An Ex-Grant Thornton Partner Has Been Charged with Embezzling $4 Million

Here's an interesting story about a fella by the name of Craig Haber. Craig became a partner at Grant Thornton in 1993. Around 2004, Craig decided to start helping himself to client fees that rightfully belonged to GT. This went on for a while. Approximately $4 million in fees from 2004 to 2012, to be precise.

When the firm discovered this, they were presumably upset, informed the authorities, and relieved Haber of the burden of coming to work. He was charged with his little game in New York today.

How did this alleged scam work? The Reuters report, citing court docs, makes it sound pretty simple:

Beginning in 2004, Haber on multiple occasions told clients to mail checks directly to his office, rather than routing them through its Chicago headquarters as normal, the complaint said. Haber then deposited the checks into a bank account with a name similar to his firm's, the charging documents said. He then transferred the money into two personal bank accounts, the complaint said. 
Reuters, again citing the complaint, also reports that Haber "primarily provid[ed] tax advisory services related to investment partnerships." That's pretty vague, but you figure that some "investment partnership" clients are small enough that their billings could fly below the radar. 
 
But why would a partner with over 10 years experience all of a sudden start embezzling money? The complaint alleges that he spent the money on "among other things, the mortgage on his apartment, a gym membership, child support and a brokerage account." That's all pretty boring; there's no indication of a mistress that was trying to start a cupcake shop or anything like that, so it may just be a guy living beyond his means. 
 
This is kind of a weird story, but we'd be interested to know more. If you knew or worked with Haber, we'd love to hear from you. Email us and we'll keep you updated.
 
UPDATE: We were informed a short time ago that this matter was discussed on a call with the New York office but nothing of particular interest was discussed except for "don't talk to the press or clients about it." In which case, think of us as your friend. 
 

 

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