Interviewer: “Can you tell us what happened when your husband confessed to lying in the disclosure to the SEC that he had written?”

Spouse: “It was a strange encounter. My husband came home one night from dinner with some business colleagues and said he needed to talk to me. He confessed he had lied in the disclosure to the SEC. He said he had exaggerated two points in the financial results and increased the revenue outlook to appear more successful. I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t expected this.

When I asked him why he had done it, he said he stumbled upon a weird encounter during dinner. He was talking to one of his business colleagues and he was saying what a great quarter it had been for the business and that his company’s income projection for the year was going to be excellently high. This colleague then said: ‘That’s not going to do us any good if people don’t trust your data. They need to be able to trust numbers.’

My husband said he was taken aback by this comment and it made him think of all the hard work his team had put in to trying to get trustworthy results. That night, he hadn’t been able to get the comment out of his head and in the morning before he wrote the disclosure, he considered changing some of the financial results and outlook to appear more successful so that people would trust his work. He knew it was wrong but he feels like he was almost conditioned to do it.

Needless to say, I was disappointed that he had made this decision and I tried to talk him out of it, but he said he had already done it and there was nothing he could do to change it. I told him he should have been more honest and that he should have considered the consequences of his actions. He said he totally understood the gravity of his situation and accepted whatever consequences might come from it.”

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