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Reply To: My trusted advisor just stole $45,000 from our bank account without authority, leaving me unable to pay employees or suppliers. What should I do?

Morena Ryan – there is a legal approach that you could take, and then there is a public or pr approach you can take.

(1) On the legal side, what you need to consider carefully is what could be her legal response to your claim that she unlawfully took the money from the Company. Was it for services provided, was there a dispute that she could claim it entitled her to have that money, was there a creditor on the balance sheet owing to her – consider all of these potential scenarios.

(2) On the pr/publicity side, if you say she has a relatively high profile, this can be your friend and your foe, friend in that she will not want publicity around this if you are claiming she took the funding unlawfully, but foe in that if you make statements in public that are proven to not be true she could go thermo-nuclear on you which compounds the issue.

Only you and her know the truth – you need to look at this from all angles, and then think what shot(s) am I prepared to fire now – and I know if the person/she does not want to respond to your approaches, then you maybe left with no choice but to go public – what I would suggest if you take this choice, that you give her a warning of what you are doing to do and that this is your last effort, and also to be balanced with your claims in public – be very balanced and careful, so that you are not saying ‘you stole from me’ but more that ‘we need to resolve the basis on which you thought it was ok to extract the money from our account’.

In a time like this, legal advice is helpful, but the key risk to you will be ‘does she has evidence or belief, that the Company actually owed this to me’. HOpe this helps. Andy