The Martha Stewart scandal will definitely go in the business history books for years to come. Her reaction to the information she received was her first mistake. Lying to investigators twice was her second mistake. This case study will focus on whether or not she handled the indictment responsibly. I do feel that Ms. Stewart handled the indictment responsibly. The way she handled the matter in court and in public says a lot about her. The next several pages will discuss how Ms. Stewart handled the situation responsibly.
The first thing Ms. Stewart did to handle the indictment responsibly was she never admitted nor denied the guilt. Ms. Stewart truly did feel that she did nothing wrong. In a statement posted on her web site, she says that she “takes no comfort in knowing that I have done nothing wrong” (CNNMoney. com). Let’s be real. You get a reliable tip from a credible inside source about the CEO of one of your investment dumping his stock. What would you really do? You would probably do the same too. Try and sell yours before the stock collapse. Unfortunately, she sold too many stocks at the wrong time and “big brother” was watching.
Then when “big brother” questioned her about the matter, she lied. Ironically, they knew that she was lying. They gave her another opportunity to come clean and deny guilt. She still did neither. Ordinary, when one gets a follow-up interview from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), “the light bulb” in you head should come on. A follow-up interview means that something one stated earlier sounded flaky. When one does not repeat that same information or answers as the first time, more than likely one is hiding something. That causes investigators to further search and be suspicious
The SEC tallied up that Ms. Stewart lied six times the first time and only two the second time. Furthermore, Ms. Stewart knew what she was doing was illegal. One article concluded that she attempted to change the wording in an email. Why would she attempt to change wording in an email. Then, later Ms. Stewart asked her personal assistant to switch it back to the original wording. I concluded that her conscience was bothering her. If she did not think that nothing was wrong, then why involve your personal assistant in the wording of an email? Again, she knew what she was getting herself involved in.
The second thing Ms. Stewart did to handle the indictment responsibly was during the trial she is not get on the witness stand and testify. No stories mention whether or not it was Ms. Stewart ideal or her attorney ideal, but she did not testify. It was probably best that Ms. Stewart did not take the stand because she probably would have criminated herself, being that she had already been caught lying twice already before the trial begun. Additionally, a juror mentioned the evidence they had on Ms. Stewart was enough for indictment and it really did not matter if she took the witness stand or not.
The third thing Ms. Stewart did to handle the indictment responsibly was not turn the case into “us-against-them” crusade. Ms. Stewart was and still is very popular. She could have easily fed the media to persuade them that she is the victim. It would have been very easy for Ms. Stewart to obtain favor with public and portray herself as the victim. She did have access to her web site where millions of fans were logged in and monitoring the last updates. Also, it would have been easy for Ms. Stewart to paint a picture for the public and portraying that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) were just out to destroy her.
The fourth thing Ms. Stewart did to handle the indictment responsibly was she elected to serve her time before her appeals were exhausted. This was not a normal response from anyone who is indicted for a crime. However, that was a good thing on her part. It appeared as thought she was accepting the punishment and wanted the madness to stop. Perhaps she elected to serve her time before her appeal to avoid the stocks of her own company collapsing. Perhaps it was a publicity stunt. The reason has not been revealed yet.
I am certain that one day when she is having a interview with Larry King, Oprah or on the View, she will explain why she responded the way she did during the entire trial. In conclusion, the decisions Martha Stewart made through out the indictment were responsible. By no means, do I condole what she did and Martha Stewart knew exactly what she was doing. I think she should have found other options to resolve the financial loss she was about encounter. A “true” friend would have asked ‘what can I do to help fix the situation without a major financial loss occurring? ’ I wonder though if she had to do it all over again would she do it.
References CourtTV. com (2004) Martha Stewart faces prison, uncertain future. Retrieved on 24 April 2007, from http:www. courttv. com/trials/stewart/verdict_ctv. htm Steffy, L. (2006) Place an asterisk by Stewart* HoustonChronicle. com. Retrieved on June 9, 2006 from Proquest. Krantz, M. (2006) Stewart to pay $195,000 to end ImClone ‘nightmare’; She doesn’t admit or deny guilt in settling inside-trading charges. USAToday. com Retrieved on August 8, 2006 from Proquest. Turow, S. (2004) Cry No Tears for Martha Stewart. The New York Times Retrieved on May 27, 2004 form Proquest.
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