Dead Solid Pluperfect

A Hot Buttered Guff™ Production

Arbortext Accounting Fraud #40: Blueberry Bites The Bullet

Chapter Forty

Blueberry Bites The Bullet

 

Mary and I sat down to have the Big Talk.

It was February of 2006. Parametric had clearly drawn the curtains on any further discussions. Eff You, Peanutsville, loud and clear. The ball was in our court. Fish or cut bait. Sink or swim. Pony up or shut up.

“I figured out why everyone keeps offering us $100,000,” Mary said.

“It sounds a lot bigger than $99,999.99?”

“It’s the largest amount that is acceptable as an expense that is not deemed to have a Material Effect on the company and its stockholders. Petty cash limit, in other words. It doesn’t have to be accounted for. In the stockholders’ report.”

“A Miscellaneous Expense?”

“Correct.”

“Blueberry’s petty cash limit is twenty-five dollars.”

“I’m sure Parametric is aware of that. My brother Don says they know everything about us, all the way down to whether we use one ply or two ply toilet paper.”

“Peepers.”

“Get serious, will you? We’ve got an important decision to make.”

“You’re right,” I said. “Machete or shot gun. You’re a Tarantino, by the way. How come you don’t know any Mafiosos? We sure could use one.”

“We have to either give up or file for Arbitration.”

“So we file for Arbitration.”

“We? I don’t see you filling out any forms.”

“Well, . . .”

“Or coming up with any money.”

“Well, . . .”

“It’ll cost us about ten grand to get the Arbitration process started. Six thousand for the fee and then we have to pay for the Arbitrator, too.”

“I thought it was two thousand to file.”

“That’s for an expedited case and limited Discovery. Six thousand allows you to ask for more than $500,000 in awards. It’s considered a Complex case then.”

“And more Arbitrator money and more lawyer money.”

“You’re learning. And we don’t have even two thousand, let alone ten. Just to get the process started. Who knows how much more it will cost to get it concluded.”

“Where’s the good news?”

“I’m not done with the bad. We also owe Claudia Rast $15,000. Which she has been nice enough not to hound us for. We have to pay her bill before we can ask any more help from her for the Arbitration process.”

“I’ll give Dweeble a call. I’m sure he’ll offer to help.”

“I said get serious.”

“Twenty-five grand, huh. Wow. Well, there’s the Disbursement money. Blair’s got to hand it over some day.”

“With him, you never know. He’s not a well person.”

“He’s not Italian, though. Maybe we could break his kneecaps.”

“That thirty-one thousand Disbursement money would get us in the Arbitration door. After paying Claudia, we’d have six grand left to our name.”

“Well, thirty-one thousand ain’t good for much else, is it?”

“You have a point. So, we use it for Arbitration. That brings up the next problem.”

“How many more are there?”

“Lots. But only one that matters now. The remaining six thousand won’t be enough to pay Claudia to handle the Arbitration. That means we have to do it ourselves. Little us against giant Parametric. Not good odds.”

“You’re forgetting one key point.”

“And what would that be?”

“We don’t have any other choice.”

Mary got up and paced back and forth. She looked a little sweaty. I’d never seen this side of her before. She stopped in front of me.

“I can do this, right?”

“You can do it.”

“You’re going to help me, right?”

“Absolutely.”

“You’re sure I can do this?”

“You can do it, Mary. You’re brilliant. Fearless. Eloquent. You’ll whip their ass. Seven lawyers or twenty. It don’t matter. You know this case better than anyone.”

“I can’t do this.”

“Okay. We give up, then.”

“I’m not giving up.”

We looked at each other. Every now and then in life there was a moment that needed no words and no amount of words could convey what a simple look between two people who knew each other inside and out could express. Such a moment occurred now. And the only visible sign of communication was the two sad little smiles that emerged on our faces after a long, long journey down into the eyes of our souls.

 “Screw it,” I said. “Let’s beat these sonsabitches.”

“We can do this,” she said.

“We have to.”

Claudia Rast was quite pleased with our payment of the severely overdue bill. She also graciously agreed to provide her legal expertise if and when we needed it during our self-representation efforts. For an additional two thousand dollar retainer. Fair enough.

Here we go again. Little legal beagles, jumping into the shark infested waters of the justice system to dog paddle our way to the promised land.

And so, in June of 2006, Mary and I prepared our Arbitration filing using our tried and true technique: She prepared and I waved pom poms. It was getting harder and harder to remember that I had once been a very bright boy and a useful member of society. Parts of society, anyway. Maybe not all of it. Some of it. A pretty small part. Still, it was a part. Okay, so it wasn’t. Society was for ants and bees. I was a mountain goat. In my dreams. Probably, I was more like a mole – snerking around underground eating worms and making holes in the dirt that went everywhere and nowhere, biding my time till someone stuck a pitchfork through my neck and put an end to the disruptive mess.

These last few years my usefulness was certainly much, much diminished. Where I had once driven the car, now I was just a passenger. Gazing out the window at the scenery blurring by while someone else focused on the road ahead and the gas in the tank.

And a very strange thing was settling inside of me. With each new disaster came also, inexplicably, a growing sense of peace. A sense that I had driven as far as I could as long as I could as well as I could and was simply done being the driver. I had released control. I was eight years older than Mary and for the first time in our life it made a difference. She was younger, faster, fresher, smarter, tougher.

Blueberry was now more her company than mine. I was just the maintenance man now. She was the driver.

The last court session had closed the book on me and Kevin “The Worm” Dwan. Who had won and who had lost meant practically nothing to me any more. He was finally gone. That was all that mattered. Flushing this miserable turd from my life was a resounding relief. So long, Jerk. Have a good life. Any where else but in mine.

In July we finished our Arbitration filing and sent it off to Claudia for her expert attorney eyeballing. She gave it the okay. After all, according to the Arbitration Guidelines about all you had to do was say you had a beef and wanted it arbitrated. It wasn’t necessary to lay out your whole case, like you would have to do if it was a court trial.

The filing was mostly a restatement of the Demand Letter we had sent the previous year. Mark Robinson’s white washed, cover up Plante Moran Audit Report had severely crippled our ability to make the filing stronger with a direct accusation of the Accounting Fraud that was surely going on. We were confident, though, that this Fraud would be unearthed during the Discovery process of the Arbitration proceedings and the Cover Up, as well as the Fraud, would be exposed.

We had four thousand left at this point. Which would not be enough to pay for the entire Arbitration process. We would have to come up with additional money somewhere, somehow along the way. Something we had been doing for quite a long time now. One more journey into the unknown with our Have Faith bumper sticker stuck to the rear of our Hopemobile. If thirty-one thousand wasn’t really much use for anything but the Arbitration, then four thousand that wouldn’t be enough wasn’t much use for anything either.

So we took a thousand of this remaining four and rented a four bedroom condo in North Lake Tahoe’s Incline Village which was owned by a friend of Mary’s who gave us a fabulously discounted deal on a week’s rental.

All of Mary’s six kids, two husbands, a couple of boy friends, and by now four grandchildren joined us for a week long vacation. For the first time in two years, the entire family was all together in one place at one time. And who knows how long it would be till the next time.

In early September of 2006, nearly five years in the making, we at long last filed for Arbitration against the Thieves of Arbortext/Parametric.

To be continued . . . Free Hit Counter website statistics

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August 25, 2008 - Posted by | Business, Law, Software, Stories, Writing | , , , ,

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