Ex-gambler feels guilty about 'borrowed' $

DEAR HARRY: About 20 years ago, I got myself into a terrible mess gambling. First it was casino gambling on weekends. I then moved to horse races, then illegal stuff like baseball and football games. I finally woke up when I was in debt to some pretty rough people to the tune of almost $25,000. In my position at work, I had the ability to access some large bank accounts with almost no supervision. I "borrowed" the money I needed, and I never once gambled since. Over the next year or so, I repaid my "loan." The company is now being sold by my boss because his kids want nothing to do with it. He is giving me a "retirement bonus" of $50,000 for being a loyal and productive employee these past 30 years (I'm now 73). Neither before nor after my incident did I ever take one dime of the company's money, but I'm sitting on a terrible feeling of guilt. Do I tell him what I did?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: The loss to the company could have been the interest that the company could have earned on it. From what you have said, it appears that the money was not earning any interest as part of a checking account. The "borrowed" money was returned. It was a one-shot thing that never happened before or since. Revealing it will only make your boss feel hurt and doubtful of your honesty in all your years together. It may not even make you feel better. I would let the sleeping dog lie. OK, you purists: Shoot me down.


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