Need a little moral help

Real Estate Agent with DeLex Realty

So I had an employee who embezzled $4,500 from me by forging checks. At the time she worked for me she was pregnant and when arrested she had meth in her car, that was almost exactly two years ago.

Yesterday, I was contacted by the county attorney and asked if I was still willing to press charges and testify. As a former law enforcement my first instinct was "heck yes, put her in jail" but then after doing some digging I started to question that thinking.

Shortly after he initial arrest, she enrolled in a 45 day, in treatment facility. Since that time she has been enrolled in a 12 step program and while she admits to having a few stumbles along the way, she is supporting her child whom she is raising on her own and her parents report she is doing well with exception of the stumbles.

This creates a moral dilemma for me. The ex cop in me says all drug addicts are liars and master manipulators, the former boss who cared about this employee says it does no one any good to have a felony on their record (she has no other record) and would do he daughter little or no good to send her mom to jail or even prison. (She would be facing 6 felony counts and up to 14 years).

I have only two options with the courts, either I drop it or I pursue it. I am really not sure what to do so I thought I would ask those who have nothing involved. For full disclosure, I think we recovered about $1400 of the money through wages we owed her and let's face facts, no matter what I do the other money is gone.

Posted by

James (Jim) Lord


Comments (5)

William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I worked corrections for 17 years.

I seen  people stumble and then try to get up only to have the system beat them down again.  Beating her down won't get your money back but it could destroy her life and worse yet her childs.


Being a single parent and a women is hard enough.  I say, give her the benefit and if she falters again then step on her.


Jan 27, 2017 09:20 AM
Jim Lord

Thank William, I am going with your advice. I would rather give her the shot. As mad as I am, I am hoping she betters her life. 

Jan 29, 2017 09:35 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

My first thought was to not press if all monies were paid back.  Seems the court will not allow that an option.  All I can say here is to follow your heart. I believe you already know what you want to do .. and you are simply seeking reinforcement for your decision. 

Jan 27, 2017 09:24 AM
Jim Lord

Thanks for the advice Kathleen. I have let her off the hook, I just hope she takes advantage and does the right thing with her child. 

Jan 29, 2017 09:37 AM
Jim Palmer
Chipola Realty - Chipley Office (850) 638-2777 - Sunny Hills, FL
Washington County, Florida

I believe that if faced with that situation, I would go with the thinking that to slap her with a felony charge, (if she is in fact trying to get her life together) would do more harm than good. Especially if the money is unrecoverable. Good karma may result in allowing her to be a productive part of society again.

Jan 27, 2017 09:27 AM
Lisa Hernandez

Perfectly said! 

Jan 27, 2017 09:28 AM
Jim Lord

Thank Jim. I agree, it is just you can never be sure if she is really getting her life together. I guess I will have to put the cop in me aside and go with hoping having a baby makes her see the light. 

Jan 29, 2017 09:38 AM
Lisa Hernandez
Opes Real Estate Group - Kendall, FL
Realtor serving Kendall, South Miami & Pinecrest

I also feel everyone deserves a chance and we all stumble in one way or another. If she is making efforts to recover her life then that's a good sign and hopefully with your forgiveness, it will encourage her to be grateful and inspire her to continue her journey to wellness. 

Totally agree with William on this.... 

Jan 27, 2017 09:28 AM
Jim Lord

I hope it does Lisa. She is overall a good person, has a good heart. Drugs make people do stupid things. I just hope she really is on the right track and not playing me again. I guess I will never really know but I will go with faith that I am doing the right thing. 

Jan 29, 2017 09:39 AM
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

I  can see your dilema. Here in tennessee we have a saying, "you can't suck blood out of a turnip". I would drop it and move on.

Jan 27, 2017 12:06 PM
Jim Lord

Yes Mike. That is why we never persued civil claims against her, she has no money. I agree with the move on, it is better to get ugly out of your life as quickly as possible. 

Jan 29, 2017 09:40 AM