|Senator Jake Files|
Politics is a very tough world to live in, as a spectator or as a politician. It can either get the best of you or you can get the best of it. In most cases, politicians get the best of it, however there are a few politicians that fall to their knees to the system. The most recent victim to the power of politics and the economy is former Senator Jake Files. Jake Files was a Republican representative from District 8 of the Arkansas State Senate for nine years (BallotPedia). He was also Vice President of Development for ERC Properties, an accountant for Fort Smith Christian School, and an owner of FFH Construction. Jake Files was in the Arkansas House of Representatives for four years and when he tried to run again in 2004 he lost (BallotPedia). They key fact here is he was an owner of a construction company because that he part of the crime he pleaded guilty to.
Former Senator Jake Files committed numerous crimes, from money laundering to bank fraud. It all starts back in August 2016 when former Senator Jake Files was given 46,500 given to him by the Fort Smith through state funds by the Western Arkansas Economic Development District and meant for state improvements. From there former Senator Jake Files falsified three bids to ease the release of the loan (Arkansas Time). Here we see that former Jake Files had committed his first crime, which was falsifying the bids for the loans. With all this money, Jake Files needed to pay off some financial debt he was in. He can’t do this with the money in the loans, so he needed a way to get the money into his personal bank accounts. He did this in two ways, the first way he did this was having a colleague open a fake bank account under their name so he can put half of the loan in that account, and the other half of the loan was given to him in cash and he laundered that money through his construction company (Arkansas Times). The most recent offense Jake Files committed was in November 2016 when he applied for another loan, and again committing bank fraud, by using a fork lift as collateral, one of which he did not own, to secure a $56,700 loan (The Washington Times).
|Here is Senator Jake Files in an interview with Talk Business & Politics|
The purpose of these two loans given to the state of Arkansas was for development and usage of a spots complex for the community. In this case the community would be considered a stakeholder. Some other stakeholders, or people affected by the actions of the Senator, are the governor because he has to make a statement, the lawyers who will be given this case, Jake Files, his family because they are going to have deal with the affects of this case, and finally the community itself because they will now have a bad reputation and they will not get the sports complex they were promised. If we take a step back and take a look at this as one whole picture we can see that from individualism, utilitarian, Kantianism, and virtue theory we see that this is unethical.
In the eyes of an individualistic, an act is considered ethical if the business is staying within the ethical standards and the law while maximizing the profit for your stockholders. To determine whether this conduct was unethical one must break it down into many parts. The first part being thinking about how former Senator Jake Files was profiting from. We clearly see Jake Files was maximizing his own profit because we was able to pay off is debt but, he was not abiding to the laws of society. The second perspective of individualism, we must evaluate is how he was able to get this money into his possession. From having his colleague open a bank with their name that he uses, laundering the money through his construction company, and falsifying the bank bids with collateral he did not own we can say from the viewpoint of an utilitarian it is unethical what he did because he did not follow the law.
If a utilitarian had to look at a case decide whether it was unethical or ethical, they would be looking for a certain characteristic. That characteristic is overall happiness. In the mind and mind set of a utilitarian happiness to all the stakeholders. Another definition is pleasure or even to the meet the needs of the other stakeholders. With this idea in mind, we will take a look at the overall happiness and see if the actions of the company, Jake Files, have met the needs of the stakeholders. Jake Files being one of the stakeholders, we see by his actions that he has met his needs and is satisfied. However to determine if an act is unethical we have to take a look at everybody and we can see that the rest of the stakeholders will not be pleased with the result and therefore this act is deemed unethical in the utilitarian theory.
Kantianism is based off of core values, minimum morality. A key part to it is that people must be respected as along with their values, needs, and interested must be respected by the company. Kantianism is also founded on that fact that the values of people and their decisions must be made when they are given the correct facts and not lied to. In this case it is hard to decide whether this is ethical or unethical in the eyes of Kant because the stakeholders or customers are not really buying anything. However if we take a look of how Jake Files was able to accomplish getting all this money, there was one common theme and that was he lied. He lied to the banks when falsifying bids, making the fake bank account, he lied to the IRS when he laundered the money through his construction company, and he lied to the community around him. From this Immanual Kant would say this was unethical.
The final theory we learned about in class was is virtue theory. The core concepts about virtue theory are courage, honesty, temperance, and justice. Virtue theory also encourages individuals to thrive in society that they are placed in. With this in mind and the fact that to be ethical you have to portray the good in a person we realize through the observations and facts that Jake Files broke the law numerous times. When he stole the state funds, laundered the money through his construction company, and falsifying the bank bids we can determine that this act was unethical.
As we take a look through the four ethical theories we learned in class and through extensive research we can see that Jake Files committing money laundering, bank fraud, and wire fraud is unethical in all four theories.
Brantley, Max. “Sen. Jake Files pleads guilty to fraud, money laundering charges.” Arkansas Times, Arkansas Blog, 29 Jan. 2018, 4:04 p.m., www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2018/01/29/sen-jake-files-pleads-guilty-to-fraud-money-laundering-charges.
Tidwell, Jordan. “Senator Jake Files Resigns From Office.” 5NEWS, 30 Jan. 2018, 5:24 p.m., 5newsonline.com/2018/01/30/senator-jake-files-resigns-from-office/.
“Jake Files.” BallotPedia, BallotPedia, ballotpedia.org/Jake_Files.
Mordock, Jeff. “Arkansas State Senator pleads guilty to wire fraud, money laundering.” The Washington Times, The Washington Times, 29 Jan. 2018, www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jan/29/jakes-files-arkansas-senator-guilty-wire-fraud/.
Talk Business & Politics. “Sen. Jake Files pleads guilty to wire fraud, money laundering, and bank fraud.” abc7, abc7, 29 Jan. 2018, katv.com/news/local/sen-jake-files-pleads-guilty-to-wire-fraud-money-laundering-and-bank-fraud.