Monday’s front page story about a sewage system upgrade as one of three community projects to be covered from a US $2 million penalty for Windward Roads due to its role in the “Larimar” corruption case appeared to puzzle some. The question was asked whether the infrastructure contractor had not been let off easy, but its then – since dismissed – director held accountable did receive a prison sentence, along with other main suspects.
The Prosecutor’s Office reminded everyone that a company cannot be placed behind bars, so forcing it to compensate for the country’s financial losses resulting from proven bribery, money-laundering and forgery was considered a fitting punishment. In determining the strategy and monetary amount, one also had to consider continuity of the business and its personnel.
Opinions may vary, but – at first glance – this seems like a suitable solution. Government was obviously cheated into overpaying for work done, so pending jobs in the public interest are being funded by the corporate citizen involved.
That should not be misinterpreted to mean justice is for sale. Again, the responsible chief executive was jailed, but his former employer is now literally paying for the financial damage done.
From a pragmatic point of view at least, it makes good sense.