Over the Ethical Line

Over the Ethical Line

I have only half-heartedly been searching for dates on match.com. One fellow emailed me and asked for my phone number. I gave it to him. The first time he called, I was at the beach in California with my kids. He said he would call the next day but didn’t. No big deal.

The second time he called he was surprised that I answered. He said he just wanted to leave a message that he would call later in the day. He didn’t.

The third time he called we talked for a while. We decided to meet at a Starbuck’s at Desert Ridge after I had dinner with my son and his family. I look just like the pictures that are posted on my profile, so I figured even if he didn’t we’d find each other.

That day was a busy one. Hair appointments for me and Sparky, off to the dentist to get the permanent crown, on to my writing group, and then picking up dinner at Carolina’s for the family. I was running late so I called and made the date for forty-five minutes later than it was originally scheduled.

I arrived at Starbuck’s right on time. He came up to me and he looked just like his picture, not handsome but interesting. He bought me a large iced tea and we talked. He mostly talked about his business and bringing up his daughter in a rural area so she could have ponies, peacocks, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, and horses. We both grew up in New Jersey. We laughed and I figured I would see him again, though it would be tricky as I was about to go north for the summer. He suggested we could trade services: I would write copy for his website and he would have someone lay the tile in my living room.

He walked me out to my car and kissed me. It was good. I was feeling hopeful.

Before I got in the car, he said, “You’ll probably ‘Google’ me as soon as you get home, so I want to let you know what you’ll find. Forty years ago I was involved with some fake money.” He handed me his card.

“Forty years ago is a long time,” I said brightly.

“Also, a guy I recently stopped being partners with has was blog. Don’t believe what he writes.”
“Okay,” I said.

I got in my car and drove home. This was a bit weird. I couldn’t have “Goggled” him until he gave me his card with his last name.

The next day I was leaving for a vacation in San Francisco. Waiting for the plane to board, I did “Google” him. I read about the counterfeit money case. He had failed to mention that the judgment states that my date had an extensive criminal record. So It wasn’t just a one-time thing. He was an voluntary witness (informant) for the prosecution against Giuliano. Isn’t that a mob family?

The blog was listed next, but I didn’t go there. Of interest was an appellate court opinion. The judge wrote that this fellow I had just had met was the defendant in a fraud case involving mortgages. He and a loan officer conspired to allow investors to buy rental properties without any down payment.

I lost a lot of money in the two businesses I funded for my second husband. I was uncomfortable knowing that he sometimes leaned over the ethical line. This new guy hadn’t just leaned over the line; he’d jumped to the other side.

I was going to call him to let him know there would be no second date. I decided to email instead, through match.com. All he has is my cell phone number. No last name, no address. I wrote a short note that the counterfeit money and the blog were not the reasons I would not see him. The fraud case troubled me. I wished him good luck in the future.

He emailed back a lame explanation that he was an unwitting party. I don’t think so. I will not email back or continue the conversation. Whew! Dodged that one!


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