The Barometer has said and written many times, upon studying the e-mails and texts of businesspeople later convicted of crimes related to their electronic messaging, “Who does this?” Or, “What kind of fool would put that in writing?” From Anthony Weiner (nee Carlos Danger) to Hillary Clinton to Arthur Andersen partners to parents working to get their talentless children into prestige schools as water polo stars, these folks somehow feel above the fray. In a way proud of their actions, they seem to enjoy the thrill of hornswoggling others, seducing the young and/or their direct reports, and unleashing photos that would make Michael Avenatti (nee “Creepy Porn Lawyer”) blush.
We now have some explanation offered thanks to Elizabeth Holmes, former CEO of Theranos, the gigantic blood-testing company fraud. She may claim “mental disease or defect” as a defense in her upcoming fraud trial. One guesses that there are some wires loose when behavior beyond brazen turns into fraud. However, loose wires do not mean lack of knowledge about the nature of their conduct. Insanity has been a tough defense for serial killers. Serial tricksters, especially those who build a nonexistent blood testing process into a $9-billion company, will have a steep hill to climb.