Florida Lawmakers Plan Corporate Crime Bill

August 8, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Democratic leaders in the Florida Legislature are now backing a proposal to combat corporate fraud, a Tallahassee Democrat news report indicated.

Senator Ron Klein, (D-Boca Raton), and Representative Doug Wiles, (D-St. Augustine), plan to file bills modeled after Senator Buddy Dyer’s (D-Orlando) proposal to close state loopholes that Dyer says leads to retirees losing their nest eggs to unethical corporations, the paper reported.

However, the Democrats may have an uphill battle. Senator Jim King, the Jacksonville Republican slated to become Senate president if the Republicans keep their majority, says the state might need stiffer penalties for wrongdoers, but it doesn’t need more regulations.

The plan would:

  • make it a crime for an executive to lie to the public about the value of a company and its profits
  • forbid accounting firms from acting at the same time as the audit firm and a consultant for the same corporation
  • empower the state attorney general to go after dishonest corporations and their employees
  • forbid corporations from loaning money to their officers and directors
  • impose tougher sentences for corporate crimes.