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Nine Out of 30 Dow Jones Industrial Index Companies Convicted of Crimes

Posted in the database on Tuesday, June 21st, 2005 @ 11:50:37 MST (1598 views)
by Russell Mokhiber    Common Dreams  

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WASHINGTON - June 20 - Nine out the 30 companies that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Index are convicted corporate criminals, according to a report released today by Corporate Crime Reporter.

"This should put to rest the myth that indicting or convicting a corporation of a crime results in an automatic death penalty for the corporation," said Russell Mokhiber, editor of Corporate Crime Reporter.

The Wall Street Journal in its lead editorial today, states flat out that "an indictment against a corporation is usually a death sentence, whatever the ultimate legal outcome."

"Not true," said Mokhiber.

"In fact, you can be a convicted corporate criminal and still have a robust future - so much so, that you can become or remain a member of that rarified group of 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Index," Mokhiber said.

Corporate Crime Reporter identified nine Dow Jones Industrial Index corporations - 3M, Alcoa, Boeing, Exxon, General Electric, General Motors, Merck, Pfizer, and United Technologies - that have been convicted of crimes.

In tallying the corporate criminals, the weekly newsletter did not include crimes committed by joint venture companies or subsidiaries of the 30 corporations.

It looked only at whether or not the parent companies had been convicted of crimes.

Below is a list of the 30 companies that comprise the Dow, and their crimes, if any.


Type of Crime: Campaign finance

Criminal Fine: $5,000

Source: Facts on File, February 1, 1975

Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. pled guilty to five counts of making illegal campaign contributions during 1972 to candidates for state and local elections in Minnesota.

The firm was fined $5,000 for violating the state election law, which barred the use of corporate funds as campaign contributions.


Type of Crime: Environmental

Criminal Fine: $3.75 million

Source: 5 Corporate Crime Reporter 29(6), July 22, 1991

The Aluminum Company of America pled guilty to environmental crimes and paid $7.5 million in fines for hazardous waste and other violations at the company's facility in Massena, New York.

The payment includes a criminal fine of $3.75 million, at the time the largest fine ever assessed for a hazardous waste violation.

Altria (no convictions found)

American Express (no convictions found)

American International Group (no convictions found)


Type of Crime: Illegal Use of Classified Documents

Criminal Fine: $5 Million

Source: 3 Corporate Crime Reporter 44(5), November 20, 1989

Boeing Company pled guilty to two felony charges of obtaining secret Pentagon internal budgeting planning documents.

The company paid a $5 million criminal fine.

Caterpillar (no convictions found)

Citigroup (no convictions found)

Coca-Cola Inc. (no convictions found)

E.I. DuPont de NeMours & Co. (no convictions found)

Exxon Mobil Corp.

Type of Crime: Environmental

Criminal Fine: $125 million

Source: 5 Corporate Crime Reporter 11(3), March 18, 1991

Exxon Corporation and Exxon Shipping pled guilty to federal criminal charges in connection with the March 24, 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

The company was assessed a $125 million criminal fine.

Attorney General Dick Thornburgh called the fine "the largest single environmental criminal recovery ever enacted."

The companies pled guilty to misdemeanor violations of federal environmental laws.

Approximately 11 million gallons of crude oil spilled from the Valdez, fouling 700 miles of Alaska shoreline, killing birds and fish, and destroying the way of life of thousands of Native Americans.

General Electric

Type of Crime: Fraud

Criminal Fine: $9.5 million

Source: 6 Corporate Crime Reporter 30(7), July 27, 1992

General Electric Company pled guilty to charges of defrauding the federal government of $26.5 million in the sale of military equipment to Israel.

The company paid $69 million in fines, penalties and damages for committing the offenses. Of that, $9.5 million is a criminal fine.

The company pled guilty to diverting millions of dollars to a former Israeli Air Force General to assist GE in securing favorable treatment in connection with the F-16 program.

General Motors

Type of Crime: Antitrust

Criminal Fine: $5,000

Source: Multinational Monitor, December 1, 1999

Seventy years ago, clean, quiet efficient inner city rail systems dotted the U.S. landscape. The inner city rail systems were destroyed by those very companies that would most benefit from their destruction -- oil, tire and automobile companies, led by General Motors.

By 1949, GM had helped destroy 100 electric trolley systems in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, St. Louis, Oakland, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and elsewhere.

In April 1949, a federal grand jury in Chicago indicted and a jury convicted GM, Standard Oil of California and Firestone, among others, of criminally conspiring to replace electric transportation with gas and diesel-powered buses and to monopolize the sale of buses and related products to transportation companies around the country.

GM and the other convicted companies were fined $ 5,000 each.

Hewlett-Packard (no convictions found)

Home Depot

Honeywell (no convictions found)

IBM (no convictions found)

Intel (no convictions found)

J.P. Morgan (no convictions found)

Johnson & Johnson (no convictions found)

McDonald's (no convictions found)


Type of Crime: Antitrust

Criminal Fine: $14 million

Source: 14 Corporate Crime Reporter 20(4), May 15, 2000

Two German pharmaceutical manufacturers - Merck KgaA and Degussa Huels AG - and two U.S. pharmaceutical companies - Nepera Inc. and Reilly Industries Inc. - agreed last week to plead guilty and pay criminal antitrust fines totaling $33 million for participating in two separate worldwide conspiracies to suppress and eliminate competition in the vitamin industry.

Microsoft (no convictions found)


Type of Crime: Antitrust

Criminal Fine: $20 million

Source: 12 Corporate Crime Reporter 30(1), July 26, 1999

Pfizer Inc. pled guilty and paid criminal fines totaling $20 million for participating in two international price fixing conspiracies in the food additives industry.

Pfizer was charged with participating in a conspiracy to raise and fix prices and allocate market shares in the U.S. for a food preservative called sodium erythorbate, and to allocate customers and territories for a flavoring agent called maltol.

Federal officials charged Pfizer with conspiring with an unnamed sodium erythorbate producer to fix prices and allocate market shares on sodium erythorbate sales in the United States from 1992 to 1994.

Federal officials also charged the corporation with conspiring with an unnamed maltol producer to allocate customers and territories for sales of maltol in the United States and elsewhere from 1989 until 1995.

Procter & Gamble (no convictions found)

SBC Communications (no convictions found)

United Technologies Corporation

Type of Crime: Environmental

Criminal Fine: $3 million

Source: 5 Corporate Crime Reporter 21(1), May 27, 1991

United Technologies Corporation pled guilty to six felony violations of federal environmental laws and was fined $3 million, at the time the largest criminal fine ever for a hazardous waste violation in the United States.

The charges related to the illegal discharge of hazardous waste at the company Sikorsky Aircraft Division in Stratford, Connecticut in 1986.

Federal officials charged that an industrial solvent was dumped illegally on the ground at the Stratford facility.

Verizon (no convictions found)

Wal-Mart (no convictions found)

Walt Disney Company (no convictions found)

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