Why salary bonuses drive executives to cheat

You don’t have to look far these days to find examples of corporate scandals involving fraud. A new study finds that performance-based pay is to blame for fraudulent behavior and actually motivates people to “cook the books”. Judi McLean Parks, the Reuben C. and Anne Carpenter Taylor Professor of Organizational Behavior at Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis and co-author of the study believes the results have implications for CEO compensation plans and the financial difficulties many companies are experiencing today. “All I have to do is look at Enron, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to know that this does happen. And now we’ve demonstrated the causal link to contingent pay.” Fraud uncovered at Fannie Mae alone from 1998-2004 has been estimated to be in excess of $10.6 billion.

Magneprint technology licensed to TRAX Systems, Inc.

Washington University in St. Louis has licensed a system developed by Washington University engineers that is meant to detect counterfeit credit cards by reading a unique magnetic “fingerprint” on the stripes of credit cards and other objects that carry magnetic information. The system — called Magneprint — was invented by Ronald Indeck, Ph.D., Das Family Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at Washington University.

High-profile celebrity trials test lawyers’ skills with ‘unique set of challenges’

Photo courtesy of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s DepartmentJury selection will be at issue in the Jackson trial.From Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart and Phil Spector to Kobe Bryant and Jayson Williams, celebrity criminal trials continue to be top news items. But as the spotlight on these trials intensifies, attorneys representing celebrities are presented with a unique set of challenges, says Christopher Bracey, an expert in the fields of criminal rights and criminal process and an associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. “Instead of focusing solely on preparing a strong legal defense, these attorneys are dealing with issues such as client management, tainted jury pools and misinformation.”