DEAR ABBY: I hope you can help me, although it's my husband who needs help. "John" is a wonderful husband and father. I love him dearly. When he was in high school, he was always picked on by the jocks. (We all know that story.) Well, John carried this on into his adult life and his business.
My husband has two partners. "Gene" is a "nerd" like John. The other one, "Don," is the "jock." The company is 10 years old. They made about $5 million last year. All three have equal shares of this company.
Don handles all of the accounting. He keeps his door locked at all times when he's not there, as he should because of all the checks, etc. But does he leave an extra key for Gene or John? No! He leaves it with the secretary, and she takes it home with her. Don gets very upset if John or Gene goes into his office without his permission.
The way Don has his accounting program set up, John and Gene cannot access any financial information on the company. They have to go through him first. I strongly suspect Don is embezzling.
They have never had an audit done. John and Gene wouldn't dare insist on one, because Don would get furious if they did. Don gets upset over the most minor things. Gene and my husband are afraid of Don. They've caught him in several lies. He treats everybody like dirt. They fight and argue on a daily basis. It's a terrible atmosphere. Yet they won't do anything about it.
Any suggestions? -- DEPRESSED IN TEXAS
DEAR DEPRESSED: The three partners should get together and agree to have an independent C.P.A. (selected by all three) set up their accounting system so that all three partners can understand what's happening financially, and the necessary security is preserved. If Don refuses to agree to it, then Gene and John should consult a lawyer.