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Court Rules Ellison Must Donate $100M to Charity

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the forced-benevolence dept.

The Almighty Buck 191

PokeyPenguin writes "As part of a settlement for insider trading allegations, a California judge has ordered that Larry Ellison donate $100 million to charity. CNet reports, 'The charity payments are an unusual way to settle such a case. Typically, settlement payments would go directly to the company, in this case Oracle. "But with Mr. Ellison owning a quarter of Oracle's stock, much of such a direct payment, in effect, would have gone to him."'"

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JDJ Had This News 6 Weeks Ago (2, Informative)

jg21 (677801) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164346)

September 12 was, erm, over six weeks ago--this news about the ending of the so-called "derivative law suits" was dealt with [sys-con.com] by Java Developer's Journal (and tens of dozens of other major technology publications) long ago. [from the article] "Unusual Settlement Arrangement Would End Derivative Lawsuits Once and For All, and Avoid a Trial"

Re:JDJ Had This News 6 Weeks Ago (5, Informative)

boingyzain (739759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164453)

From TFA: ...the terms of which were approved on Tuesday by a California judge. Of course, Tuesday being November 22nd, the day this article was run. So, if you were to RTFA, you would find that this lists the newest developments in this case, not the stuff from six weeks ago.

Re:JDJ Had This News 6 Weeks Ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164473)

I saw this post at 0, Informative, and wondered who had modded it down, then i saw the starting score was -1. Looking at your history, your posts have a positive net moderation... You must have been pretty busy back in the day.

Re:JDJ Had This News 6 Weeks Ago (1)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164634)

I agree, I also read about this over a month ago in the Wall Street Journal (it's like the Java Developer's Journal, but with less code, a book section and bigger IBM ads).

Now I know that this article was put out because the settlement was finalized, but still, this is something that people have known about for several weeks.

Tax Break (3, Insightful)

thedogcow (694111) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164348)

Won't he get a tax break therefore saving money in the long run?

Re:Tax Break (2, Interesting)

Tamsco (672082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164358)

Maybe, at least the state won't have to pay for his trip to club fed.

Re:Tax Break (4, Funny)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164372)

Won't he get a tax break therefore saving money in the long run?

Why don't you donate all your money to charity & save money using this
ruse?

not $100 million (3, Insightful)

246o1 (914193) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164375)

Sure, he'll get a tax break, but he's only gonna get a little fraction of that back, and undoubtedly the judge in the case was aware of this. He'll still lose tens of millions of dollars/

Re:Tax Break (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164379)

I'm sure the IRS will be aware of the decision.

Re:Tax Break (1)

maryjane gonjasoft (925817) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164418)

i hope to god not, i know it is early to suggest what he does with it, but i will. EDUCATION. nothing else.

No Tax Break (5, Informative)

David Hume (200499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164470)

Ellison won't get a tax break. Although the payment is being made to a charity, it is not a charitable contribution. He is receiving legal consideration [thefreedictionary.com] for the payment -- i.e., he is settling and discharing a debt. It would similar to the situation where you bought a used car from the charity, and paid them money in exchange. Your payment would not be a charitable contribution

More precisely, the charity is a third party beneficiary [thefreedictionary.com] of a contract between the plaintiff(s) and Ellison to settle the case. It would be more like a case where "Seller" sells a car to you but, feeling charitable, writes the contract so you pay the money to the charity. In that case, if anyone got a deduction it would be "Seller" and not you.

I've got just the charity! (3, Funny)

Anyd (625939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164368)

It's called "Feed the Anyds." Seriously though, I'm hungry!

Re:I've got just the charity! (1)

HailSatan (843446) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164496)

mod parent up! that was a good joke.

At press time, charity unreachable (5, Funny)

AEton (654737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164386)

Representatives from Ellison's selected charity - the little-known 'Human Fund' - were unavailable for comment.

Re:At press time, charity unreachable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164421)

And just in time for Festivus too!

Re:At press time, charity unreachable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164628)

"It's a Festivus miracle!"

Re:At press time, charity unreachable (2, Funny)

Basehart (633304) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164436)

I hear it all went to the SBF (Strange Beard Fund).

