Anyone who’s gone through a single busy season will tell you that there’s no messing around. It’s crunch time. That’s why many accountants go to work when they’re sick, forgo austere obligations, ignore their loved ones, and in general, compromise their principles to keep busy season moving along as smoothly as possible. Today we have a story of just how far a firm will go to not disrupt the natural order of things.

We’ll start with a recent Department of Justice press release that accuses David Michael McGraw of Fairbanks, Alaska of stealing $315,000 from his former employer:

From 2010 to 2014, McGraw was the Finance Director for the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council (“Watershed Council”), a nonprofit corporation formed to improve and preserve the water quality of the Yukon River. The organization received federal grant money in excess of $1 million each fiscal year that McGraw was the Financial Director. According to the indictment, McGraw intentionally misapplied approximately $315,000 from the Watershed Council for his personal benefit including, among other things, the purchase of an airplane, maintenance on the airplane, flight school for himself, the purchase of real estate, more than a dozen firearms, and online pornography fees.

I know what you’re thinking: 1) Who pays for porn? And 2) What does this have to do with an accounting firm’s busy season? Well, it just so happens that McGraw has been working at Clymer, Hall & Davis, a Fairbanks tax prep outfit, for the past four years, and the NBC affiliate wanted to get their thoughts on the matter:

In response to questions about his employee and the accusations, Owner Richard Clymer writes, “During this time l have found David to be a good man, a good family man, and an extremely competent and diligent tax preparer. I am planning to employ David for the last couple of weeks of this tax season to avoid overburdening the rest of the preparer staff. After that, David will be put on administrative leave, to give him the time needed to deal with his legal problems.”

On the one hand, if you’re one of McGraw’s co-workers, you have to be relieved that he’ll be around for the next two weeks. On the other, everyone’s looking at him just a little differently, aren’t they? You just know that one of the guys there is pulling him aside to say, “Dude, I know of a good free site you should check out.”

[DOJ, Webcenter11]

Image: iStock/marekuliasz