I’m not sure if the video about Sam Antar was entirely about social engineering. Granted, Mr. Antar was adept at influencing the auditors, I think the video was more about Ethics. The business world is based on integrity of financial information and the video showed that Sam Antar abused and manipulated that integrity to portray his family’s business in a better light.
Factual accounting is the means to ensure financial information is correct. The financial information is used by investors, lenders, creditors, governments to make business and investing decisions. As a certified public accountant, Sam Antar was fully aware of the importance of this information. He gained knowledge about how accounting firms verified this information by working for the agency that audited Crazy Eddie’s. He and his associates used this information to deceive auditors and misrepresent key accounts values to make their business more profitable. Basically, he willfully deceived investors, creditors, lenders and the government when he knew better.
In class we learned that Ethics was the study of principles of conduct that apply to an individual or a group. Furthermore, we learned that there are four Ethical Standards: Rights; Justice; Utility; and Care. In reviewing the video and researching on-line, it is clear that Sam Antar violated all of these ethical standards.
- Rights – an individual’s basic needs and welfare. Sam and his co-conspirators elected to illegally manipulate business systems and take more than was rightfully theirs.
- Justice – how the costs and benefits of an action or a policy can be fairly distributed fairly among a group. Sam and his co-conspirators made millions off their illegal activities. In the end (probably because of his cooperation with the government and legal plaintiffs), Sam did not go to jail and was not sued. Sam isn’t living in poverty, as he makes a living as a consultant and is available for speaking engagements.
- Utility – The positive and negative effects that an action or a policy has on the public. Sam’s company cheated investors, lenders, and creditors and the government out of millions of dollars. Customers were cheated out of warranties, paid “new” prices for “old” electronics. Employees lost their jobs as a result of the company’s bankruptcy. Lenders, creditors and the government lost out on monies they invested and taxes they could not collect.
- Care – relationships we have with others. Sam and his fellow criminals trampled on the trustworthiness of many people. He admitted that he manipulated people to advance his company and personal interests. In the end, he even served as a witness against family members in their trials for their crimes.
It is clear that ethics was not a high priority to Mr. Antar while he was working at Crazy Eddie’s. However, according to his website, it appears that he is attempting educate the public so transgressions like this can be avoided. Time will tell if his intentions are indeed good and ethical.