"Our business model made absolutely no sense."
It's not every day you hear a CEO trash his own company. But this was the fake CEO of the fake E-Cycle Management computer recycling company.
Joe Carroll, aka Joe Carson, CEO of E-Cycle, took the witness stand Friday in the bribery trial of former state senator Roscoe Dixon.
"Nobody ever questioned us about the way our business operated," Carroll said, as jurors watched courtroom monitors showing pictures of E-Cycle's phony business cards and brochures. The ruse worked on Dixon, who agreed to push legislation that would have given E-Cycle first dibs on thousands of used computers discarded by the state government and other agencies.
E-Cycle was supposedly going to ship the junk overseas to the Philippines for salvage and reworking, although the specifics were far from clear. They didn't need to be. What mattered was the state contract that would enable E-Cycle to go public and make millionaires of its founders when the stock price soared.
At least that was the plan. Carroll, a 30-year FBI agent who came out of semi-retirement to work on Operation Tennessee Waltz, said the government took pains to make sure no bill helping E-Cycle actually became law.
The government says Dixon and associate Barry Myers were paid $9,500 to pass a bill favorable to E-Cycle. The trial continues Monday.