Ethics Corner

By Rahul Garg

oathDear T-birds,

Welcome to the Ethics Corner sponsored by the Thunderbird Honor Council. In an effort to better educate our student body on ethical business practices, we will present to you an article, news link, or story from our own students that helps to showcase what is going on in the business world with ethical business behavior. We hope to create a dialogue between students to better prepare themselves for what might lie ahead in their careers. Moreover, we hope to provide information to better prepare you for your life ahead.

This week’s featured article titled, “The Economic Truth About Lying” comes from the OPINION section of the Wall Street Journal. Authored by attorney Matthew Lifflander, the article brings to light a criminal act being committed in our courts which for the most part, seems to go unpunished. The crime is perjury – “intentionally giving false testimony under oath”.

In his article, Mr. Lifflander poses the question, “how much money could be saved if perjurers feared being held accountable for their words?”

Citing statistics, Mr. Lifflander provides evidence to uncover the extent of this “epidemic”. “An FBI report on financial crimes for the 2010-11 fiscal year calculated that fraudulent billing to health-care payers, Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurers is between 2% and 10% of total health-care expenditures…conservatively estimated at $2.4 trillion.”

Mr. Lifflander believes that fraud and perjury are so rampant because, “prosecutors are reluctant to devote limited resources to prosecutions, which most often arise in commercial cases.” In his conclusion, Mr. Lifflander offers his ideas to help eradicate what he calls, the “perjuring plague”.

The article, “The Economic Truth about Lying” can be found in the print edition of the Wall Street Journal (3/26/13, A13) or WSJ online at the following link:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324532004578360941582888094.html?KEYWORDS=the+economic+truth+about+lying

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