An Analogy of Embezzlement
Parables, analogies and metaphors have long been used to provide instruction, emphasis and comparisons. In cases of embezzlement there is no shortage of these, including –
“It’s like a bomb waiting to explode”
“That sucking sound you hear is your lost profits”
Recently an attorney and I met with a business owner who was clearly experiencing embezzlement in his company. After listening to his story, we set out an initial course of action. The business owner seemed agreeable at times, but uncertain at others. At this point, he had not told anyone about the problem. His own family didn’t even know. It was clear the embarrassment factor was high. He would look incompetent to his family, peers and clients.
Fast forward and the embezzlement hasn’t been addressed at all. I liken the situation to a carton of spoiled milk. It won’t suddenly become unspoiled and it won’t taste better with age. It’s also not like a small fire, which may burn itself out.
Fear uncertainty and doubt has overtaken this business owner, in the same way financial debt plagued a friend of mine. We talked about the need to confront the issue but time went by and the problem worsened. After nights of waking up sweating with anxiety, he finally called his creditors. My friend confronted the problem and is now on the path to financial freedom. He wishes he had dealt with it sooner.
I’m not sure how much more time will pass before the business owner will take action. The leverage in this particular situation could be in jeopardy and our initial plan may not be feasible. Nothing is gained in waiting.
You don’t have to go it alone. Contacting a Certified Fraud Examiner is an excellent first step. Then, follow the advice of professionals who can help you navigate through the crisis, and get back on the road to security. Embezzlement is like a raging fire that must be extinguished, and maybe the spoiled milk, can turn into cheese.