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Dear friends and colleagues: This has been a difficult year for all of us at Cam Corp. EBITDA took a hit, and our fall product line was a disaster. I’m sure you’ve read the articles in the Journal; no need to rehash them here. They were completely overblown and wildly inaccurate, but it’s time to move on. Every criminal indictment has its silver lining. I’m happy to report that despite the musical chairs in the executive suite, despite the layoffs and the underfunded pension plan, the law department continues to thrive. Let’s look at all we’ve accomplished. First, the SEC investigation. A few overzealous executives (or the company’s officers and directors, depending on whom you believe) took it upon themselves to exercise stock options several months (or three years) before they vested, at a price a few fractions (or 17 points) below their grant. The source of the conflict, as you may recall, was that they did not actually — technically — own the options. The options belonged to the aforementioned employee pension fund. Nevertheless, thanks to the outstanding work of our Regulatory Compliance Department, we succeeded in having the options transferred to the executives’ portfolios. It’s caused a little problem with the SEC, but nothing that can’t be resolved with a well-placed phone call and a bag of greenbacks. Then there are the shareholder lawsuits. Nothing like a little hanky-panky among friends to stir up a hornet’s nest of shareholder activists. So sue us! we said, and they did. Some people just can’t take a joke, or the looting of their retirement accounts. Certain sourpusses should realize that those same executives add the value that increases the stock price that funds the pensions in the first place. Without the hard work of our 2,000 Executive Vice Presidents, employee pensions would be worthless. True, they are anyway. But in 42 more years, according to our actuaries, the average 65-year-old employee will be entitled to 23 percent of his former retirement benefits. That’s found money for a lot of these folks, most of whom won’t even survive that long, thanks to our cesium poisoning problem. (See my May 29, 2002, memo.) We’ve met other challenges head on, too. Which brings us to the EEOC consent decree. Firing one-third of the corporation certainly generates its novel share of legal issues — especially when the employees are protected under the federal whistle-blower statute. In retrospect, if we had known the stock option issue was going to cause such a problem, we wouldn’t have disclosed it in the footnotes of the financial statements in the first place. For this, we blame our accountants and our document retention policy. The at-will employees who tattled were only doing their job, as was the Human Resources Department. We will miss them all. As we gear up for the next quarter, I know you’ll join me in welcoming the newest members of our division: the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. They will be supervising some of our projects, and prosecuting senior members of management. We have promised the feds our full cooperation within the terms of the plea agreement. In that regard, I’m pleased to announce that I will be taking a much-needed leave of absence. You all know how hard I’ve worked. Some of you have seen me, late at night, transferring company files into the trunk of my car, scrubbing the hard drive of my computer. I owe it to my family to slow down. Now I will, as soon as I’m safely across the border. I’ve got a beautiful house in a country without an extradition treaty. I’ve got an Irish passport and a fistful of airplane tickets. And I have your money. Best, [name redacted] Cameron Stracher, a free-lance writer living in Connecticut, spent five years as an in-house lawyer.

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