No no no. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (5, Funny)

Genady (27988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165287)

Ellison's lawyers filed an appeal under the 8th Amendment when it was revealed that Ellison would have to give the $100m to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

why not pay the shareholders? (3, Insightful)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164388)

Obviously i am no business genius but why does the payment be in a form that will add to the stock value? Can't the judge order Ellison to write out checks to the ones who suffered?
Also, the timestamp on the news.com.com site shows that this news is about 2 weeks old. Isn't that like a lifetime in the Internet age or is this a dupe post :(

Re:why not pay the shareholders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164395)

That's a typical slashdot news. It's in an another reality than ours.

Re:why not pay the shareholders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164401)

LMAO

Re:why not pay the shareholders? (4, Interesting)

sketchkid (555690) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164398)

well the long-term investors - those who were damaged at the time of illicit trading and have sustained a drop in shareholder wealth - are compensated with the recapitalization of the company

Re:why not pay the shareholders? (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164994)

That was the issue raised in the last line of the summary, normally in this type of case, payments are made to the company. However in this case, since Ellison owns ~25% of Oracle, he would benefit disproportinatly (and Oracle would just buy more treasury bills with the money). It is more difficult to allocate the money to all the individual minority holders who were wronged.

25% of the damage inflicted (1)

sketchkid (555690) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164393)

so a quarter of the total parties damaged by Ellison's insider trading was.... Ellison. ohhh

Hello Larry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164407)

This is Martha how the heck did you do it? You don't even know how to decorate, your web [oracle.com] site is way too drab...and that is not a good thing!

$17 Billion Dollars? (5, Interesting)

el_womble (779715) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164419)

So the settlement was for 0.6% of his personal worth? Or bearly equivalent to a speeding ticket to a guy on $30,000 and he gets 5 years to pay it and no criminal record?

That's justice right there.

Re:$17 Billion Dollars? (2)

TheNoxx (412624) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164458)

The rich and powerful can only be penalized by a slap on the wrist, unless, of course, they cause massive damage to an entire state like California (Keep crying, Mrs. Lay; I'm loving every tear).

The Slashdot School of Law has failed you (4, Informative)

kajoob (62237) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164551)

1.) Only $100 million?

That's because no California court has ever awarded punitive damages in a derivative suit. Derivative suits, like this one, are about equity - not punishment.

2.) No criminal record?

Derivative suits are civil, not criminal.

Re:The Slashdot School of Law has failed you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164733)

I think your sig is supposed to be:
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur

Re:The Slashdot School of Law has failed you (2)

herky (935617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164848)

All true - but kind of funny that Larry pulls out his change purse and Martha wears the shackles. Is it just me, or do other people think Larry might actually have a man purse?

Re:The Slashdot School of Law has failed you (3, Insightful)

CodeArtisan (795142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165072)

All true - but kind of funny that Larry pulls out his change purse and Martha wears the shackles. Is it just me, or do other people think Larry might actually have a man purse?

Not that I'm defending Larry, but Martha wore the shackles for lying to the Feds, not the insider trading. I'm sure if she hadn't been so arrogant and just 'fessed up front, she would have received similar treatment.

Re:$17 Billion Dollars? (4, Insightful)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164577)

You want the real justice?

The people who lost out on this -- the shareholders who's stock lost extra value because he devalued their stock unfairly -- get nothing other than a mildly warm and fuzzy feeling that a company that they own some very small part of gave a sizable charitable donation somewhere.

The lawyers, on the other hand, get $24 million in cash money.

Re:$17 Billion Dollars? (1)

DJStealth (103231) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165412)

Does he get a tax receipt for this donation?

Great Solution (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164423)

Why not just exclude his stock from the distribution of the settlement. That way the people he screwed could still benefit from this settlement.

Re:Great Solution (3, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164469)

"A rising tide lifts all boats".

Re:Great Solution (1)

AlastairMurray (537904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164725)

Or just increase the size of the settlement so that after 25% is fed back to him he is left with a net loss of $100 million.

Re:Great Solution (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164874)

Or, if the problem is that if 1/4 of the payment goes back to him, multiply it by ...uhh, what the hell am I trying to post at 7am for...? -- multiply it by 4/3 or 5/4 or whatever number it is to normalize the redistributed amount?

This sounds like straight-up innumeracy on the part of the judge.

Re:Great Solution (1)

Kenneth Stephen (1950) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164964)

If Oracle stock was going to tank, the people left holding the stock would have had losses anyway - whether Ellison did insider trading or not. Ellison didnt cause them losses by his insider trading. The shareholders' gripe is that he made money illegally when he shouldnt have. So the judgement is exactly right : the shareholders shouldnt get money because they wouldnt have gotten rich anyway. And Larry Ellison shouldnt have gained that money - so his ill gotten gains should be taken away.

