People & Human Resources

I was once a fraudster but now I’m clean. Why won’t people forgive and forget?

Aunty B /

Dear Aunty B,

Seven years ago I was in trouble with the law for a white collar crime (fraud) and was jailed for six months. It was a stupid period of my life but I did the crime, did the time.

I have now started a new business, same industry but different field, which is really struggling because people keep raising my past when they Google me and it is there for everyone to see. Lots of sites which reported my court case and sentencing have stories, so it takes you a lot of searching before you find my new business.

I also have a few creditors who keep pursuing me and call up any new customers and bag me out.

Do you have any suggestions about what I should do, as it feels like I am going to be continually punished for past mistakes?

Deserve a fair go

 

Dear Deserve a fair go,

Fair is a hair colour. Look, you have a big problem. If I was going to do business with you I would also search you out on Google, see your record and run a mile.  You ripped people off in the industry in which you now want to return: and people who get ripped off have long memories.

Take myself. I am so forgiving that on a good day I could give Jesus a run for his money. But those two people (you know who you are) who ripped off my company and my people? I watch them like a hawk and will make sure they never have the opportunity to rip anyone else off again, especially as I also found out this is a repeat behaviour.

Besides, there are lots of people out there who are desperate for clients who haven’t gone to jail for fraud and I would prefer to give them a chance.

You say you have creditors pursuing you. Have you thought about the damage you must have caused, because they are still pursuing you… and after how many years???

My advice to you is to accept that part of your punishment is banishment from your industry. Go and find a new industry, team up with a partner who can be the front person and focus on building a new life. And you should also think about ways of making amends with the people you have damaged and giving back to the industry which you hurt.

It’s never too late to set your record straight but you can’t do it by trying to erase Google’s memory.

Be smart,

Your Aunty B

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Aunty B

I’m SmartCompany’s resident Agony Aunt. Have a problem to solve? Just ask. @IamAuntyB #AuntyB

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