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The Criminal Element
















































By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

(Used with Permission of Authors)

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 warned that 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.

We pointed out that corporations define the laws under which they live. 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 1990S



1) F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $500 million

2) Daiwa Bank Ltd. Type of Crime: Financial Criminal Fine: $340 million

3) BASF Aktiengesellschaft Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $225 million

4) SGL Carbon Aktiengesellschaft (SGL AG) Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $135 million

5) Exxon Corporation and Exxon Shipping Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $125 million

6) UCAR International, Inc. Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $110 million

7) Archer Daniels Midland Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $100 million

8)(tie) Banker's Trust Type of Crime: Financial Criminal Fine: $60 million

8)(tie) Sears Bankruptcy Recovery Management Services Type of Crime: Fraud Criminal Fine: $60 million

10) Haarman & Reimer Corp. Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal fine: $50 million

11) Louisiana-Pacific Corporation Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $37 million

12) Hoechst AG Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $36 million

13) Damon Clinical Laboratories, Inc. Type of Crime: Fraud Criminal Fine: $35.2 million

14) C.R. Bard Inc. Type of Crime: Food and drug Criminal Fine: $30.9 million 7 Corporate Crime Reporter 41(1), October 25, 1993

15) Genentech Inc. Type of Crime: Food and drug Criminal Fine: $30 million

16) Nippon Gohsei Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $21 million

17)(tie) Pfizer Inc. Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $20 million

17)(tie) Summitville Consolidated Mining Co. Inc. Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $20 million 10 Corporate Crime Reporter 20(3) May 20, 1996

19)(tie) Lucas Western Inc. Type of Crime: False Statements Criminal Fine: $18.5 million 9 Corporate Crime Reporter 4(6), January 30, 1995

19)(tie) Rockwell International Corporation Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $18.5 million

21) Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $18 million

22) Teledyne Industries Inc. Type of Crime: Fraud Criminal Fine: $17.5 million

23) Northrop Type of Crime: False statements Criminal Fine: $17 million

24) Litton Applied Technology Division (ATD) and Litton Systems Canada (LSL) Type of Crime: Fraud Criminal Fine: $16.5 million

25) Iroquois Pipeline Operating Company Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $15 million

26) Eastman Chemical Company Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $11 million

27) Copley Pharmaceutical, Inc. Type of Crime: Food and drug Criminal Fine: $10.65 million

28) Lonza AG Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $10.5 million

29) Kimberly Home Health Care Inc. Type of Crime: Fraud Criminal Fine: $10.08 million

30)(tie) Ajinomoto Co. Inc. Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $10 million

30)(tie) Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) Type of Crime: Financial Criminal Fine: $10 million

30)(tie) Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co. Ltd. Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $10 million

30)(tie) Warner-Lambert Company Type of Crime: Food and drug Criminal Fine: $10 million

34) General Electric Type of Crime: Fraud Criminal Fine: $9.5 million

35)(tie) Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $9 million

35)(tie) Showa Denko Carbon Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $9 million

37) IBM East Europe/Asia Ltd. Type of Crime: Illegal exports Criminal Fine: $8.5 million

38) Empire Sanitary Landfill Inc. Type of crime: Campaign finance Criminal fine: $8 million

39)(tie) Colonial Pipeline Company Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $7 million

39)(tie) Eklof Marine Corporation Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $7 million

41)(tie) Chevron Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $6.5 million

41)(tie) Rockwell International Corporation Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $6.5 million

43) Tokai Carbon Ltd. Co. Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $6 million

44)(tie) Allied Clinical Laboratories, Inc. Type of Crime: Fraud Criminal Fine: $5 million

44)(tie) Northern Brands International Inc. Type of Crime: Fraud Criminal Fine: $5 million

44)(tie) Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation Type of Crime: Obstruction of justice Criminal Fine: $5 million

44)(tie) Unisys Type of Crime: Bribery Criminal Fine: $5 million

44)(tie) Georgia Pacific Corporation Type of Crime: Tax evasion Criminal Fine: $5 million 5 Corporate Crime Reporter 38(8), October 7, 1991

