Beware of the Bookkeeper: One Small Business Bookkeeper Embezzled Big Bucks


Beware of the Bookkeeper:
One Small Business Bookkeeper Embezzled Big Bucks

The perils of hiring employees–at any level–without first performing a thorough employment or reference check were brought home to several small businesses that had the misfortune of employing Mr. Donald Lee Peterson.

Peterson’s career as an embezzling bookkeeper who stole over $1.8 million from a string of small businesses ended recently when he was sentenced to almost nine years in prison by a federal judge in Los Angeles, according to the Dow Jones wire service.

Peterson previously pleaded guilty to four felony counts in connection with a string of embezzlements that stretched back some 15 years. Mr. Peterson, using an alias, would be hired as a bookkeeper at a small firm and proceed to steal money from company accounts before disappearing. The 54-year-old Mr. Peterson was apprehended last year after an article about him in The Wall Street Journal was read by a small business owner who had employed him.

Besides his 105-month prison sentence, Mr. Peterson was ordered to pay more than $1.8 million in restitution. His longtime accomplice, Patrick W. Finnigan, was previously sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison.


Business Plan Tips That Really Work

Business Plan Tips That Really Work

by David E. Gumpert
NetMarquee Online Services Inc.

Few assignments confronting entrepreneurs are tougher than that of writing a business plan. The assignment typically comes up when businesses must seek financing–and it must be completed quickly, and under pressure.

What follows is an outline of the key practical issues associated with developing a business plan–the length, the key sections, and the writing process.

What Is a Business Plan?

  • A Good Definition: By answering this question, you get a handle on how to handle the tone and direction of your plan. Most fundamentally, a business plan is a document that convincingly demonstrates that your business can sell enough of its product or service to make a satisfactory profit and be attractive to potential backers.It’s a selling document that you write for potential backers. More…