What to do About Fraud in the Workplace - Charles Malgwi

What if something serious is going wrong at your workplace? It's more common than you might think. In more places than you expect, people are lining their pockets with company resources, or misrepresenting key performance indicators to make themselves look better, or even flat out taking bribes. If you suspect fraud in your workplace, what should you do about it? Our guest today, Charles Malgwi, faced this nightmare scenario at his supposed dream job. He navigated through a banking system riddled with fraud to become an expert in forensic accounting. Today, he is a professor of accounting, and he recently won the Gregory H Damian Award for excellence in teaching.

Scripture References

  • Leviticus 6:2-5
  • Mark 10:19
  • Exodus 20:1-17
  • Luke 19:1-10

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​​Leah Archibald: Making It Work is brought to you by The Max De Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary and the Theology of Work Project.

Mark Roberts: Welcome to Making it Work.

LA: Through conversation, scripture and stories, we invite God into work’s biggest challenges... so that you can live out your purpose in the workplace.

MR: I’m Mark Roberts.

LA: And I’m Leah Archibald. And this is Making It Work.

What if something serious is going wrong at your workplace? It's more common than you might think. In more places than you expect, people are lining their pockets with company resources, or misrepresenting key performance indicators to make themselves look better, or even flat out taking bribes. If you suspect fraud in your workplace, what should you do about it? Our guest today, Charles Malgwi, faced this nightmare scenario at his supposed dream job. He navigated through a banking system riddled with fraud to become an expert in forensic accounting. Today, he is a professor of accounting, and he recently won the Gregory H Damian Award for excellence in teaching. Charles Malgwi, thank you for joining us on the Making it Work podcast.

Charles Malgwi: Thank you so much, Leah, for having me, I really appreciate that.

LA: So you get calls all the time asking you to investigate suspected incidents of fraud, how actually common is fraud in business today?

CM: You will be surprised to know that there is an organization called The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. They are the largest anti-fraud, anti-corruption in the world. And every year, they produce what we call Report to the Nations, and there in the Report to the Nations, they reckon that occupational fraud is the most common type of fraud that we see today.

LA: What is occupational fraud?

CM: Exactly. Occupational fraud is a fraud that is committed by employees of an organization, and there are two types of fraud of this nature. There is what you call the fraud that is directly giving benefit to the perpetrator of the fraud, and the second one is the fraud that is committed on behalf of the organization. And we're going to talk about these two types of fraud, but generally speaking, occupational fraud is a fraud that is committed by employees, and usually it is about asset misappropriation.

LA: And so that's what I said in my intro, like taking papers home with you or stealing staplers, but I probably imagine in your line of work, it's a little bit bigger than stealing staplers.

CM: Absolutely, and that is the second part of this fraud that we are talking about which is fraud on the behalf of the organization. Now, this is committed by people who are at the top of affairs, usually management, they have the access, or I can say they have the opportunity of overwriting controls, and that is how they commit the fraud. They can falsify records. And it may not come to them directly as stealing cash as we know it, but it will misrepresent the financial reports of the organization in a way that will help them. And what makes them do that? They may have the pressure on the part of the organization to make sure they reach certain targets. And every year, we have what you call financial analyst. This financial analyst will have a ballpark number to say, "You should as a company be able to come up with this sales per dollar in a year, and companies make sure that they reach their target, otherwise it will affect their financial statements drastically, especially, they are stock exchange. So this is key area that we are going to be looking at.

LA: So this is, executives might fudge their numbers so they can just move their key performance indicators just enough that they can manipulate the company stock price.

CM: Exactly. I'm probably sure you heard about Enron, and WorldCom, those huge conglomerate in the United States that went out of business purely because of fraud, and this is the type of fraud that we are referring to here. It doesn't happen quite often. Probably about 10% of financial segment fraud, when you consider all other frauds, this 10% alone accounts for 90% of impact on employees, on investors, and on management as well. So this is huge, you see a large number of people losing their investment, their life savings because of this type of fraud, because what happens is the stock exchange crashes, and you lose everything at a go.

