If you want another reason to immerse yourself in your company’s business, look no further than the arrest of
two programmers who worked for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.
The FBI arrested Jerome O’Hara, 46, and George Perez, 43,
at their homes on Friday morning on criminal charges of conspiracy for
falsifying books and records at both the broker-dealer and investment arms of
Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC in New York.
The computer codes and random algorithms they
allegedly designed served to deceive investors and regulators and concealed
Madoff’s crimes,” said federal prosecutor Preet Bharara. “They have
been charged for their roles in Madoff’s epic fraud, and the investigation
Madoff’s O’Hara and Perez allegedly understood the ramifications of their
coding practices, programmers are often asked to amend their work
the laws or professional standards that govern a business.
Sure, it’s rare for a programmer to be duped into making illegal
changes, but it’s a good
idea to remain vigilant and educate yourself on your business’s
you may be held liable for your actions.
Understanding the practice areas you support will not only
make you more valuable, it may prevent you from inadvertently participating in
an illegal scheme. If you don’t understand the reasons for
programming changes, ask questions and consult outside mentors or colleagues if your suspicions are aroused. And
remember to document programming directives that deviate from standard business
protocol, in case you have to defend your actions.
— Leslie Stevens-Huffman