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25-Year Business Partner Had Been Embezzling From Clients


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Old 18th February 2018, 3:54 AM   #1
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25-Year Business Partner Had Been Embezzling From Clients

Anybody else been in such a position? I think I need to start a support group.

Long story short, after conducting what was nothing short of an official Ponzi scheme, my business partner of 25 years officially resigned five months ago. The reason I have not prosecuted is because he has agreed to make restitution to most of the victims. For some, I am on the hook.

My legal options are still on the table should I be forced into that corner. Right now, I am just scrambling to keep the ship afloat. Plus, he is stretched for money, so monetary damages are pretty futile to pursue at this point.

What I wasn't prepared for was the wave of emotional issues I am now tackling as a result of this blatant betrayal. I put my heart, soul, blood AND money into this business. It was my nest egg. Now, it's a clusterF and it saddens me to the core that he held it in such little regard. Each day I am reminded of something that he F'd up in the past and it's everything I can do to maintain my stamina against some pretty uphill odds, and some screaming people, at this point. I've never been married, but I'm thinking this is really akin to the ramifications of a nasty divorce.

Additionally, he is facing some mental issues which, obviously, lead to a series of bad decisions he made behind my back. So there is that on top of that. And I beat myself up often for being so blind. I was too busy trying to eek out a living. My bad for that.

So, I was just curious. If anyone else has been in such a predicament, how did you handle it? How did you get through it?

Thanks for listening.
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Old 18th February 2018, 11:59 AM   #2
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Couple of tips from my life in business...

1. Don't believe a word from an embezzling employee or business partner. They're already proven liars.

2. They're not poor. They're smart and have hidden their spoils well.

3. Decide if erasing them as a human and business partner is the goal or whether they need to pay is the goal and then stick with whatever decision you make all the way to the end, no matter how that works out. If the former, from a business standpoint, there is no more blame, only personal responsibility for all damage. The embezzler ceases to exist and the money is sunk and moving forward is the only action.

I've long worked in the blue collar world, a pretty rough part of it, and would have no problem enlisting the powerful clients I've had to destroy someone who's robbed them. Network to the max and make their destruction the goal whatever it takes. Perhaps things are more civilized in your world, IDK. Steal the working man's sweat off his brow at one's own risk. You just never know when payday is coming.
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Old 19th February 2018, 2:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by carhill View Post
The embezzler ceases to exist and the money is sunk and moving forward is the only action.
Thank you for your insight. I think what you said here is the goal.

The good thing about money is that, through hard work, you can always get it back. Or at least try. That is the second goal.

Last edited by SixxChick; 19th February 2018 at 2:42 AM..
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Old 19th February 2018, 3:35 AM   #4
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Only experience I have with this is that the embezzler hung himself before making restitution imposed by the courts. The way my company was structured kept me from any liability. I felt horrible about EVERYONE involved!
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Old 19th February 2018, 3:48 AM   #5
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Good for you about the liability issue. But the rest of that is pretty messed up.

I actually thought, and am still thinking, that might be the next step for him. Ending it all and then I get the phone call. But there is nothing I can do about that. I need to move on. There is nothing I can do to fix how he moves on, or doesn't.

What people will do ... for the love money ...
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Old 19th February 2018, 3:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by SixxChick View Post
Good for you about the liability issue. But the rest of that is pretty messed up.

I actually thought, and am still thinking, that might be the next step for him. Ending it all and then I get the phone call. But there is nothing I can do about that. I need to move on. There is nothing I can do to fix how he moves on, or doesn't.

What people will do ... for the love money ...
Yeah..this guy was an accountant for my 1st company..I was 22yrs old and he bilked some of MY clients out of cash. They sued me too, I felt horrible,but..I never recommended him. He stole from me as well. Hung himself in the middle of the night for his wife and two young kids to find him the next morning. Selfish prick! Really taught me a lesson about business though!
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Old 19th February 2018, 3:46 PM   #7
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Just keep in mind business is just business. Just try to move on and don't waste your emotions on it. Take it as a lesson learned and keep going. There are much worse things that can happen (health, deaths, etc..)
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Old 22nd February 2018, 5:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by OneParadox View Post
Just keep in mind business is just business. Just try to move on and don't waste your emotions on it. Take it as a lesson learned and keep going. There are much worse things that can happen (health, deaths, etc..)
Thank you for this reminder. For the past five months, this whole scenario was all-consuming and I was beginning to feel like it was taking its toll.

