by Jim Du Molin
Here’s one of the most out-there embezzlement stories I have.
Some years ago, an elegant Southern gentleman approached me about his dental practice. He and his wife were the very picture of proper, classy Southerners. They were getting older, looking forward to retirement, and contemplating selling the practice to an associate. But they had just a few teeny little concerns they wanted to talk over with me first.
The associate looking to buy them out was their son-in-law. They liked the idea of keeping the practice in the family, but the associate and their daughter had been having marital problems.
“Hold on,” I told them. “Your daughter’s marriage troubles are a totally separate issue from selling your practice.” It’s rarely a good idea to confuse financial decisions with personal relationships.
The couple exchanged significant glances. The elegant gentleman sighed. “If only it were that easy.” He went on to explain that he and his wife suspected their son-in-law was having an affair with the front desk manager.
“Well,” I said, “It sounds like you might want to let the front desk manager go.”
Another look passed between the couple. “There’s more,” he told me. He admitted that he was afraid his son-in-law and the front desk manager were working together to embezzle large sums of money from the practice. In fact, he suspected they were trying to steal enough money to buy the practice.
I was dumbstruck. I’m rarely at a loss for words, and, in my earlier days, I rarely turned down a client. But this soap opera was just too much! I gave the couple what advice I could and told them I was regretfully not able to take them on as clients.
Then I ran as fast as I could in the other direction! And said a little prayer for how blissfully simple my life is in comparison to that mess.
Jim Du Molin