Re:Great Solution (2, Insightful)

penguinoid (724646) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165071)

I don't get it. Why doesn't Ellison just pay a higher amount, since he would only get a quarter of that back and the rest would go to the shareholders. So he pays 4/3 times the damages, and gets 25% of that back. Is the settlement stupid or should I read the article?

Favorite Charity. (4, Funny)

Rick Richardson (87058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164424)


Mr. Ellison's favorite charity: LINUX !!!!!

Re:Favorite Charity. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164680)

I doubt it will be, but it would be useful. That would be no different than what Bill Gate's charity fund has been used for.

New Ellison Business Plan (2, Funny)

trurl7 (663880) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164461)

Larry Ellison's new business plan:

1) Change Oracle's status to "Charity"
2) Donate $100B to the Oracle Charity Fund
3) Change Oracle's status back to "For Profit Corporation"
4) Profit!!!

There's something wrong up there though.... what could it be ??????

Re:New Ellison Business Plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164607)

There's something wrong up there though.... what could it be ??????


Ummm... too many question marks ??????

Re:New Ellison Business Plan (1)

harryman100 (631145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164620)

There's something wrong up there though.... what could it be ??????

You wrote $100B, it should actually be $100M

Re:New Ellison Business Plan (1)

Lijemo (740145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164935)

1) Change Oracle's status to "Charity"
2) Donate $100B to the Oracle Charity Fund
3) Change Oracle's status back to "For Profit Corporation"
4) Profit!!!

...except that the law doesn't allow you to change a companies status from non-profit to for-profit. You can disolve a non-profit, but the assets have to be given to another non-profit-- you can't just take the money and run.

(At least not without playing Anderson-style accounting games that will make the SEC and the IRS very, very, disapointed in you if you get caugt...)

In other news (4, Funny)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164464)

Me Ellison recently announced a $400M Dividend to be paid to shareholders

Re:In other news (1)

dascandy (869781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164489)

> Me Ellison

Was that a slip of the tongue?

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164534)

QWERTY

Re:In other news (2, Funny)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164646)

Was that a slip of the tongue?
Maybe if he's typing with his mouth.

Seems like that would get the keyboard a little slobbery though.

No wrongdoing? (5, Interesting)

sh0dan (762382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164480)

From TFA:
Ellison offered in September to settle the case with $100 million in charitable donations and without admitting wrongdoing.
I'm really puzzled about this. Can someone explain to me, how you can pay yourself out of a wrongdoing?

To - you have either done nothing wrong, and you are free, or you have done something wrong and have to pay for it. Maybe I'm just naiive, but how can it be "nothing wrong" and paying back money?

Re:No wrongdoing? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164510)

"Can someone explain to me, how you can pay yourself out of a wrongdoing? "

With lots and lots of money.

KFG

Re:No wrongdoing? (3, Interesting)

vidarh (309115) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164547)

It it's not "nothing" wrong and paying back money. It's "you claim I've done something wrong, and I claim I haven't, but I think it's worth it (for whatever reasons) to accept X as punishment right now if it will make the case go away without wasting either of our times with a protracted court case"

Of course you'd stand a better chance getting a settlement accepted if you admit wrongdoing, but often what the other party is after is mainly the punishment, and they couldn't care less if you admit doing anything wrong if you're willing to pay.

One reason for being prepared to take the punishment without accepting wrongdoing may be if you worry that being convicted may leave you open to lawsuits from other parties related to what you'd admit to.

See the Nixon pardon (4, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164593)

how can it be "nothing wrong" and paying back money?


He admits nothing, but other people believe he did something wrong. As Gerald Ford said when he granted Nixon's pardon: "I am compelled to conclude that many months and perhaps more years will have to pass before Richard Nixon could obtain a fair trial by jury", and "To procrastinate, to agonize, and to wait for a more favorable turn of events that may never come or more compelling external pressures that may as well be wrong as right, is itself a decision of sorts"

.
For someone like Ellison, paying $100 million is nothing compared to waiting years for a trial, even if he were considered "not guilty" in the end.

Best justice money can buy (1)

Urusai (865560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164617)

We live in a society of law, and the law is: he who has, gets.

