| 12/17/2004 9:00 a.m.

The greatest irony in the fraud perpetration business is that those of us who perpetrate fraud are far more gullible than the victims of our schemes. In my experience, no one who has ever perpetrated a material fraud has not first factored a core principle into their thinking. In fact, only those exclusive members of the fraud perpetration club know this principle, and it is a four-letter word: cure. We, while in the midst of our criminal activity, do not like to view ourselves as crooks. We also are not naïve enough to believe that we can continue lying and defrauding investors ad infinitum and not get caught.

So we convince ourselves of an even bigger fraud than the one we are perpetrating. The lies we are telling investors, bankers, auditors, or stockholders are justified because they are a means to an end and not an end in themselves. We have a cure that only we know about that will rescue us from our misdeeds by creating enough income to pay back everyone who has invested with us.

For example, the cure for dishonest brokers or traders who have carefully concealed their losses is "that one good trading day" that will result in enough profits to cover the losses they have been hiding. The cure for me at ZZZZ Best was slightly different. My goal was to keep lying to Wall Street, the auditors, the bankers, and the stockholders until my six million shares of ZZZZ Best stock became free-trading. Once they became free-trading, I planned on selling one or two million shares, raising eighteen to thirty million dollars, paying off the mob and all the other investors, and going legit.

Thus the cure accomplishes two critical purposes. First, it helps rationalize illegal behavior based on the fact that ...

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