LA: So you're telling me that 10% of the cases of fraud are things that I'm gonna actually see, they're gonna come to the front page of the Financial Times, but there's still like 90% of the cases of fraud that we don't see?

CM: The 90% actually is the one that you call asset misappropriation, and that is the one that things like cash or inventory is what employees normally do, and they'll commit that on a daily basis. And it costs the company significantly, and it is something that has really touched me as a person. But in my line of work, I was working in the banking industry. Even though that is where most fraud are committed because that's where the money is, isn't it? In the banks. So you tend to see, not directly cash being taken out of the banking system, but the way the accounting is recorded is being falsified, and there are a lot of kickbacks, which I will tell you about the specific work that I used to do in the bank.

I was working in the loans and advances section of the company, and regularly customers will come in and they will apply to get loans in terms of cash, or they want to buy a property or land, and they are seeking the bank to underwrite those cost. They come to us, we help them fill out the application forms and our supervisors would tell us, we have to get 10% to 15% kickback. And that is cost that is far over and above what the customer is required to be responsible for in getting that particular loan. So that's what happens in most cases.

LA:mLet me back up, Charles, because that never happened to me in my career, I never had a boss above me telling me to get 20% kickback.

CM: I know.

LA: So how did you come to work in this bank and where was the... When was the first moment that you realized that there was widespread fraud going on in the banking industry? 'Cause you said this was a dream job for you from when you were a little kid.

CM: It was my perfect job, I had always wanted to work in a bank, and thank God I was able to get there. But on reaching there, because what we normally see is that those who were working in the bank were rich during my time, and they were actually rich. They would go in, and within a few months to a year, they are building properties, they have flashy cars, they have everything you can ever want to have. So I wanted to be in that kind of a position. And upon getting there, I realized that it was really much more than the salary that you depend on. The salary alone was not enough. But as a Christian, that wasn't what I was prepared to face. And here I was, having to choose between "you are either with us or you are out." And that was a very hard decision for me to do, because number one, this is the job of my dream, and number two, I have to choose either my faith or the highway. And I chose the latter.

LA: You chose the highway. No, it's just...

CM: Yup, I just left. I just left, yes. I just left, absolutely.

LA: Now I wanna bring Mark into this conversation because, Mark, you have so many years of experience pastoring people, talking to people through experiences in their work, making tough choices, do I stay in a job? Do I leave a job? Have you ever heard these really stark stories of people facing ethical dilemmas in their work and wondering whether to stay or go?

MR: Oh my, yes, in fact, Charles, as you were talking, I just started remembering many conversations I had as a pastor that were not exactly like yours, but it was not uncommon at all for people in a business context to be expected or literally told by their boss, "You need to misrepresent something to this client."

CM: Yes.

MR: And more than once, I had people come to me almost exactly like with something like Charles saying, "My boss has said, I need to say this to the client, and if I don't say that, I will be fired. And so I need to support my family, and what am I gonna do?" And those were such hard decisions. I mean, in one sense, not 'cause these were people of real integrity, but the cost, at least the immediate cost, it was a very great one, and it was scary, and so we would talk and pray, and to my knowledge, the ones that had shared that with me, chose as Charles did, to do the right thing. I had another person in politics, in state government in California, and someone much higher up in the government came to him, and it was basically the same thing. "You need to lie at this meeting, and if you don't lie at this meeting, I promise you, your political career is over. It will be the end for you." And he had to decide what he was going to do.

So these kinds of challenges... Those very stark ones are present, I think, in a lot of people's lives, I think for a lot of people, it's not the big time fraud, it's the littler stuff, like, "Do I fudge this expense account a little bit?" I've been a pastor a lot of my life, and pastors, there's often a fine line between, "Is this meeting a pastoral meeting, or am I out with my friend for dinner?" You're making a lot of judgement calls, and I think it's really easy to just slip into a pattern of not really being really honest about things. And the problem with that is that tends to grow in your soul.

