Fraud and entrepreneurs
Whenever you read about an entrepreneur’s journey, you hear about the joys and the struggles but that ultimately it is all worth it. And whilst the struggles range from having clients not pay you on time to having a business fail, there is a darker side of being an entrepreneur that isn’t really explored, fraud.
I suppose, even employees defraud companies, so lets not put this down as an entrepreneurial phenomena, but while we have all read or heard about some big fraud cases, we never really hear about the small ones. People like to tell staff that printing at work or office stationary for personal use is essentially fraud or theft, what is the equivalent for an entrepreneur?
After all, it is their business. Can they view such withdrawals as return on their investment? Should they record this in their books, even though there is probably a large chance that there have been days when they have used their personal cash or resources to help out their business, never recording it as a loan or owners’ equity?
But what of even larger fraud? Say, stealing from clients, family or friends? Evading tax? Taking a customer’s money and not giving them the product or being entrusted with a customer’s money and syphoning it out?
It is said that desperate times cause people to take desperate measures such as fraud or theft, and entrepreneurs are probably the most exposed to desperate situations. How then are they meant to resist the temptation to take just a little bit and repay it later, when employees with a perceived safety net fall prey their temptations and false promises of “just this one time”?