I am working in a company for 2 years now. The owner is my father in law. Last year I was having money problems. My father in law trusts me a lot, so I was able to steal some money from the company in a way that nobody knows where that money has gone.

But now I really fell regret on my act and I want to return that money to my boss. But I worry that when my father in law comes to know that I was a thief, it may harm my family relationship. Maybe he can also stuck off me from from the company. So what are my options?

  • 3
    I fixed the grammar in your question to make it more understandable. However, there is still one sentence I don't understand: "Maybe he can also stuck off my know from the company". What do you mean with that?
    – Philipp
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 12:56
  • 2
    does your father in law know that something was stolen? This will affect the possibilities you have
    – LaughU
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 13:26
  • 3
    This may be worth getting an opinion from law.SE on what liability you've got, and the best way to protect yourself. I'm not sure losing his trust is the biggest worry you should have about being caught.
    – user81330
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 14:14
  • Why did you steal? Not that it is ever allowed to steal, but some people steal for profit, some for survival, some for their kids to eat.
    – Zorkolot
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 16:30
  • yes my father in law knew that money had stolen Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 18:06

3 Answers 3


Put the cash in an envelope, add an anonymous note telling of your regret for this theft and drop it off in his mailbox. Don't use a handwritten note, don't drop it off where only few people have access to (like his office), don't send it via mail since it could get stolen.

A case could be made for honesty, but (as you guessed yourself) this could have serious consequences both for your professional and your private life, so I cannot in good conscience urge you to do that.

  • 1
    Wouldn't it cause issue to the company from an accounting perspective? Depending how much it is, I hardly think that the company could list "found money" in its balance sheet…
    – ebosi
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 10:04
  • 2
    This is a bad answer, since acknowledgement of theft could lead to inquiry and investigation which could put OP at risk. The better approach is to simply put the money back in -- if you could take it without anybody noticing, I am sure OP can put it back without anybody noticing.
    – SAK
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 13:30
  • 1
    @ebosi If the money was recorded in the balance sheet of last year before it was stolen, then it is possible to say that in the balance sheet of this year: "the money stolen in 2017 was returned". If it was not recorded, then the owner can use the money privately without noting it in the balance sheet. The main goal here is to undo the financial damage done to the owner, and also to lessen the emotional one. Having been the victim of theft, getting the stolen money back with an apology note would have gone a long ways to restoring my faith in humanity.
    – E.T.
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 9:32
  • @SAK As the OP noted in the comments, the theft was already noticed.
    – E.T.
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 9:37

Well, I won't berate you about having betrayed your family as you already know that.

I think returning the money anonymously as E.T. suggests is a good idea if you think your bonds with your wife and your father in law would break by confessing (what I would suggest).
Especially if you were asked before and denied any knowledge of the money's whereabouts.

Should you decide to go with E.T.'s suggestion keep in mind that you also keep on the look out for security cameras that could pick you up while dropping in the envelope.
You also shouldn't print out the note with your own printer either!
They print a unique ID code not visible to the human eye on every page nowadays.
Maybe an internet cafe,an old school typewriter or some kids text stamping set?(that you get rid of afterwards)
The more you stole, the more diligent you should be in returning the money.
I say this because a) you might get discovered, ultimately caught leaving the money or b) the money,note or envelope might be traced back to you if your father in law is very adamant to find out who stole from him.

You also need to have a plausible reason ready why you are / were at the mailbox of your father in law (or wherever you leave the envelope) in case someone spots you, maybe even recognizes you.
Also, do other employees know where their boss lives? If not it is even more important to leave the envelope where it isn't easy to deduct that you were the one leaving it there.

At least I assume (hope) you learned your lesson and in case of future financial problems you include your family and ask for their help if your relationship is such that this is possible.

  • I'm surprised you didn't mention clipping letters out of a newspaper or magazine to write the letter :-)
    – Laurent S.
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 10:30
  • haha I thought about it but reconsidered it having too much of a ransom note vibe...(; Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 14:41

If you were able to steal money in a way nobody would know where it had gone, can you not reverse the process and add money in the way that nobody would know from where it came?

Add the money slowly until you return the amount you took (plus a little interest).

  • 12
    I would advice against this. Companies have accounting systems that are required to show exactly where money came from or was spent (down to the cent). Stealing money is bad enough, but can be explained. Adding money that was never registered in the accounting system could add another nightmare if the company ever has do undergo financial auditing.
    – Elmy
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 14:53
  • 1
    they know that money had stolen but don't know who had stolen Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 18:04
  • 2
    Elmy hits it on the head. Think you feel guilty now? Just wait until you reverse-embezzle the money back, only to watch as the company gets audited and the owner gets into hot water with the authorities.
    – Kevin
    Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 19:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .