 million41)(tie) Chevron Type of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $6.5 million41)(tie) Rockwell International CorporationType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $6.5 million43) Tokai Carbon Ltd. Co. Type of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $6 million44)(tie) Allied Clinical Laboratories, Inc.Type of Crime: FraudCriminal Fine: $5 million44)(tie) Northern Brands International Inc.Type of Crime: FraudCriminal Fine: $5 million44)(tie) Ortho Pharmaceutical CorporationType of Crime: Obstruction of justiceCriminal Fine: $5 million44)(tie) UnisysType of Crime: BriberyCriminal Fine: $5 million44)(tie) Georgia Pacific CorporationType of Crime: Tax evasionCriminal Fine: $5 million5 Corporate Crime Reporter 38(8), October 7, 199149) Kanzaki Specialty Papers Inc.Type of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $4.5 million50) ConAgra Inc.Type of Crime: FraudCriminal Fine: $4.4 million51) Ryland Mortgage CompanyType of Crime: FinancialCriminal Fine: $4.2 million52)(tie) Blue Cross Blue Shield of IllinoisType of Crime: FraudCriminal Fine: $4 million52)(tie) Borden Inc.Type of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $4 million52)(tie) Dexter CorporationType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $4 million52)(tie) Southland CorporationType of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $4 million52)(tie) Teledyne Industries Inc.Type of Crime: Illegal exportsCriminal Fine: $4 million52)(tie) Tyson Foods Inc.Type of Crime: Public corruptionCriminal Fine: $4 million58)(tie) Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA)Type of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $3.75 million58)(tie) Costain Coal Inc.Type of Crime: Worker DeathCriminal Fine: $3.75 million58)(tie) United States Sugar CorporationType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $3.75 million61) Saybolt, Inc., Saybolt North AmericaType of Crime: Environmental, briberyCriminal Fine: $3.4 million62)(tie) Bristol-Myers SquibbType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $3 million62)(tie) Chemical Waste Management Inc. Type of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $3 million62)(tie) Ketchikan Pulp CompanyType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $3 million62)(tie) United Technologies CorporationType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $3 million62)(tie) Warner-Lambert Inc.Type of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $3 million67)(tie) Arizona Chemical Co. Inc.Type of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $2.5 million67)(tie) Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail)Type of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $2.5 million69) International Paper Type of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $2.2 million70)(tie) Consolidated Edison CompanyType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $2 million 70)(tie) Crop Growers CorporationType of Crime: Campaign financeCriminal fine: $2 million70)(tie) E-Systems Inc.Type of Crime: FraudCriminal Fine: $2 million70)(tie) HAL Beheer BVType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $2 million70)(tie) John Morrell and CompanyType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $2 million70)(tie) United Technologies CorporationType of Crime: FraudCriminal Fine: $2 million76) Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi International CorporationType of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $1.8 million77)(tie) Blue Shield of CaliforniaType of Crime: FraudCriminal Fine: $1.5 million77)(tie) Browning-Ferris Inc. Type of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $1.5 million77)(tie) Odwalla Inc.Type of Crime: Food and drugCriminal Fine: $1.5 million77)(tie) Teledyne Inc.Type of Crime: False statementsCriminal Fine: $1.5 million77)(tie) Unocal CorporationType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $1.5 million82)(tie) Doyon Drilling Inc.Type of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $1 million82)(tie) Eastman KodakType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $1 million82)(tie) Case CorporationType of Crime: Illegal exportsCriminal Fine: $1 million85) Marathon OilType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $900,00086) Hyundai Motor CompanyType of Crime: Campaign financeCriminal Fine: $600,00087)(tie) Baxter International Inc.Type of Crime: Illegal BoycottCriminal Fine: $500,00087)(tie) Bethship-Sabine YardType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $500,00087(tie) Palm Beach CruisesType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $500,00087)(tie) Princess Cruises Inc.Type of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $500,00091)(tie) Cerestar Bioproducts BVType of Crime: AntitrustCriminal Fine: $400,00091)(tie) Sun-Land Products of CaliforniaType of Crime: Campaign financeCriminal Fine: $400,00093)(tie) American CyanamidType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $250,00093)(tie) Korean Air LinesType of Crime: Campaign financeCriminal Fine: $250,00093)(tie) Regency Cruises Inc.Type of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $250,00096)(tie) Adolph Coors CompanyType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $200,00096)(tie) Andrew and Williamson Sales Co.Type of crime: Food and drugCriminal fine: $200,000 96)(tie) Daewoo International (America) Corporation Type of Fine: Campaign financeCriminal Fine: $200,000 96)(tie) Exxon CorporationType of Crime: EnvironmentalCriminal Fine: $200,000100) Samsung America Inc.Type of Crime: Campaign financeCriminal Fine: $150,000Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter. Robert Weissman is editor Multinational Monitor.
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