The professional sociopath: an embezzler and tax cheat

Spath TalesEditor’s note: Lovefraud received the following story from a reader whom we’ll call “Charlotte.”

I was married for almost 28 years. As the years went on, our marriage changed–especially after we had children.

I noticed some lapses in parenting–carelessness, not following through on routines, etc. (Though I must say I was not aware of what a good marriage should look like, coming as I did from a narcissistic family background. I put up with way too much bad behavior, even initially.)

I began to realize my husband was immature and irresponsible. He also was controlling, especially about money.

I often felt gas-lighted by my husband: He would agree to something, then deny it, or spin it. Bills would not be paid, but he always had an excuse. He didn’t follow through on promises, but denied that he had promised. If I could prove it, he would switch tactics and blame me.

All of the usual things I now know to be true of sociopaths. He often said the right words, but his behavior didn’t match.

About 10 years ago his behavior got worse. He distanced himself even more from me. He began to be occasionally verbally abusive.

Our finances were a mess, and I suspected he wasn’t working very much, (He is a self-employed CPA.) I found he was playing basketball for HOURS every day, when we were in enormous financial trouble. (At that point I had 3 children and had just returned to work very part-time, so I had some money of my own.)

I also suspected he was cheating on me–though I felt foolish about that. He seemed to be the LAST man who would cheat. More on that later…

However, things were bad enough that I felt I needed to look into the possibility of a divorce at some point.

I realized he had had complete control of our financial information–bills mailed to his office, taken out of the mailbox before I came home, etc. (His self-employment allowed him flexibility I didn’t have.)

Well, long story short, as I was searching for my financial information in some bins in our basement, I came across evidence that he had embezzled from 2 clients–for at least 3 years!

I confronted him, he denied it, I pushed and he finally confessed. With tears running down his face he said he had “screwed up.”

I was horrified.

I had 3 children, 10 years apart. My oldest was a junior in high school, my youngest in first grade. They went to very good private schools. We belonged to a tennis club, a church. My children were academically and musically gifted.

My husband got some of his business through me and our schools and organizations. We were considered the family who “had it all”– how could this be true??!!

Well, after he broke down, agreed to stop stealing, make restitution and get therapy (as well as quit basketball), I wrote my own story: his father had just died, we had just built a new house, he was pressured by the bills. Our children were getting older and more challenging,,,

Of course none of this was the truth about why he stole, it turned out. As is typical of sociopaths, he wants to live a parasitic lifestyle.

But at that point I didn’t understand all of it. He went to therapy–after my threats and insistence–briefly.

I don’t believe now that he ever made restitution, though he said he was going to. And he resented me enormously for making him quit basketball (which he had played at another private club.)

I see now–in hindsight–that his behavior toward me changed greatly after I found out. He never treated me the same again, now that I had seen him for what he was.

I DID believe he had quit stealing, however. As time went on, and he made no effort to connect with me or work on the marriage, I tool a full-time job and basically opted out of the marriage emotionally.

I decided to stay for the kids’ sake–erroneously believing that though he was not a good husband, he was a good father. Wrong again.

Fast forward 8 years. My older son (middle child) graduated from high school. My husband was even more distant and disconnected–yes, I should have seen something, right?? He was like a walking zombie–barely speaking to any of us.

However, my son had been admitted to a great college out east, and we were taking him out there. On the trip my husband was occasionally a somewhat normal husband and father, but more often short-tempered and disconnected–even though we were both proud of my son.

When we returned from the trip, I once again considered pursuing a divorce, but couldn’t put my finger on the problem. Well, it wasn’t long before I could!

While searching for flights to bring my 2 older children home for Thanksgiving, I asked to use my husband’s laptop, as our home computer was not working (!)

Yes, you guessed it: He is a severe porn addict!

He had started deleting his history, but I got impatient and grabbed the computer from him. He was spending HOURS a day on porn!

And, of course, not working. He was generally home for dinner most nights! Financial difficulties explained! However, our finances seemed to have improved by this time….I’m sure you guessed it again: I found what looked like more evidence of embezzlement.

He had also lost one of his clients–one of my children’s schools–almost $70,000 due to negligence. He hadn’t even opened their mail!

There, of course, is lots more. But I immediately filed for divorce. This lazy, careless person became ENERGIZED in his attempt to “win” the divorce.

The irony is, if he had just walked away and let me have the very little I asked for (he would take on the debt–much of which I hadn’t even known about–and let me have full custody of my youngest son and the little equity we had in our house) I probably wouldn’t have suspected he was still stealing (numbers did not add up on financial disclosure, etc.).

Through the course of the divorce I also found out he had not paid his self-employment tax in 20 years! That was since I was pregnant with my second child!

He tried to say he didn’t need to pay, because he was an S-Corp. That isn’t true, for one thing. But in addition, he wasn’t even incorporated for 14 of those 20 years.

So now he is going to be in pretty hot water, I believe. Throughout the divorce–and even now–he’s tried to threaten me with reducing support, maintenance, etc.

He and his attorney tried desperately to get me to sign a non-disclosure clause, but I would not sign. Even my own attorney wanted me to sign, thinking it was in my financial best interest. But I am not going to protect him, at the expense of his clients, etc, any more. I shouldn’t have believed him 10 years ago.