CM: Absolutely.

MR: And then it's something bigger that you're not honest about, and then something bigger, and... But I think the temptations are there. And Charles, you mentioned it, for many it's in small ways, but they're big soul ways, and of course there are bigger things too.

CM: Absolutely. Absolutely. And in fact, talking about temptation, there is what we call the fraud triangle, which means there are three incidences whereby any person who is committing fraud is either seeing one or all three of these items, and one of them is called pressure. The pressure that you face as an employee in the organization can cause you to commit this kind of fraud. And pressure can come in different forms. It can be pressure as a result of vice, which means there may be an addiction that that person is going through, or maybe gambling habits, or simply greed, just having flashy cars, or you want the top of whatever you want to have, to show off for that. And once you are used to that flamboyant lifestyle, sometimes you may not be able to keep it up with your regular pay. And that will push you to engage in these kind of fraudulent activities.

And the second one, it's called opportunity. And usually what happens is, when you are at a managerial level, you have the opportunity to override controls, you have the opportunity to ask your subordinates "do this, do that." Or you can go in yourself and then change the records for your own advantage, but at the disadvantage of the organization.

And the third one, which we call rationalization, is that you're trying to make the fraud you've committed to look legitimate. For example, you may feel that, "Well, I should have been promoted, I've been in this organization for X number of years. Look at my colleagues, they have been promoted, and I have not." So you might as well say, "Well, I think, it's good for me that I'm taking this amount from the organization just to compensate myself." So you're trying to make what is wrong look like it is legitimate. So either one or two or all three of these five concepts is being experienced by a perpetrator.

MR: Yeah.

CM: Yes.

MR: I'm having post-traumatic stress, because...

LA: Oh no.

MR: I may have shared this before, but when I was a pastor, we were bringing on an associate pastor, and this was in Southern California. The cost of living is expensive, so the church was going to give him a no-interest loan, toward a down payment. So we were all very clear about that, he was clear about that, we're clear with the real estate people, we're clear with the financial people, everybody's good. And it's the day that... His house is gonna close, and I as pastor have to sign a document relative to this loan. And I'm reading this document, and it says flat out, "This money is a gift with no expectation of repayment." And so I call the financial guy and say, "Oh, there's a mistake." And he says, "Oh no, that's not a mistake, that happens all the time."

CM: Exactly.

MR: "Everybody does that. We all know what you're doing, but it'll just be... We need to represent at this point, so you need to sign this thing. Don't worry about it, no one will ever care. No one will ever catch it." I said, "I can't do that." He said, "Well, if you don't sign this, your pastor's going to lose his down payment and this house." And the pressure I felt, like, "What am I gonna do? This is... " And thanks be to God, I told the guy, "Look, I can't respond to you right now." And so I prayed, and then a thought came to me, and this was really... This was God's gift, to call a friend in the church, who was both a financial guy and an attorney, and a godly man. And I said to him, "Look, this is where I'm at, and I can't sign this thing, but what are we gonna do?" And he was so great. He said, "Look, absolutely don't sign it. That's right." He said, "Let me handle it. I think I can solve this." And so thanks be to God, he got it, I don't know what he did, he came over, he...

LA: Do you think there was some fraud that was trying to be perpetrated on you, do you think, Mark?

MR: Well, not on me. The fraud for the sake of the organization in this case, would've been that we would be fraudulently representing to some financial institution that this was just a gift, and not a loan. And honestly...

CM: I see.

LA: And then you maybe wouldn't have had to pay the taxes on the interest and...