Re:No wrongdoing? (1)

rupp17 (927376) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164862)

Kings used to be able un-sin by building churches

Re:No wrongdoing? (1)

saintm (142527) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165001)

It's like when Michael Jackson payed off the family of that kid he was alleged to of molested. Apart from everyone knows he did it.

Re:No wrongdoing? (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165016)

This is civil and not criminal court, most civil settlements include a term that while I'll grant you a concession provided that that concession does not imply that I did anything wrong, just that you were impacted. The alternative would be if the wronged party demands an apology and is willing to reduce the size of the other concessions to get that apology. The closest thing would be a true accident where a tree or hedge was in the line of sight of an intersection and two cars collide, one party may pay a portion of the damage of the other's car, even if they were not driving in a negligent manner.

Charitable contributions (2, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164484)

I hear most of it is going to Ellison's own Diplomas are for losers [satirewire.com] campaign.

Re:Charitable contributions (1)

v3xt0r (799856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164506)

classic! =p

If the judge really wanted to penalize him... (1, Interesting)

swillden (191260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164497)

... Larry Ellison should have to put the $100M into a non-profit foundation that pays developers to improve PostgreSQL. Properly managed, that kind of money would easily fund a team of 50 developers for decades.

Re:If the judge really wanted to penalize him... (4, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164674)

So to punish Ellison for devaluing Oracle share prices unfairly through insider trading, thus causing financial loss for Oracle share holders, you suggest financing an Oracle competitor. Where would the justice be for the people hurt in this, the Oracle share holders?!

To Larry (1, Funny)

dolmen.fr (583400) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164509)

Here is a suggestion: the PosgreSQL project [postgresql.org] .

Re:To Larry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164940)

or better still, OpenBSD.. then pull the plug on them like DARPA did :(

penguin

Judgement Doesn't Make Sense to Me (5, Insightful)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164520)

The judgement doesn't make sense to me.

Typically, if someone does something bad to someone, the person doing the bad has to compensate the harmed person.

So if Ellison did something bad to the shareholders, he should pay the shareholders.

The fact that Ellison is a shareholder too doesn't matter -- all it means is, in the big scheme of things Ellison did something bad to the minority shareholders.

So Ellison could just as easily compensate only the minority shareholders -- but only as much as he hurt them.

It doesn't make sense for the judge to say, "Oh my! This case is so complex, let's just have Larry flush some money down the toilet or give it to charity, and we'll call it even."

Re:Judgement Doesn't Make Sense to Me (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164649)

You think you have problems? I read about this. I read it again and I still don't understand it. I'm no dullard and I'm sure neither are you. I think it's the Chewbacca defence again, it just doesn't make sense. More and more these days the entire American legal system just doesn't make sense at any level of rationality at all. Even the typically slashdot headline, "settlement for allegations". In my country a settlement is made after a conviction involving proof and evidence, mere allegations mean nothing? So X does bad and a judge orders Y to pay Z. What planet is this?

Re:Judgement Doesn't Make Sense to Me (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164909)

In my country a settlement is made after a conviction involving proof and evidence, mere allegations mean nothing?

This deal makes no sense to me, either, but here's a quick clarification of US legal terminology:

  • This is a civil suit, not a criminal case. There is no "conviction", despite the total inability of Slashbots to grasp that, for example, Bill Gates isn't "a convicted monopolist". Civil suits also require a preponderance of evidence, not proof, as is necessary for a criminal conviction.
  • Settlement is when the parties in a civil suit agree to drop it after reaching an agreement. So this settlement was at least sort of "for allegations" since Ellison and his lawyers decided not to let it get to the point of showing evidence in court.

Can it, bigot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164716)

Anti-Semitism this [slashdot.org] exaggerated [slashdot.org] , I thought, could only be a twisted attempt at irony, especially coming from a fellow New Yorker. Then I read some of your other comments, which range from the vaguely hostile towards Jews [slashdot.org] to the circumstantially Buchananesque [slashdot.org] .

Moderators, drive this embarrassing filth [slashdot.org] down to -1 where he belongs.

Re:Judgement Doesn't Make Sense to Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164722)

Exactly, but under big government, crimes against the individual are secondary to crimes against the state. Victimless crimes ("crimes" of voluntary will) like using or selling drugs receive prison sentences while actual initiations of force against other individuals receive a slap on the wrist. Ellison will be punished not because he wronged another individual, but because he didn't obey the state, and his sentence will reflect that.

