Jerry and Alan had different motivations. Jerry’s motivations were to earn money to pay off his loan, as well as to pay for the house he had contracted and wedding he was about to have; but his main motivation was to justify Alan’s trusting him with a responsible position. However, but for Alan, whose basic motivation was illegal enrichment, Jerry would have never been involved with the pending orders fraud for he seems to be an honest person.
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Jerry has faced a great ethical dilemma regarding adding the pending orders. This dilemma consisted in whether to refuse to do it for this did not seem to be right, or whether to fulfill Alan’s orders being satisfied by his explanation that adding pending orders was a common practice in the company. Besides, Jerry was working in a new position and did not want to object to his boss. His objection would result in his losing his job while continuing to add the pending orders could have more serious consequences.
In a case with Jerry, legal issues faced by him were different from those which Alan faced, but they were no less serious. What these two people were doing can be called a financial fraud. Jerry, however, can be regarded only as an accomplice of this fraud, though this would entail the same serious punishment as for Alan. The fact that he was Alan’s subordinate can be a mitigating circumstance, but this does not exempt him from responsibility for he accepted a $1000 bonus which has been a payment for his silence even more than once.
Alan has faced the same legal issue. His obtaining extra money himself would be his issue, but his involving other employees in this also entails bribery. Not only had Alan taken risks for violating financial laws, but he involved other people in this, thus, making them bear responsibility as well. He was the initiator of this crime who paid money to other employees for being his accomplices.
Both Jerry and Alan have already committed illegal activities. Alan has been doing this for months and was gaining extra money for this. Jerry started to be involved in this from the moment when he accepted the bonus for his “work”. He was wise enough not to cash the second check, which proves that he was not sure about the legacy of his actions. Financial fraud which these people were engaged in is fraught with legal punishment, staining of reputation, and, thus, inability to find good work in the future.
After the meeting, Jerry should report about his boss’s favoring “creative” methods of cutting the company’s expenses if he does not want to bear responsibility for these actions. He should contact the higher authorities, though at this he may face another trouble, namely the authorities’ being aware of this fraud. Jerry can also choose to quit, which is likely to result in fewer troubles for him.
If Jerry chooses to report about the fraud at once, he will still have to bear punishment, but this reporting will extenuate his guilt and result in smaller punishment, than in case he does not do it. If he quits, Alan would demand explanations from him and may even threaten him because Jerry knows that the company is breaking the laws.
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