MR: Well, I think in the end it was just an easier way to make this thing happen, 'cause what would happen is this person who knew what he was doing got in there and he fixed it, so that we... Then we... The document I signed with what the church said was the truth, and the guy still got the house. But the thing I felt in that moment that... You mentioned pressure. I was like, "Okay, everybody does this, if I don't do this, this is gonna be really painful to the institution and to this pastor, and... " Oh my gosh, that temptation was so great. And I really do believe it was God's grace to put into my mind this idea that I need to call somebody who can help me, because in that moment, I was really... I was both tempted, but I was also out of my league. So anyway, that... But the thing I'm reminded of now as we're talking, is just this guy representing to me, and I don't know if it was true or not, but that everybody does this all the time. But I'm thinking, "Wait a minute, that's not a right thing, it's just not right." So anyway.

LA: So Charles, you were in this kind of culture of "everybody does this all the time" in the bank that you worked in, everyone was taking these kickbacks, how did you... Was it easy to make the decision to leave the bank, were there people that you called, like Mark did, to bounce this decision off of them, were there particular Bible verses that you were studying at that time that helped you make the decision?

CM: Absolutely, in fact, I found it really, really difficult to tell my family that I was going to be leaving the bank, they couldn't believe what they were hearing, but as somebody that is convicted, you have to look at certain values, look at the value you have in people, look at the value you have in yourself, and then look at the value that the organization has for the society in which you live, so I value all this three, because as an employee of the bank, we were actually... We could get a loan of any amount, and we didn't have to pay any interest, just like Mark was telling us, we didn't have to pay any interest. And I was just immediately touched there because in the book of Leviticus chapter 6, I think in verses two to five it says, "Whoever obtains something wrongly, including fraud, should return it with interest before asking God's forgiveness." So I was selling my service. And here I am, I can get all this amount of money that I can borrow from the bank, and I don't have to pay interest.

And look at what the Bible is telling me, that whatever you obtain wrongly, you should return it with interest. And look at the kickbacks we are having to make every day, this is something that really, I had little or no time thinking about that, I can't take this anymore, I will have to quit. So I went to my accountant and said, "I'm tendering my resignation." And the question usually is, why, why are you leaving? And I was honest enough, I said, "Because I'm resigning, I don't feel comfortable doing the work I'm doing, because my faith doesn't allow me to do that." He said, "But everybody is doing it. You're not doing anything wrong. The customers are happy about it, we are happy about your work. Nobody is complaining about you. Why should you resign?" I did. I did, yes.

LA: I have to say, Charles, it's not many people who in their jobs will say, "Well, let me go back to the book of Leviticus and look at a higher law than what's expected of me in my job." But I don't know a different way that the corporate culture of fraud is going to change. I mean...

CM: Honestly.

LA: You tell me.

CM: Honestly, there is absolutely no way that we can have a society that is free of fraud or corruption, but it's a challenge that we all have to live with, because technology really is something very interesting. In the past, in order for you to be able to steal money from the bank, you'd have to break the bank. Today, you don't have to leave your room, you can stay in the comfort of your bedroom and robbing a bank in, let's say, here we are in the United States, you can rob a bank in China, you can rob in Brazil, in South America, you can be anywhere.

LA: Well I can't, but I assume there are people who can.

CM: Absolutely, so it's a way of making things easier for people to commit fraud if they wanted to, and at the same time, even though we can say, there are also higher chances of being caught because they leave your paper trail whenever you are committing these crimes online. And yes, of course there are, but sometimes the damage has already been done because it's detecting what happened and how can that be prevented.

LA: Now, Mark, you talked about this as a soul sickness from the... Not even the huge robbing a bank in Brazil from my bedroom, but the smaller fraudulent acts, we talked about as a soul, just a soul-sucking disease. Could you talk more about that or what that looks like in people's lives?