$100 million or $100 million of Oracle software? (4, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164524)

Not the same thing at all, though it doesn't stop the likes of Bill Gates mixing up the two. Seriously though if Ellison has to stump up the cash, he should strategically give it to open source projects where it would be the most benefit to Oracle.

Re:$100 million or $100 million of Oracle software (3, Informative)

will_die (586523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164601)

It has to be money and has to goto charity orginizations, not all non-profit are charity. In addition the board of directors of Oracle has to approve the charity and it will be given in Oracle's name not ellson.

Re:$100 million or $100 million of Oracle software (4, Funny)

glwtta (532858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164952)

$100 million of Oracle software

That's what, licenses for a cluster of 2 machines with 4 CPUs each?

I'm not sure (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164527)

but I think he won more than 100 million $ doing this insider trade. Small guys which steal 2 TVS get prison, he stole over 100 million and gets nothing.

Here's the idea Mr. Ellison (1, Insightful)

KrisCowboy (776288) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164559)

Donate that $100 million to the Ubuntu folks.

Re:Here's the idea Mr. Ellison (1)

slashflood (697891) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164820)

Donate it to Gentoo or a specific project like PostgreSQL. Ubuntu is backed by Mark Shuttleworth.

test (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164565)

test

Re:test (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164579)

you fail it

And the lawyers get richer (3, Insightful)

Ogemaniac (841129) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164578)

No one on earth benefits from this lawsuit except the sharks. In the long run, Ellison would have donated the money to someone anyway. He can't and won't spend it all, and will just decrease his future donations by the same amount he was forced to donate.

The stockholders do not benefit, the charities do not benefit, Ellison does not benefit...

What a waste. The problem is that law schools are deliberately over-supplying the market with lawyers (we have several times as many as other nations, per capita). This results in not enough legitimate suits to go around. Stupid suits are the obvious result.

Perhaps we should sue the law schools for creating a "nuisance"...

Re:And the lawyers get richer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164604)

Yes, we should just let rich people do whatever they'd like. They have so much money and couldn't spend it all if they tried to, so who cares what they do? They're not commoners after all. /sarcasm

Protip: Don't blame lawyers when the wealthy break the law.

At least the lawyers are happy... (4, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164609)

From TFA, at first the judge didn't approve the settlement because the Oracle company would have to pay $24 million in legal fees. It was only when Ellison agreed to pay an extra $22 million to the lawyers that the settlement was approved.


From the article: "This provision makes an excellent settlement even better," Joseph Tabacco, the attorney who brought the case, said in a statement. Wow, who would have guessed it, a lawyer is happy to get $22 million!?

Simple solution (2, Insightful)

ThinWhiteDuke (464916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164662)

Court wants Ellison to pay 100m to other Oracle shareholders.

Problem : Ellison owns 25% of Oracle.

Solution : Order him to pay 133m to Oracle.

This whole charity thing does not make sense.

Why not just force him to pay $133M? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164671)

If he owns 25% of the company then why not just make him pay the company $133M? He gets 25% back and the rest of the shareholders keep the rest - his total net payout being $100M. I suppose the would be lawyers were out writing sick notes and drafting up other excuses for why they couldn't attend their 7th grade algebra class.

Oh well, hopefully his choice of charity is something useful like the EFF.

Legal Fees (1)

Saffaya (702234) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164698)

Am I the only one to note that the legal fees in this affair amount to $22 million ? o.O Twenty-two million dollars ??? Ugh .. We should all turn to becoming lawyers ..

Geez.... (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164712)

I'd like to have this problem.

just make him pay more (1)

theheff (894014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164723)

If he owns a quarter of the stock, why not make him pay that much more back... it's it's $100 million originally, have him donate $133.33 million, $33.33 of which would go to himself and then other 3 quarters would go to where it actually belongs...

here's a little high school math problem for you (4, Insightful)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164744)

L.E. owns 25% of a company; this means that 25% of every payment to the company will therefore, in effect, go to L.E. The other 75% of the company's owners are supposed to receive $100m a penalty for wrongdoing by L.E. How much money must L.E. pay to the company so that the other 75% of the owners receive their $100m?

Apparently, the court found this little problem too hard to solve.

Re:here's a little high school math problem for yo (4, Funny)

dwandy (907337) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164826)

Math is hard.

