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Katun Corp. once was led by a co-founder named Terence Michael Clarke, a guy who once had the audacity to complain about Minnesota income taxes -- but who was later ordered to pay $6 million in past-due taxes and penalties for failing to disclose as income millions he took from the company. The new owners of the Twin Cities-based imaging supply company were in pursuit last year of another $11 million from Clarke and several other executives for repayment of fines that Katun paid in compensation for illegal activities that occurred under Clarke & Co.
"Every organization is going to have some bad apples," said Assistant U.S. attorney Hank Shea, a veteran white-collar prosecutor. "But what's different with a case like Buca or Katun is that you have an organization that, from the top, wasn't doing anything to promote ethical values.
"We're talking about failure from the top. And that's where you create Enron-type debacles."
Recent victories by prosecutors have punished many corporate evils. And while those convictions and today's tougher regulations will never eliminate greed, they will make it easier for good men and women to cry out when they see corporate wrongdoing.
Neal St. Anthony 612-673-7144 firstname.lastname@example.org