MR: Sure, I'll give you another example from pretty early in my professional life, when I was working as a pastor. And I had an accountant who had been recommended to me, and I gave him all my expenses for the year and all the... And declared all kinds of... 'Cause when you're a pastor, you do weddings that you don't get any kind of documentation for. And so I had a fair amount of... There's an official word for it, but income that was not... There was no record of the income except my saying, "Let's just say I made $3,000" and you know you're supposed to tell the IRS that, and I presented that to my accountant. And he said, "Oh, you shouldn't put this in there." "Why? I earned it." "Oh, they'll never know. And if they ever find out, you'll just have to pay a penalty. But they'll never find out." And I said, "Yeah, but I... " So we were having this argument. And once again, there's a little bit of me that's tempted right? It's like, "Wow, you mean I won't have to pay tax on that money," and this is where, Charles you said about rationalization, it's like, "The government takes too much anyway, I'm mad at the government anyway."

CM: Exactly.

MR: But in my case, I also had my wife in the room, so whatever temptation I had, she was there. I think this is often when we need community, and they know we're really gonna do that. And then frankly, we went and found another accountant, we found a person who in this case happened to be a Christian. I know there are honest people who are not Christian, but he was a Christian. And his philosophy, by the way, his was, "You need to pay the federal government every penny you owe, and not one penny more than that."

CM: Exactly.

MR: But it was... But I think what would have happened if I said, "Yeah, let's just do this." It begins to erode your soul.

CM: Absolutely.

MR: And there is a piece of you inside that is changed. And that in and of itself is not a good thing. The problem is, it's like, well, like erosion, you get a little erosion, and then the next thing, the next big rain, you get more erosion, and pretty soon, you got a big, giant creek that wasn't there before. And I think what happens with people... And again you'll see that this is not just financial fraud, but politicians are fairly well known for saying things that are often not true.

CM: Exactly.

MR: Generally, it starts with little things, and then it becomes bigger, and then it becomes bigger. And I'm just so aware of that possibility for my own soul, which is why, both my stories, I had help. I was not alone. I had in one case this elder and attorney in my church, in another case, my wife. And I found that my own weakness and temptation is real, but I'm sorry I'm gonna give you a verse 'cause Leah, you love asking for verses, you can talk about iron sharpening iron. We could talk about from Ecclesiastes, two are better than one. And that the strength of relationship in a Christian community in those places for me has been really important.

CM: Absolutely. I think, Mark, you just hit the nail at the head because, surprisingly, I'm looking at the book of Mark actually chapter 10, verse 19, which we all know, that talks about, "Thou shall not steal." And in fact, the church is probably one of the most... Most organization that I can say is at a disadvantage because we trust people so much. So it doesn't even come to us as to question somebody's integrity. The finances of the church is always, "This is a brother or a sister that is handling this finances, we trust everybody." And because we have faith, we have faith in each other. So this is one area that the church can sometimes be taken aback. They can be easily be defrauded constantly without us knowing that. And it is something that we have to sometimes be careful because we say in audit that we... Even though we trust, have to verify. So this is an area of integrity that we say, "Yeah, we trust you, yes, you're a brother, yes, you are a sister but do we have to verify," just as you said.

LA: I imagine even in the workplace, it's challenging. It's not just churches where we trust people. And like people... My co-workers, I probably spend more time with them than people at my church or than any other friend group, so I really grow to love and trust my co-workers. And I may be very... I'm not talking about my current job now, but I might be resistant to admitting to myself that there might be some systemic fraud going on in my company, or if I know about fraud, I might be resistant to bringing it to light because of how much I like my co-workers, and I like my job. So Charles, what advice would you give for people, if there are some of our listeners who suspect that there might be some fraud going on in their company, what could be like a first step that they could take?

CM: This is interesting because there are organizations who really are trying very hard to make sure that there's a way in which any employee that suspects any form of fraud can report that in a logical form. What do I mean by that? They tend to have what we call whistleblowing system. So for organization that has a whistleblowing system in place makes it a lot easier for an employee to come forward to say, "Hey, I noticed something is not right." And that employee will be... The identity of that employee will be protected. And then the organization can now go into investigating to find out what is really happening.

