Loren Steffy from the Houston Chronicle recently heard me speak to a group of students from the University of Houston. Here’s what he had to say in his article “Accountants Warned: Felonies are Forever”:
Her story is a cautionary tale that aspiring accountants – and other corporate employees – need to hear. For anyone who thinks that following orders or being a team player offers any legal protection, Sharkey’s story is a wakeup call. The line between loyalty and criminality can be thinner than many employees realize.
“People’s perceptions of responsibility are skewed,” she told me in an interview last week. “Mine certainly were.”
She was the lowest-ranking of seven Dynegy employees involved in the deal and, at the age of 29, she was one of the youngest.
She said she did what she was told. She ignored what she knew was wrongdoing and as a result, she became an accomplice.
“Did I feel in my gut it was wrong? Absolutely. Did I think it was illegal? No way,” she said.