A tip for L.E. (2, Funny)

Veneratio (935302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164779)

As a student in the school of life (and a great follower of the BOFH) I follow the religion called "Order of the Shiny Aura" which requires you to give up all your worldly possessions to achieve the Shiny Aura of happiness! All my wages are directly sent to the church each month.

Its a good thing i founded that religion myself 2 weeks ago. Its great for a slushfund, perfect for taxes and i can always claim religious days off whenever im on a bender from drinkies with suppliers :)

Two justice systems (3, Insightful)

SimianOverlord (727643) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164788)

One for the rich, one for the poor. Steal an TV, and you get locked up. Steal millions of dollars, and you get a fine. Kill some bozo, and you get executed. Kill a million bozos with Apache helicopters and white phosphorus, and you get an unfavourable poll rating.

It's one rule for the rich, and one rule for the poor.

Too simplistic of a view. (0)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165106)

Its a different rule for the productive and the non-productive.

Where is the benefit of locking up someone like Ellison? He can produce more while in society and someone can benefit from his money. Whereas the unproductive who usually are those engaged in petty crimes probably have no means other than jailhouse labor to payback society for the damage they cause.

As for what politicians do, hell there ain't no way for them to pay us back, we just have to hope the cost isn't to high that we pay for having them.

Re:Too simplistic of a view. (1)

SimianOverlord (727643) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165230)

Where is the benefit of locking up someone like Ellison?

Justice? To deter other white collar criminals? Maybe just to inflict a true punishment to pay him back for robbing a huge number of shareholders with his insider scams, the majority of those people being those who would have substantial repurcussions to their standard of living from losing the money.

White collar crime costs us all a staggering amount of money, is underreported, and is often erratically prosecuted because of the difficulty in trying complicated financial transactions, the sophistication of the criminals, and the money at the plaintiffs disposal to fight cases. When someone IS caught, there has to be a substantial deterrent sentence. Jail time at the very least.

I mean, the situation is ludicrous. If a small time burglar had robbed each stockholder of money, say a thousand of them, there is no way he would walk away with a fine. Put him in a suit and rob them electronically and the situation is somehow different.

Ellison's net worth is about 13.7 billion dollars. 13,700 million, under the American billion system. If you had $13,700 in the bank, robbed a couple of thousand people, and recieved a hundred buck fine, would you be suitably punished?

Re:Too simplistic of a view. (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165302)

Where is the benefit of locking up someone like Ellison?

The benefit could be that lots of other productive people would not have their money stolen by him, and maybe be able to use it to found new businesses, drive technology or retire in comfort after a lifetime of hard work.

Re:Two justice systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14165353)

Wrong. The guy with the unfavorable poll rating is _not_ a regular guy. He's been made President and given extra duties and extra powers beyond the usual person. Because of this his actions, and mistakes, have extraordinary consequences. It's the danger inherent in any position of national power in any country.

This is why it's so terribly sad that you disengaged Americans have actually elected someone like that to an office with such enormous power; and consequences. And to top it all off you let your parlimentary body dodge their constitutionally mandated duty by handing over to that President power to commit actions that is absolutely supposed to be in their hands, and by their decisions. For them to do this is nothing less than treason against your constitution. For you to let this happen is nothing less than treason against yourselves. You folks are doing a great job.

When I read this headline... (1)

dswensen (252552) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164801)

For a second I thought they meant Harlan Ellison, and I thought, "wow, $100 mil, what did the old curmudgeon say this time?!"

Pay Like Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164902)

Now, if only he could make these payments like Microsoft... In vouchers for Oracle software.

Bad for freedom (0)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164931)

Insider trading shouldn't be illegal.

I own corporations and the information I receive daily is very involved. There is nothing, though, that a stockholder couldn't learn by studying the market.

Just like blackmail laws, insider trading laws are attempting to stifle free expression. Congress has no right to make a law governing one's expression.

I hate how people support the court here. I don't invest in stocks because I know it is a scam. Why would you?

its just plain wrong (1)

Stanneh (775821) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164971)

we all know the reason its on the front page of /. is becouse this ruling is simply not Fair

however you look at this its wrong ;/

He should donate it to opensource.org (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164977)

For karma's sake

Misplaced Punishment (1)

lousyd (459028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165120)

"But with Mr. Ellison owning a quarter of Oracle's stock, much of such a direct payment, in effect, would have gone to him."

And now none of it will go to the affected parties.

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