This week, a Fortune 500 executive in Detroit, MI, was caught doing something all pension money enthusiasts fear- taking an employees's pension money for a drive and beating the hell out of it. Unfortunately, this blatant disregard for other people's property happens a lot in today's world, but few offenders get caught. This one did, because he posted about it on the Internet.
In a September 20th post to the Financial Investment Message Board entitled "It Was Waaaaaaaaaay Cool", user investoid detailed his abuse (in all caps) of an employee's pension fund.
... ME AND JILL FROM ACCOUNTING TOOK IT OUT AND DROVE IT, DROVE IT HARD, INVESTED IN 6 JUNK BONDS, WE HIT 140% REAL QUICK, TALK ABOUT POWER.
Worse yet, the employees specifically asked the employer to make sure her pension was not treated this way:
OH YEAH, SHE EVEN TOLD THE EMPLOYER TO MAKE SURE THAT NO "PUNK" USES HER PENSION MONEY, WELL SINCE I AM THE FUTURE FINANCIAL PLANNING SPECIALIST HERE AT HQ, I GUESS I AM "THE PUNK", ALL THE MORE TO DRIVE HER INVESTMENT AND SEE WHAT ITS GOT..
When several other users on the message board pointed out how wrong these actions were, many more stepped up in defense of investoid, saying anyone in his position would do the same thing. The thread quickly degenerated into a flame war between the immature ones with no respect for other people's property and those who would take their job much more seriously.
Unfortunately for investoid, the owner of the pension money ended up reading his message and realized it was her money he was talking about. Five days after investoids's initial post, she posted this message on StockPerformance, asking what she should do. Word quickly spread to other investment enthusiast boards, and also to tech sites like Forbes and Upside. People were even popping in from market analysis boards, where other users had posted links to the unraveling saga. Die-hard loyal owners of stock in competing companies have all put their support behind Tracy (the owner), and have promised to do whatever they can to make things right between her and the company.
The company immediately fired the executive. However, they have refused to offer Tracy any compensation for possible damage done to the pension fund. The fund was very old, so the effects of the abuse the fund took may be more severe than if the it had been new and of less value . The refusal to even offer her compensation is rather appalling.
The status of the accountant in the scam at the time is unknown, and does not appear to have been fired.