Quoted from Hoteldrummer:
You're going to tell me that if YOU worked there and saw there was NO manufacturing and NO REAL intentions of manufacturing the games that YOU KNEW people put money on, you would have the attitude of why should I say anything? Give me a damn break. Would you feel fine with getting a paycheck knowing its coming from a company that is lying and STEALING from people? You can say he didnt know or do I have evidence to back that up, but seriously, to think he didnt know or any other employee didnt know is insane. You really think NOBODY knew? BS!!!!
Steve knowing the full details is an assumption. Maybe some people knew a little or started putting two and two together, although the misinformation being fed to employees may have marginalized issues or made them seem temporary to keep Deeproot going.
Having been in a prior job situation that didn't end well, there were some gray area things we did with software as a very small company to get by. However, the pay was good at the time, I was young, and I didn't know how shoestring things were until my boss walked in and said "I can't afford to pay you anymore." I was looking for another job, although I would have been more active in my search had I known the full details.
A good paycheck (While they lasted) and the excitement of working for a pinball manufacturer combined with the feed of misinformation may have been blinders.
Quoted from Hoteldrummer:
So if my neighbor is getting robbed and I see it, yeah, I have no obligation to call the cops, but I will! What a lazy response
In reality, whistleblowing is not always as morally cut and dry as your example. What if the person doing the robbery was family, spouse, or a really close friend? It doesn't make stealing right, although it makes the moral decision harder of immediately calling the police as opposed to maybe stopping that robbery attempt and turning a blind eye to that incident.
What if the person is wearing a work uniform and driving a branded vehicle like a locksmith van? Is it still 100% clear it's an actual robbery? What about a repo truck and carrying out appliances and furniture? If a Deeproot employee saw questionable things, but didn't know the full extent of details that we know about now, are they going to alert authorities based entirely on conjecture when they still have reasonable doubt?
There are some protections for whistleblowers, although is it worth the risk of personal negative publicity, the stigma it carries for future potential employers, or the legal risk of violating an NDA? The owner was a lawyer and regularly threatened litigation.
Can someone afford to potentially not have any income for a period of time until a full investigation comes through with a whistleblower payout? What about all of the innocent people at Deeproot that could end up losing their jobs?
"If you see something, say something" only works to a point.