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I suspect my business partner is stealing from the company

Question:

I have a partner in my business; I have reason to believe that he is stealing from the company. I don’t have any hard evidence. How should I approach him?

Dr. Prakash:

The suspicion of fraud in itself is a good enough reason to end the relationship as soon as possible, because without trust there is no relationship, especially a business relationship. Any implication of accusation will strain the relationship further. Before you accuse your partner you should consult with an expert who can gather information to validate your suspicions.

In the case that your suspicions are confirmed you should create some safeguards with your CPA. The best way to end the relationship is to let a lawyer present the implicating information to your partner and in a very calm manner, tell the partner that in the light of such incriminating information, you could not continue in this relationship anymore, cut your losses and walk him/her out of the offices and follow up with legal action. Change all the business locks the same day and prevent all access to your accounts. As soon as possible let your customers know the new status of the ownership of the business.