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How Sam Got Caught

The second time he hit the partnership, he did so by forging my name on two checks, totalling $107,000. I was tipped off about these checks in a somewhat indirect way by Mark Evans, Sam’s assistant. When I learned about these two checks I called Murray Dey, manager at the Crocker Bank. When he told me the checks had cleared to Sam’s personal account, my heart sank; it was obvious that the checks were forgeries. I told Murray Dey that suddenly I had serious questions about Sam’s integrity and that I was going to confront him at once.

Murray Dey, an experienced bank manager, understood full well what I was saying, yet he was so solid with Sam that he couldn’t quickly reorient his thinking. Shortly after our phone conversation, he happened to have a conversation with Sam and stupidly told him that I was questioning those checks. That gave Sam the opportunity to collect his personal papers and to run; thus I lost the chance for a surprise confrontation. That incident is an indication of how loyal and unsuspecting the people were with regards to Sam. Crocker had kept their bets on Sam right to the end. Not to overly fault the Crocker manager, I soon discovered Sam had duped Crocker and two other banks for a total of $250,000 in bad personal loans. Sam was a man so obviously “in control” that it never occurred to the banks that he was not in control of his own finances.

Of course, Sam had also been trading on the reputation of WILTRON, a company with an impeccable record of 23 years. In addition, it turned out that Sam had fed the banks some rather reprehensible lies, such as his poor parents’ business being on the edge of failure (parents whom it turns out he hadn’t seen in over two years). I’m sure no one bank would have made its loan if it had known about all the others. In this regard, traditional bank secrecy for their clients helped Sam’s schemes. In fact, not one of the banks had told me or anyone at WILTRON about its loan to Sam even though in two cases he had pledged phony WILTRON stock certificates.

Sam had let on in each case that he was embarrassed about having to get the loan, so everyone was protecting him by keeping it confidential. The banks and our whole business world depend on trust and confidence. Fortunately for our business world, the number of “Sam-type” cases is somewhat rare.


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