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Indicted Ex-CEO Eats and Bleats

Posted Apr 27, 2007 10:49 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Former White House budget director David Stockman is talking to reporters in an apparent effort to revive his image.

Stockman has been indicted for fraud and conspiracy in connection with his handling of finances as CEO for auto parts maker Collins & Aikman. Prosecutors claim he misled investors to preserve his own stake in the company.

The Washington Post interviewed Stockman over a lunch in which he ordered salmon and a virgin Bloody Mary.

Stockman maintains he is different from indicted corporate officials who profited from stock sales and paid for lavish items with company funds.

"I spent my whole life being an honest citizen. Now all of a sudden it's like I'm some big fraudster, when the facts contradict that idea entirely," he told the Post.

Stockman’s eagerness to speak could come back to haunt him, if prosecutors scour his statements for weaknesses that can be exploited on cross-examination, the Post says.

Stockman gave a similar interview to the New York Times (sub. req.), also involving a restaurant meal, and this time he was reported to have nursed a big glass of scotch throughout the evening.

In that story, he said the case against him was a “dangerous criminalization of a business failure fueled by Sarbanes-Oxley,'' a law passed in response to corporate accounting irregularities. The Times had no word on whether he ordered salmon.

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