Friday, November 2, 2012

mil here, mil there, whatever

About six years ago a guy was convicted and sent to jail for 25 years for embezzling $77 million from a local company. He was married and had three children. As a writer I have natural fascination for such people and that's where my questions come from. I mean no disrespect, and of course have never met him, I leave his name out of this so that he's a little harder to track down, though people from around here will know who I mean immediately, and if you really want to know you can read about how we trick-or-treated at the house he'd built.

So he was working for a local oil company, and was maybe an accountant, and his superior had more or less lost track, and pretty soon, what, 77 million was found in his possession? He had been buying things around town: a truck stop, a bunch of antique cars, a house that he poured millions into, etc. And nobody saw this? One guy who was working at our house said he thought he knew who we were talking about, if he hadn't been so obvious spending the money, he might have never got caught. It makes sense. But $77 million?

Then there's the question of his wife. Here they are raising three little kids. Is she in the dark about where these millions come from? Or, if she knows, does she encourage it? or cause it? After you've spent three, four, twenty million, do you wonder if this is going to go on forever? Or if maybe you deserve this good fortune? I'm kind of wondering what it does to your head, to have this kind of running faucet of free money to spend, and not really be able to hide it, or be discreet, or do the things that would keep it coming forever. Maybe a craftier way would have been, have a swiss bank account, a false identity, a second passport, whatever. It didn't seem like "crafty" was part of the picture.

Finally, I'm sure the kids have quite the inheritance, and it's six years on now. What kind of damage does that do to them? How are they feeling about their dad, or mom, or former neighbors, or whoever else was involved? Just curious because, I'm sure, it'll find its way into a novel. And that novel could be reality-based, but more likely in this case, not. I think I'd rather imagine, than in fact know the answers.

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