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One Accountant's Obsession with BMWs Cost Him His Family, His Freedom, and His CPA License

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
May 4, 2017

Car blog Jalopnik tells the tale of a Colorado accountant named Terrence who embezzled almost half a million dollars from his employer in order to feed his addiction for BMWs: before going to jail, he had exactly 50 of them, stashed in locations around town so his wife wouldn't find out just how deep his obsession went. The quote at the top of the article summarizes things quite neatly: 

“I need to tell you both something. My wife left me. My kids won’t talk to me. I lost my job. I embezzled almost a half a million dollars because I’m addicted to BMWs, and have been hiding them all over the state. I’ll probably be going to prison soon.”

This was because, over the course of seven years, he issued himself 125 additional paychecks, spending every cent on either BMWs or parts to repair and restore BMWs. The theft was a huge surprise to the owners, a father and son who had known Terrence for years and would never have suspected such a milquetoast button-down kind of guy would have stolen so much so brazenly. It was this years-long relationship, though, that Terrence said enabled the theft in the first place: the owners placed a great deal of trust in him because of it. 

The owners, though, eventually realized there were irregularities in the books. He lost his job. Shortly after, he lost his wife and kids. And shortly after that, he was arrested and went to jail for six years, followed by three years probation. Needless to say, he also lost his CPA license, something that his former employer said he was particularly proud of. 

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