49) Kanzaki Specialty Papers Inc. Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $4.5 million

50) ConAgra Inc. Type of Crime: Fraud Criminal Fine: $4.4 million

51) Ryland Mortgage Company Type of Crime: Financial Criminal Fine: $4.2 million

52)(tie) Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Type of Crime: Fraud Criminal Fine: $4 million

52)(tie) Borden Inc. Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $4 million

52)(tie) Dexter Corporation Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $4 million

52)(tie) Southland Corporation Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $4 million

52)(tie) Teledyne Industries Inc. Type of Crime: Illegal exports Criminal Fine: $4 million

52)(tie) Tyson Foods Inc. Type of Crime: Public corruption Criminal Fine: $4 million

58)(tie) Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $3.75 million

58)(tie) Costain Coal Inc. Type of Crime: Worker Death Criminal Fine: $3.75 million
58)(tie) United States Sugar Corporation Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $3.75 million

61) Saybolt, Inc., Saybolt North America Type of Crime: Environmental, bribery Criminal Fine: $3.4 million

62)(tie) Bristol-Myers Squibb Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $3 million

62)(tie) Chemical Waste Management Inc. Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $3 million

62)(tie) Ketchikan Pulp Company Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $3 million

62)(tie) United Technologies Corporation Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $3 million

62)(tie) Warner-Lambert Inc. Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $3 million

67)(tie) Arizona Chemical Co. Inc. Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $2.5 million

67)(tie) Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $2.5 million

69) International Paper Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $2.2 million

70)(tie) Consolidated Edison Company Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $2 million

70)(tie) Crop Growers Corporation Type of Crime: Campaign finance Criminal fine: $2 million

70)(tie) E-Systems Inc. Type of Crime: Fraud Criminal Fine: $2 million

70)(tie) HAL Beheer BV Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $2 million

70)(tie) John Morrell and Company Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $2 million

70)(tie) United Technologies Corporation Type of Crime: Fraud Criminal Fine: $2 million

76) Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi International Corporation Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $1.8 million

77)(tie) Blue Shield of California Type of Crime: Fraud Criminal Fine: $1.5 million

77)(tie) Browning-Ferris Inc. Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $1.5 million

77)(tie) Odwalla Inc. Type of Crime: Food and drug Criminal Fine: $1.5 million

77)(tie) Teledyne Inc. Type of Crime: False statements Criminal Fine: $1.5 million

77)(tie) Unocal Corporation Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $1.5 million

82)(tie) Doyon Drilling Inc. Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $1 million

82)(tie) Eastman Kodak Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $1 million

82)(tie) Case Corporation Type of Crime: Illegal exports Criminal Fine: $1 million

85) Marathon Oil Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $900,000

86) Hyundai Motor Company Type of Crime: Campaign finance Criminal Fine: $600,000

87)(tie) Baxter International Inc. Type of Crime: Illegal Boycott Criminal Fine: $500,000

87)(tie) Bethship-Sabine Yard Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $500,000

87(tie) Palm Beach Cruises Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $500,000

87)(tie) Princess Cruises Inc. Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $500,000

91)(tie) Cerestar Bioproducts BV Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $400,000

91)(tie) Sun-Land Products of California Type of Crime: Campaign finance Criminal Fine: $400,000

93)(tie) American Cyanamid Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $250,000

93)(tie) Korean Air Lines Type of Crime: Campaign finance Criminal Fine: $250,000

93)(tie) Regency Cruises Inc. Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $250,000

96)(tie) Adolph Coors Company Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $200,000

96)(tie) Andrew and Williamson Sales Co. Type of crime: Food and drug Criminal fine: $200,000

96)(tie) Daewoo International (America) Corporation Type of Fine: Campaign finance Criminal Fine: $200,000

96)(tie) Exxon Corporation Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $200,000

100) Samsung America Inc. Type of Crime: Campaign finance Criminal Fine: $150,000

Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter. Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor. They are co-authors of Corporate Predators: The Hunt for Mega Profits and the Attack on Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1999, http://www.corporatepredators.org) (c) Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman.

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