Tommy Gunn is a division manager for K-Cern Inc., a small pharmaceutical company. Tommy’s division has been working on a new drug that has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of skin cancer. Once the drug is proven to be effective in clinical trials, it will be approved for sale by the government and patented by the company. Because of the potential market for this drug, it is highly likely that the company’s revenues and net income will increase significantly when it is approved. Tommy recently saw an internal company memo indicating that the drug passed its final clinical trial and that the company has received government approval to sell the drug. The company will issue a press release announcing this news in the next two days, and this announcement is expected to result in a dramatic increase in the company’s stock price. Tommy knows that there is “free money” to be made if he invests in the stock before the announcement is made. However, K-Cern has a strict policy against employee purchases of company stock outside of established employee stock purchase plans. To get around this rule, Tommy asks his father to purchase the stock for him. The next morning, Tommy’s father purchases the stock with the understanding that he will split the profits with Tommy.
Rodgers Industries Inc. completed its fiscal year on December 31. Near the end of the fiscal year, the company’s internal audit department determined that an important internal control procedure had not been functioning properly. The head of internal audit, Dash Riprock, reported the internal control failure to the company’s chief accountant, Todd Barleywine. Todd reported the failure to the company’s chief financial officer, Josh McCoy. After discussing the issue, Josh instructed Todd not to inform the external auditors of the internal control failure and to fix the problem quietly after the end of the fiscal year. The external auditors did not discover the internal control failure during their audit. In March, after the audit was complete, the company released its annual report, including associated reports by management. As chief financial officer, Josh authorized the release of Management’s Report on Internal Control, which stated that the management team believed that the company’s internal controls were effective during the period covered by the annual report.
2. Did Josh behave ethically in this situation? Explain your answer.
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