Group: Disney EchoEar Grand Mouseter/AdministratEAR
Joined: Aug. 2001
||Posted: July 14, 2003 3:51 am/pm
Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!
The only Disney reference in the article is this man "gave advice" to Michael Eisner...
McNall tips execs hurt by scandals
LOS ANGELES, July 14 - Bruce McNall -- former millionaire, coin dealer, movie producer, hockey team owner, bank defrauder and federal penitentiary inmate -- has some advice for Martha Stewart and the guys at Enron.
"If you did do something wrong, maybe the best thing to do, instead of compounding things and making them worse, is to stop it now. Try to realize what you have done," McNall told Reuters in a recent interview. "Take the responsibility."
In the 1980s and early 1990s, McNall was a major Hollywood player. He leveraged his first fortune as a dealer in rare coins into producing movies such as "WarGames" and "Mr. Mom", and he bought the Los Angeles Kings professional hockey team.
McNall, now 53, accomplished what many thought to be the impossible and lured hockey legend Wayne Gretzky from Canada to Los Angeles, gave advice to Walt Disney Co. (DIS) chief Michael Eisner, counted Michael J. Fox and Jim Belushi among his friends and hosted dinners for Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
It was, as McNall titled his new book that landed in retail stores this week, "Fun While it Lasted."
Here is some more advice:
"You are not above things. Every time you do something that you know is in a gray zone. Look at it. Make sure it's not going to come back to haunt you, and don't think you're so big it won't come back to haunt you," McNall said.
McNall is quick to point out that the allegations of cover-ups, frauds and crimes possibly committed by the likes of Stewart, Enron's Andrew Fastow or any others named in recent financial scandals are just that -- allegations.
In fact, McNall found himself in a similar situation when in the early 1990s, he came under suspicion of defrauding banks out of more than $200 million. He eventually pleaded guilty and in 1997, began serving a 70-month sentence in federal prison.
THIS AIN'T NO COUNTRY CLUB
"There is this misconception that there is some sort of country club prison for white collar people. That is not the case at all," McNall said, offering his reality of crime.
McNall described three basic types of federal prison for minimum, medium and maximum security risks. Even at the lowest, or "camp" level, he shared living space with hardened criminals who were convicted of robbery and drug dealing.
"I don't know of any country club that has 150 bunk beds in one room, 18 inches apart with open toilets in the center of everything and open showers that sometimes work," he said. "You work eight hours-a-day doing menial labor, from being a clerk at the high end to washing dishes at the low end.
In his book, McNall recounts money manipulation schemes dating back to his days as a coin dealer that later in life led to falsifying loan documents. McNall first operated in what may be considered gray areas of the law, but at various points he undoubtedly committed clearly illegal acts.
He admits he was responsible for the crimes to which he pleaded guilty and for hurting not just the banks he defrauded, but the banks' shareholders, depositors and customers.
McNall said he wasn't so much greedy for more millions as he was caught up in the "aphrodisiac of power." He claims that many of his legal problems stemmed from a "fatal flaw" of needing to be liked by others.
He is out of jail now and back in the movie business where,he wrote in his book: "If you are good at making movies and belong to the small club of elite insiders, even a felony does not disqualify you from the game."
But McNall is focusing on dreaming up ideas, developing stories and working with writers and directors. He is not, he said, handling the money.
RichKoster, Disney Echo modEARator