In what one executive described as a "massive sting operation," a
janitor at Nabisco Foods International has been fired and blamed for the
company's recent financial tumult.
Jorge Vasquez, a janitor at the Fortune 500 company, was ousted after
FBI agents discovered he had stolen both office and kitchen supplies
from the company's Manhattan offices. Mr. Vasquez, who, it was learned,
had been under surveillance for months, was tackled by FBI agents and
taken into custody on Tuesday as he walked to a bus stop several blocks
from company headquarters. Salt and pepper packets, a box of paper clips
and half a roll of transparent tape were found in his pockets. When
asked about the items, Mr. Vasquez claimed not to know a word of English.
"I'm relieved this is all over," said CFO Charles Broadwater during a
telephone interview aboard the company's Gulfstream IV jet. "This type
of egregious pilfering has cost the company hundreds, maybe even
thousands of dollars during the last fiscal year and undermined investor
confidence. I, for one, want to assure shareholders, now that the
financial hemorrhaging has been stopped, that they can once again feel
confident in sinking their life savings into Nabisco."
Broadwater had reason to worry. Nabisco stock had slipped nearly 70% in
the past 12 months, causing shareholders to demand stricter guidelines
that would have held high-ranking executives accountable for their
expenditures. Since the arrest, however, top executives have called for
a motion to block any such vote.
"What's the point now?" asked Daniel Greenberg, Nabisco COO. "The source
of the company's financial concerns has been rooted out. At this point,
anything imposed on executives to limit spending or hold us accountable
in any way seems almost Draconian."
Asked whether or not Nabisco will seek an indictment against Mr.
Vasquez, Mr. Greenberg made the company's intentions clear. "Jorge
Vasquez is everything that's wrong with big business today. Everything.
It's high time Nabisco led the way in corporate accountability.
Therefore, I will be asking prosecutors to not only indict Mr. Vasquez,
but I would also like to see that he and the eight wetback children he
supports be deported." After being told by reporters at a press
conference that Mr. Vasquez, a widower, and his eight children were all
born in the U.S., Mr. Greenberg amended his comments. "Oh, sorry," he
said. "What I meant to say was 'moistback' children."
Upon word of Mr. Vasquez's arrest, shares of Nabisco stock rose 45% to
27 in extended trading.