But if there's no way of protection, that employees can report cases of fraud, then that becomes really a problem, because he may report it to your supervisor, and the supervisor probably is the one that is causing you to commit this fraud, or it is the supervisor that is doing the fraud. Where else do you go? Maybe you go to the boss of your supervisor. That may also be... There may be a roadblock there.

So if you have this kind of a problem, your only bet is to maybe engage the services of an outsider. So maybe you can inform your attorney, your lawyer about what is going on in your organization, and then the lawyer can advise you as to how to do it. You can either report it to maybe a consumer reporting agency in your state, and that they may want to take it up. But yes...

LA: And if I don't have a lawyer...

CM: If you don't have your lawyer, then good luck to you, if you...

LA: I'll get one.

CM: Exactly, get one, because you never know, it may come back to haunt you. And what companies normally do is, if they suspect an employee committing fraud and they know that it is Mr. Y that is committing this fraud, they may not want to take it to court because they may not want that publicity. So all they can do is just to lay off that employee to go, and the employee leaves with a clear record, gets another job, and repeats the same thing in the next job. So it is really a very difficult area. But yes, companies that are really doing well in preventing fraud in their organization is to set up a good whistleblowing system. That is the best way to go.

LA: Now, let me ask you this question, Charles. You found... You always wanted to be in the banking industry, you found it riddled with fraud, you came to the United States, you're telling me it's just as bad here in the United States. Do you feel... Like, do you get disheartened by the work that you do or do you have hope for us human beings?

CM: Probably, I think there is little or no organization that you can say is free of fraud, because fraud is broad. It is simply... It can be deception. And if you look at just the 10 Commandments alone, about four out of 10 of the commandments is related to fraud. We know the first one...

LA: Say more.

CM: Of course, look at, "Thou shall not steal." Stealing is a form of fraud. And we have, "You should not bear false witness against your neighbor." False witnessing is fraud. You should not covet your neighbor's wife. That is fraud. You should not covet your neighbor's goods. That is the assets of the organization that we are working with. So almost literally anywhere you go, there is that chance or opportunity that you can, if you don't be careful, fall into as a temptation. So even though my profession as an educator, I can say it is probably one of the best as I can see, because there is little or no fraud that you can commit there. But you may say, "Oh, there's nothing you can do, there's no cash there or assets of the organization that I can take away." But there are just so many things that you can do, maybe not doing your job properly or not being available at work whereby you should be, just not being available to your employees, to your students, or helping them the way you should. So these are all indirect way of committing fraud, and this is one of the things that God is against, that we should not, as committed Christians, in doing that.

LA: You have me thinking about the 10 Commandments, and I'm twisting them in my head, to say, to think like, "How can each of these be about fraud now?" And honoring my father and mother, I can't tell you how many white lies that I...

CM: Absolutely.

LA: That I told to my parents to get out of things but now that I have children, I see that happen as well. So I'm just seeing how, from the family to the workplace, there are many opportunities for all of us to not represent the truth 100% accurately.

CM: Absolutely.

LA: Which is why I'm so interested in this verse from Leviticus that you gave at the beginning, which is Leviticus chapter 6 verses 2 to 6, which say, "When you found out... " I'm gonna paraphrase here, but when you realize that you've done something wrong and you feel guilty about it, then you go offer your guilt offering, which is 20%, which is not, which is... Which is not... "

CM: Exactly.

LA: Which is not a little thing. I think of...

CM: Yeah, exactly.

LA: I think of my kids lying about their screen time, "No, I wasn't playing Minecraft. I wasn't upstairs in the office. No, I wasn't... " Like, "Well, we're gonna cut 20% off." No, no, no.

CM: Yes, exactly.

LA: That's not for me to do, that's for them when they realize their guilt to do.

CM: Exactly.

LA: I'm going down a tangent, but the guilt offering recommended in Leviticus is, I think, there because there is some guilt that can eat away at our soul if we don't make restitution for all the frauds, small, medium, and large that we commit.

