White Collar Crime, Up Close & Personal


Blogging “live” from on the road again this weekend. This time, I’m at the University of Tulsa to do a session on ethics with their new MBA class. Tonight I joined the Tulsa MBA students for dinner & to hear their after-dinner speaker talk — from a first-person point of view — about white-collar crime.

The speaker was Walt Pavlo.

Here’s a chunk of Pavlo’s bio, from his website:

As a senior manager at MCI, and with a meritorious employment history, Walt Pavlo was responsible for the billing and collection of nearly $1 billion in monthly revenue for MCI’s carrier finance division. Beginning in March of 1996, Mr. Pavlo, one member of his staff and a business associate outside of MCI began to perpetrate a fraud involving a few of MCI’s own customers. When the scheme was completed, there had been seven customers of MCI defrauded over a six-month period resulting in $6 million in payments to the Cayman Islands.

In January 2001, in cooperation with the Federal Government, Walt Pavlo pled guilty to wire fraud and money laundering and entered federal prison shortly thereafter.

Pavlo describes his own presentation as a case study…with him as the subject matter. Rather than either moralize or beg forgiveness, Pavlo simply tells his story. It’s a story of a bright, enthusiastic MBA who got very good (indeed, a little too good), at “making the numbers.” It’s a story of ego, ambition, and what philosopher David Luban calls “the corruption of judgment.” It’s the story of a very nice guy, who also happens to be a convicted felon. And it’s a story every single MBA student ought to hear.


Addition: here’s a link to my January 6 blog posting, on Crooks Teaching Ethics.

1 comment so far

  1. […] first blogged about Walt Pavlo in August of 2006, soon after meeting him in person (we were both speakers at the […]


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