Time to rise from the ashes and gain a better perspective. And keep it in perspective. I can probably put it all back together, but I'm not going to kill myself over a business.

Thanks again!
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Old 22nd February 2018, 10:25 AM   #9
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Has he now made restitution to most of the clients?

Can you afford to pay those remaining?

The unlawful act should be reported, and the above are questions you could also ask yourself. Also, if you do not report, I would think at some point you could be held accountable for your knowledge and assistance with his cover-up.

Experience: Thieves and those who cause property damage usually do not pay back - on their own, and they also lie.
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Old 22nd February 2018, 6:50 PM   #10
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I work in accounting and the number of dishonest people in business astounds me. I have seen innocent people lose their homes and businesses because of one greedy, dishonest a-hole, and I have zero sympathy for thieves. I cannot stress strongly enough that you should stop shouldering any blame at all and have this person charged. Yes, he has mental health issues, he's a thieving sociopath, and you should show him the same amount of concern as he showed you when he made the decision to rip you and your investors off. By letting him off the criminal charges you're opening the door for him to do the same or similar to someone else. As far as him being broke goes, I doubt it. More likely he's got a couple of investment properties and a nice yacht. Go for the jugular.
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Old 23rd February 2018, 2:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by UpwardForward View Post
Has he now made restitution to most of the clients?

Can you afford to pay those remaining?

The unlawful act should be reported, and the above are questions you could also ask yourself. Also, if you do not report, I would think at some point you could be held accountable for your knowledge and assistance with his cover-up.

Experience: Thieves and those who cause property damage usually do not pay back - on their own, and they also lie.
Weighing the odds, and with what I am saddled with at the moment (that I can handle), I would be better to keep the status quo. If he ends up in prison, there goes his earning ability to continue with restitution.

I am watching the statute. No bets are off for the future.

Thank you so much for your perspective.
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Old 23rd February 2018, 2:50 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by MsJayne View Post
I work in accounting and the number of dishonest people in business astounds me. I have seen innocent people lose their homes and businesses because of one greedy, dishonest a-hole, and I have zero sympathy for thieves. I cannot stress strongly enough that you should stop shouldering any blame at all and have this person charged. Yes, he has mental health issues, he's a thieving sociopath, and you should show him the same amount of concern as he showed you when he made the decision to rip you and your investors off. By letting him off the criminal charges you're opening the door for him to do the same or similar to someone else. As far as him being broke goes, I doubt it. More likely he's got a couple of investment properties and a nice yacht. Go for the jugular.
It's true. Honesty seems to be a lost virtue. Especially when it comes to other people's money.

In my situation, I'd like to think your scenario was correct. However, I know for a fact that it is not, and that he is down on his luck and fell hard. As he should have. I guess he is not as "smart" as those who siphoned enough off of the hard work and investments of others to invest in anything, including a yacht.

While he keeps making restitution, I still have a hand to play if it becomes necessary to go for the jugular. Thank you so much for replying.
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Old 23rd February 2018, 2:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SixxChick View Post
It's true. Honesty seems to be a lost virtue. Especially when it comes to other people's money.

In my situation, I'd like to think your scenario was correct. However, I know for a fact that it is not, and that he is down on his luck and fell hard. As he should have. I guess he is not as "smart" as those who siphoned enough off of the hard work and investments of others to invest in anything, including a yacht.

While he keeps making restitution, I still have a hand to play if it becomes necessary to go for the jugular. Thank you so much for replying.
There's no way to keep track of his monies.

But you could watch any of his real estate, for possible liquidation. And to be certain he makes restitution. If not, with a judgement - an attorney could place liens.

The thing he has in his favor, is your long personal relationship with him.
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Old 23rd February 2018, 5:08 PM   #14
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Before I end any further comment on this thread, I just want to thank everybody who sincerely responded.

Unfortunately, the trolls ruin it for the rest of us, and there have been too many, from Viagra to God-knows-what, for my comfort level. Most have been removed, but they still get through. It's unfortunate. These peeps need to put some pants on and get out of their grandmothers' basements.

See y'all on more generic topics in the future!
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