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What Would You Do If You Stole Millions from Your Employer?

What Would You Do If You Stole Millions from Your Employer?

The answer seems to be, continue showing up to work for almost a decade and stealing more money until you get caught.

Law.com reported that Richard Thomas, a former bookkeeper for San Francisco law firm Bostwick, Peterson & Mitchell, was sentenced in December 2009 to 10 years in prison for “helping himself to $9 million of the firm’s funds over about nine years.”

That works out to about a million dollars a year in extra income. (I confess to really wanting to know what kind of car he drove every day to work.)

At what point do you stop stealing millions of your employer’s money, and move to a country without an extradition treaty with the U.S.?

Shoot, Thomas won’t be able to answer that one.

Oh, and here’s another helpful financial life lesson from Philadelphia secretary and paralegal, Heather Kovacs: pay taxes on your income, including bonus checks (not to be confused with free money).

The Morning Call reported that Kovacs pleaded guilty last week “to failing to pay taxes on more than $70,000 of income, much of it from bonus checks” and faces up to “six years in prison and a $500,000 fine.”

Her supervising attorney, John Karoly, may have been the inspiration for her creative bookkeeping. In November 2009, he was found guilty of “laundering $500,000 he originally gave to a local charity.”

A fine pair.

One Response to What Would You Do If You Stole Millions from Your Employer?

  1. I'd like to think that after embezzling the first million, I would quietly disappear with my (er, their?) money. Sticking around for $8 million more just sounds greedy. Unfortunately for me, I don't work at a law firm that makes enough money that it wouldn't miss a few million. ;^)

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Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

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Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

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