Follow the Money (Update)

Ambra Battilana Gutierrez
Weinstein Victim

I think that these women that are claiming that Harvey Weinstein sexually abused or harassed them ought to consider themselves damned lucky. As one of the victims put it, “it was disgusting to be eaten (receive cunnilingus) from a fat man.” Weinstein has deep pockets, influence, and power which led to the ability to cover up his misdeeds. Others of his kind: Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer and Albert DeSalvo did not have Weinstein’s resources, so they resorted to more traditional methods of covering up their crimes. Weinstein-company-board-reportedlyknew-about-payoffs-to-women-since-2015-2017.

Not all psychopaths end up being serial murders. Babiak and Hare authors of Snakes in Suits found that psychopaths can flourish in a business atmosphere. Here is a description of their book.

Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work

Let’s say you’re about to hire somebody for a position in your company. Your corporation wants someone who’s fearless, charismatic, and full of new ideas. Candidate X is charming, smart, and has all the right answers to your questions. Problem solved, right? Maybe not.

We’d like to think that if we met someone who was completely without conscience — someone who was capable of doing anything at all if it served his or her purposes — we would recognize it. In popular culture, the image of the psychopath is of someone like Hannibal Lecter or the BTK Killer. But in reality, many psychopaths just want money, or power, or fame, or simply a nice car. Where do these psychopaths go? Often, it’s to the corporate world.

Researchers Paul Babiak and Robert Hare have long studied psychopaths. Hare, the author of Without Conscience, is a world-renowned expert on psychopathy, and Babiak is an industrial-organizational psychologist. Recently the two came together to study how psychopaths operate in corporations, and the results were surprising. They found that it’s exactly the modern, open, more flexible corporate world, in which high risks can equal high profits, that attracts psychopaths. They may enter as rising stars and corporate saviors, but all too soon they’re abusing the trust of colleagues, manipulating supervisors, and leaving the workplace in shambles.

Snakes in Suits is a compelling, frightening, and scientifically sound look at exactly how psychopaths work in the corporate environment: what kind of companies attract them, how they negotiate the hiring process, and how they function day by day. You’ll learn how they apply their “instinctive” manipulation techniques — assessing potential targets, controlling influential victims, and abandoning those no longer useful — to business processes such as hiring, political command and control, and executive succession, all while hiding within the corporate culture. It’s a must-read for anyone in the business world because whatever level you’re at, you’ll learn the subtle warning signs of psychopathic behavior and be able to protect yourself and your company — before it’s too late. Snakes-Suits-When-Psychopaths-Work

If I had to guess I would say people like Weinstein, Blow Job Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein share more traits with Ted Bundy than Mother Theresa. In the he said-she said environment of sexual assault, I am afraid Weinstein will prevail. However, there is a possible way to go after him that is likely to be ignored. At least I haven’t heard it discussed.

Follow the money. Despite claims of ignorance by the board, it was common knowledge that women who complained about Weinstein’s behavior were routinely paid off. The payoff was probably part of a non-disclosure agreement or other legal maneuver. What was the source of the funds?

In Weinstein’s world, it may be fun to try and pick up a hardbody like a bowling ball, but it is even better when you can get somebody else to pay the bill. Did the payoffs come out of Weinstein’s pocket? I suspect they came out of corporate funds. Check the annual report for the years in question, is there a line item for Weinstein’s perversions? What internal controls are in place for the use of corporate funds. Did the board have to vote on the expenditure? Were all proper procedures followed? Weinstein may have owned the company, but I’m willing to bet that ownership does not entail the right to loot the company at will. Weinstein may have the ability to withdraw the funds to pay for his misdeeds. But at some point in time, the books have to be reconciled.  Have proper audit procedures been followed?

Follow the money, payoffs, attorney’s fees, investigative fees all billed to the company and never charged back to Weinstein, may constitute theft. Exploit the audit trail. All it will take is an investigator with imagination and tenacity to find the information. If that were to happen, the fat boy is liable to find himself in the showers at Attica with a view of sexual exploitation from the victim’s point of view.

Weinstein negotiated a new contract in 2015, according to TMZ. It called for the company to pay all settlements and fees related to resolving any sexual harassment lawsuits on Weinstein’s behalf. He would reimburse the company and pay a fine of $250,000, increasing by $250,000 per occurrence. The fine would cap at $1,000,000 at the fifth occurrence. Each fine after that would be $1,000,000. I can think of cheaper hobbies.

The claim that the company didn’t know of Weinstein’s sexual harassment activity from 2015 onward is bogus. However, as long as the company didn’t look too closely they might be able to claim they were unaware of any criminal conduct. Since Weinstein was not involved in the negotiations there likely would be no admissions on his part.

Take heart, the addition of this language in the 2015 contract may mean that everybody involved in previous settlements were a whole lot more casual and sloppy in other sexual harassment negotiations. There are probably several years left to run on the statute of limitations for the time period 2010-2015, all is not lost.