Martha Helen Kostyra found guilty

by phil on Saturday Mar 6, 2004 12:04 PM

this Wikipedia entry on Martha Stewart is relevant now that the "domestic diva," as the media puts it, is likely to go behind bars.


Marti said on March 11, 2004 11:11 AM:

I feel this has gone way beyond what it should have gone. They are putting Martha Stewart, to much on TV and they use her as a public figure "This is what can happen to you" I feel that their was not enough publicity in the other scandels, that were much more devestating to the econmany. They say Martha Stewart was gready? Well lets take a look at this, when I think of gready I think of this man. For example-- Gary Winnick of Global Crossing.
As an example of callous, cold-blooded greed, Gary Winnick is hard to match. He misled employees and shareholders while he stuffed his own pockets, not caring whose lives he destroyed as he enriched himself in a sickening display of gluttony and venal avarice. All told, Global Crossing may be the most outrageous overreach in corporate history; in our judgment, even more than Enron.

Mr. Winnick, a well-trained acolyte of disgraced junk-bond king Michael Milken, had already acquired a reputation as an arrogant and flashy manager when he founded Global Crossing in 1997. Riding the telecommunications hype of the 1990’s, the company built the world’s largest fiber-optic network, transmitting text, data, video and voice among 27 nations. From the time the company went public in 1998 to when it went bust, Mr. Winnick sold $734 million worth of Global Crossing shares. And he made sure everyone knew it. He bought a $92 million estate abutting the Bel Air Country Club, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars redecorating the company’s offices, gave a Rolls Royce as a gift to a top executive, and demanded that the company maintain a fleet of five jets, including a Boeing 737.

When the company started to report earnings losses and spiral downward last year, he and other Global Crossing executives kept employees and shareholders in the dark while they greedily cashed in hundreds of millions of dollars of stock. According to The NewsHour, corporate insiders sold their stock for a total of $1.5 billion. Fat paychecks for top management were the norm. Last year, after the company announced layoffs of 2,000 employees, Mr. Winnick hired a new chief executive—his fourth in four years —named John Legere, and gave him a $1.1 million salary, a signing bonus of $3.5 million and a promised annual bonus of $1.4 million. Mr. Legere recently had the chutzpah to say to Congress, ÒLet us be clear: Global Crossing is no Enron.Ó

Meanwhile, Mr. Winnick had tried to cover his political bases. Terry McAuliffe, Bill Clinton’s best friend and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, turned a $100,000 investment in Global Crossing into $18 million. Global Crossing donated over $200,000 to Governor George Pataki and New York Republicans, and Mr. Winnick himself gave $20,000 to New York State Comptroller Carl McCall, who just happened to invest $63 million of the state public-employee pension fund in Global Crossing. That money is now gone; Mr. McCall, trying to cover his back, claims he is outraged and will sue. Mr. Winnick also tried to buy his way into New York’s cultural circles, giving $5 million to the Museum of Modern Art and loudly telling associates that the museum’s chairman emeritus, David Rockefeller, was his Ònew best friend.Ó

Perhaps the most heinous chapter in the scandal involves a Rochester, N.Y.–based phone company, Frontier Corporation, which Global Crossing bought in 1999. Large portions of the 401(k) plans of many of Frontier’s employees—solid middle-class people struggling to keep up—were subsequently invested in Global Crossing stock, and as a result their retirement savings are now worthless. Mr. Winnick and his cronies might just as well have broken into their homes and looted their belongings. And many of the 9,000 Global Crossing employees who lost their jobs have said that promised severance payments never materialized and health benefits were abruptly cut off.

Gary Winnick never went to jail. What's wrong with this picture ?


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