CM: Right. Absolutely.

MR: So Leah, we have in the New Testament this wonderful story of Zacchaeus, who has this encounter with Jesus, and his heart and his life is transformed. But you remember what he said, this is... it's Luke 19. And Zacchaeus, first he says, "I'll give half my possessions to the poor," but then he said, "And if I've defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much, that's not the 20%, that's four times as much." And this isn't establishing as a rule for all time and people, this must be, but it does show, doesn't it, that when a person encounters the grace of Jesus, 'cause Jesus didn't tell him to do this, but when he encountered Jesus's love and grace, his heart was transformed, and that led to a radically different kind of business practice, just on the spot, 'cause he wanted to, it was in his heart to do something.

CM: That's right, that's right.

LA: Charles, in your line of work, have you seen any of this miraculous, people coming to realize their guilt and gratefully giving up some kind of offering?

CM: Not in the organization I was, but obviously, there are so many instances. There was... I can tell you a very short, funny story. My wife was operating a clothing store here in Cambridge, and you will not believe the amount of shoplifting that was going on in the store. And one lady came with a basket full of clothes. At first, we were thinking maybe she had come to sell those clothes to us. So she called my wife aside and said, "I am so sorry, I've been coming to this store many times, but this is the remaining clothes that I have with me, and I just want to return it. I just felt that it is not right that I keep coming to steal from you." We were really, really touched, and we told her she could have those ones to herself, we've forgiven her, and she is welcome to come to the store at any point and tell us what kind of clothes she needed. Because we were really blown away with her conviction to come to the store with a basket full of clothes that she took from us. I thought that is a very good example.

LA: Do you know what... That's amazing. Do you know what caused the change in her?

CM: Honestly, she just felt she wasn't doing the right thing and she should return it. And we did sit down with her and had a word of prayer, and because we didn't actually ask whether she was going to a particular church, but we knew that this wouldn't have just happened like that. It must have been a touch from God. And she came on her own, nobody asked her to come. Nobody asked her to come, and we wouldn't have known that she had taken that much. She said that wasn't enough. That was just what was left out of the many she had taken from the store. That was really amazing.

MR: That is, that's a... What a wonderful story.

CM: Exactly.

MR: I'm glad you asked that, Leah. That was great.

CM: That's right.

LA: Well, that actually gives me a lot of hope because, you know what? Other times in this conversation, Charles, I'm thinking, oh, how are we ever... Everyone, you're telling me everyone is lying all the time, and in every business everyone's committing fraud, how are we gonna get out of this and get more honesty in the workplace? And after hearing that story and also reflecting on the story of Zacchaeus, I feel like actually with God's power, it is actually possible for individuals to turn around, and if individuals turn around, then businesses can be turned around too.

MR: Yeah.

CM: Absolutely and... Yeah, go ahead, Mark.

MR: It can happen. I know, in a very different scale, a man who would negotiate multimillion, even billion-dollar contracts, and at one point in his life he really was convicted that a lot of his strategy in negotiating wasn't honest. They would misrepresent things and all that. And so he determined that from then on he was going to be honest in the way he did this. And he actually went to the person he was negotiating with and said, "Okay, what we have put in this really isn't what it ought to be, and here is what is really true." And the other person was so shocked, he didn't at first trust him because it was so... But he from that point on... And he has continued on in that business, and I don't know all the details, but I do know that from the level of shoplifting from a store to the level of multimillion or billion-dollar contracts, people do repent and turn and... God's in that business, right?

CM: Exactly Mark.

LA: Well, Charles, thank you for just opening our eyes today to the world of fraud in business and also to the hope that we all have more truth, and thank you for being a pioneer in this work, we appreciate you speaking with us today.

CM: Thank you so much.

MR: Amen. Yes, indeed.

CM: I'm so grateful for you for having me on this discussion, thank you.

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