If my son and I lose money, I will do my best to get a better job, work more.

I now have been divorced 6 months. He is taking me to court to get child support reduced because I informed one of his clients about the embezzlement, and he was fired and required to pay back what he stole. (The amount I have evidence of is likely a drop in the bucket!)

Many people still don’t believe me, though as time goes on, more people do.

He was fired as the accountant at our tennis club (well, my children and I are no longer members…) but HE still plays tennis there! Incredible.

Of course there is so much more than this, but you get the idea. My children and I have been impoverished by him. My children are emotionally devastated by him–the father they thought they knew was a sham.

And he is taking me to court to tell a JUDGE that he should not have to pay as much child support, because I told a client that he embezzled from them.

To coin a phrase, “This is my life.”


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Charlotte, huge hugs. The craziness they create is just beyond words, I am truly sorry that you have endured this man’s sociopathic betrayal. So heart breaking how many victims lives these none human creatures have destroyed.

So glad that you followed your gut & stuck to your guns when both lawyers were trying to get you to sign those papers. I have found lawyers if not sociopaths/narcissist themselves are clueless about sociopathic abuse & the con game sociopaths play even on the lawyers involved.

Check out Onemomsbattle. com, the site creators books, and their facebook page One Moms Battle. The facebook page is a great support site for divorce court issues & child custody issues. I would highly recommend that you immediately get a court ordered mental evaluation on your ex as this will help you when he keeps taking you back to court over and over to control you and to emotionally, mentally & financially break you down. Onemomsbattle facebook page can help navigate how to get the court order mental evaluation just ask them for help.

Open a fake email account then a fake facebook page this way you can chat freely on that site without your ex/his friends/family seeing what you are saying.

CONGRATULATIONS on your divorce!!!

Wishing you all the best in your bright new future!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

LL Mequon

Thank you for your support! I am now more than 2 years post-divorce and my youngest is graduating from high school. It’s been a difficult 2 years. We are financially devastated by him. Supposedly divorce was 50/50 (community property state) but I am struggling, and he has 4 cars. Typical. I am hoping to be done with everything soon–going to court for maintenance soon. My attorney probably wouldn’t think it’s worth it to order a psych eval at this point, but I do agree it’s a good idea for many, especially early in a divorce. Thanks again for your good wishes!

Brigitte Knowles

I held my breath reading your story. What you lived through is despicable acts of selfish narcissistic greedy lazy stupidity by your husband, a boy not a man. My ex was WitSec and had never filed an income tax return in his life. Thanks to my attorney’s demand that I end the marriage immediately, I commenced annulment proceedings within weeks of my wedding. Despite what you have lived through, know that there is a remarkable woman inside of you who will blossom as you recover. You will be in control of your life and your problems will be your own. Find help to separate your tax files from your husband and become an informant to the tax department about his crimes and you will get relief from them. There are voluntary disclosure programs. Don’t get stuck with his debt tax, or other. Stand up strong for yourself and your family. Let this weakling of a man work for his recovery. Your co-dependency days are over. Good luck to you in your survival of Psychoeconomic violence.


I’m glad that you’re out of the marriage. These men are not men in the truest sense of the word, being incapable of being mature men. They’re boys in men’s bodies. As I learn about narcissistic families (my ex came from one), I believe that his parents destroyed a human being. I hope the best for you and your children. It’s not easy for children to be saddled with a parent like their father, but hopefully they can realize (in time) that their dad’s actions belong to their dad, not to them. Someone who use to comment (years ago)on this web site use to say that sociopaths teach us how not to be. Isn’t that the truth.


Charlotte – I don’t post often on here, though I read here every week. However, your story rang so many bells in my head of what I went through. I was married to my high school sweetheart for 30 years and had two sons. He was a porn/sex addict too – but became very successful and wealthy – instead of playing basketball he worked constantly. The “zombie” behavior you described, as well as the change in attitude once you discovered who he really was, mirrors my experience greatly! He put me through the ringer in the divorce (I didn’t realize he was rushing through it so he could remarry immediately) but at least our children were grown so I didn’t have to worry about custody. We were divorced in 2009; he is still wealthy…I am not, but…I am HAPPY! When money problems start to bother me, I ask myself if I would have preferred to stay married and not have these money problems – HA! That’s a no-brainer! Money problems are nothing compared to the emotional meat grinder I lived in! I live a modest life now -with a wonderful, honest man who is my best friend. I have a good relationship with my two sons (the divorce was very hard on the younger one). It was the hardest thing I ever did to get divorced – we were also the kind of family who looked like we “had it all.” We never fought in front of the kids (well, rarely) and I know our split was a shock to everyone. Stay strong – you are only 6 months post divorce…your life is going to blossom one petal at a time until you are fully a new flower, soaking up life and following the sun! There is hope, healing and happiness awaiting you.

LL Mequon

Thank you do much for your kind words. Yes, I will be happy to live a simple life if I can get rid of some financial stress. My children and I are good, which is the most important thing to me. Even with the financial devastation, I would NEVER choose to go back to a life like that. None of us (children or myself) understood what our life was about. My children may have unwittingly fallen into the same pattern, as I did. The knowledge we gained has allowed us all to see things clearly and be honest about ourselves and our lives. So that is invaluable! I really will have to thank him sometime. 🙂

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