Why Do Good People Go Bad?

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Every day, we’re confronted with choices. They include issues that can profoundly impact our health, like diet, exercise and the reduction of stress. As recent events demonstrate, they may also involve ethical choices, which can cross the line into criminal behavior.

Why do good people make bad choices?

There are plenty of examples of bad conduct, both in the security industry and by corporate titans.

Brokers and investment advisors

According to a press release issued by the Department of Justice dated September 6, 2019, Gary Basralian, a former broker and investment advisor was sentenced to 70 months in prison for stealing “millions of dollars” from his clients to pay for personal expenses.

In one instance, he perpetrated this fraud by using a “phony spreadsheet,” indicating the client’s money was being invested in interest-bearing loans. Instead, it was sent to accounts he controlled and was used for his own benefit.

This is not an isolated incident. In January, 2020, Steven Pagartanis was sentenced to 170 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $6.5 million in restitution for defrauding elderly investors of over $13 million over nearly two decades.