The psychology of "super embezzlers" — brilliant thieves who enjoy outsmarting those around them

Most embezzlers are highly intelligent, skilled at their jobs, and very likable and charming. The author of "Embezzlers are Nice People," an attorney at the law offices of Stimmel, Stimmel & Roeser says, "we spend a lot of time suing embezzlers," and has learned that being a successful embezzler requires exceptional abilities:

"They have to be charismatic and knowledgeable enough so that no one bothers to double check their work. They have to be very steady in their work so that it cannot be reviewed because they are on vacation or ill…in short, they have to be great employees."

The author shares a memorable anecdote about his dealings with an embezzler named "Eddie Chan" (not his real name). The author recounts an incredible lunch meeting where Eddie pitches him on getting involved in a Hong Kong property deal. When the lawyer reminds Eddie that he had wanted him jailed for embezzlement, Eddie responds with startling candor:

"'Of course you would [invest with me]. You already know who I am and what I do. You don't have to worry about checking out my background. You can build all the safeguards you need. This isn't about me. It's about the deal. If it's a good deal, you should jump at it. Better the thief you know than the thief you don't know. This is a perfect opportunity for you. Who else would think of investing with me?'"

This stunning lack of contrition and ethical blinding provides a window into the mindset of embezzlers. The author observes that for Eddie, "business was not only war, but war with the only rules being do not get caught if you can and make all the money you can. And trust no one."

Previously: Oregon newspaper lays off staff and ends print edition after embezzler drains funds