Underbelly Exposed

quentin-keller-143403-unsplash

My daughter wasn’t one to pull punches. Photo by Quentin Keller on Unsplash

As predicted before the end of the week was out, Walter tried to take money out of the account. It got him arrested. From there the drama jumped to the level of daytime soap opera. The phone rang and when I answered it I was greeted by a tirade.

“You got me arrested. You bitch. Don’t think for one second I will not make you pay. I’m going to take the kids and you are never getting them back,” yelled Walter.

“Actually you’re blaming the wrong bitch for getting you arrested. It was me I blocked you from taking mine and Shane’s money and doing goodness knows what with it. I told them to call the police if you tried to take out our money again.”

Silence took over the line. After a while, the question came. “Who is this?”

“The daughter you want to take from her mother. The daughter you ignored most of her life. The daughter you taught by your every action that all men who create a child are not fathers. The daughter who’s life you want to ruin by trying to keep her away from a full scholarship so you can steal her money.”

“What scholarship?” he asked a shock.

“The daughter you obviously know nothing about. You are not taking me or my brother, so we’ll see you in court.” Kylie slammed down the phone.

“What she said,” replied Lindsay and put down the phone.

My baby has shot the cannonball at his chest. She bounced into the sitting room where I had been relaxing waving her phone.

“I got it all on tape. We’ve got the rat bag now,” she said with glee. “I’m going to send this to dad.” She quickly sent the recording off to Mr. Divine then skipped back into the bedroom.

Mr. Divine called me several minutes later. “That child is scary. She has no fear.”

“You’re telling me,” Lindsay murmured.

“I sent it to the lawyer,” said Mr. Divine. “He is pushing for a court date so hopefully this helps.”

“Fingers crossed,” I said.

“I’ll be home in about an hour or so,” he said. “Love you baby.”

“I love you too,” I replied then ended the call.

Sitting back in the chair Lindsay considered her life as it was right know. Slightly complicated but she was loved and truly happy. To her, that was all that mattered. From her spot on the couch, Lindsay could hear the children talking and laughing. This was the life she dreamed of and now she had it, no one was taking it away. Walter better watch his back.

Advertisements

Bank Business

alvaro-reyes-500037-unsplash

My daughter is about to check her phone until she realized she didn’t know about an account at this bank.  Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

My daughter demanded to know how my Ex got his hands on her and her brother’s money and as she peppered the manager with questions I could tell the man was not used to such a forceful and determined young person.

“Have the papers been filed against him?” she asked our lawyer.

“Yes,” he replied.

“Are we using this or are we going to nail him?” she asked to everyone’s shock.

“What?” Kylie queried when she saw the look on our faces. “I understand the concept of leverage as well as the next person but no matter what you do make sure you get back our money.”

Shane had been going through the bank statements with a highlighter when he nudged his sister and pointed to something. He took a red pen and placed an asterisk next to it then got his sister’s phone and took a picture.

“May I kindly speak to her, please? Knowing my father, I assume there is a ‘her’ he manipulated to get access to our accounts.”

The manager called in the woman.

“Do you consent to have this conversation recorded?” asked my daughter putting her phone in the middle of the table.

The woman hesitated and then slowly noted. “A verbal answer is required,” my daughter explained.

“Yes,” replied the woman.

My daughter pushed some papers across the desk to her. “Please state your name and tell me if this is your signature on this document?” directed Kylie.

“My name is Teresa Mayers and yes this is my signature.”

My daughter went on. “Can you please explain what this form is for and how it came to be added to these accounts?”

“It is a form that allows the named person, in this case, Walter Haynes, full access to the account. Why, because he wanted to be able to better manage to money on the account.”

“What about the persons whose names were on the accounts? Couldn’t they manage the money themselves?”

“He said his children were minors and his wife was a heavy spender. He was afraid she would drain the accounts.”

Kylie pushed another set of papers forward. “Can you see a single withdrawal on this account? When you see the first withdrawal, please state the date.”

She stated them for both accounts. Kylie pointed to the paperwork to access the account.

“How soon after access was granted did the removal of monies happened?”

The bank teller replied. “One week.”

“Who did the withdrawals?” asked Kylie.

“The person who signed the form Walter Haynes. Why are you asking me these questions? You are minor.”

“It’s my money you gave that man access to. My money he has been spending on goodness knows what. So I can ask as many questions as I please. But last question. Did you call the owners of the account or the person in charge of the account to verify the validity of the letter?”

The bank teller looked puzzled. “No. It was signed and dated.”

“Correction,” said Kylie. “The signature is a forgery.” The woman’s eyes popped open.

“My mother would never have signed this letter. Plus, when this was written, we were all in the US looking at universities. I’ve not spoken to my father in almost three or four years why would I want him managing my money?”

The bank teller shrugged, unable to reply. “I want his authorization revoked and a flag put on the account so that the next time he comes in to make a withdrawal, the police are called. I’m done playing games,” said Kylie.

“What do we need to sign to make it happened?” Kylie leaned back in the chair, waiting.

The manager started to get the necessary paperwork and placed the needed blocks on the account so no withdrawals could be made until the children were each twenty-one or older.

“Rental property?” asked Shane to Mr. Divine.

Mr. divine looked at the balances of both accounts.

“By twenty-one, if the market is right. It’s more than possible.”

“Sweet,” said Shane with glee.

Lindsay looked at her daughter going over paperwork and asking questions when she didn’t understand. Kylie’s maturity never ceased to fill her with awe. Her instincts told her this situation with Walter would be reaching a tipping point by the end of the next two to three weeks. During that time things would get really heated and she needed to have her fire extinguisher ready.

 

Storm Winds

rawpixel-670711-unsplash

The signature was not mine. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

When I saw the paperwork had a forgery of my signature I was livid. I took out both my ID and drivers license and slapped them onto the table. “That is my signature.”

I pointed to the letter. “There is no way I would give that man consent to have access to my children’s money.”

“But if something happened to you?” stated the manager. “The father…”

“Has no right to access that money,” I interjected.

“My daughter and son understand how money works even better than me. They both have investment accounts that they manage themselves with only minor advice from my husband, so there is no way they would let their father use their money.”

“If they find out about this but things are going to get nasty,” murmured my husband.

“As it is their accounts. Especially the sixteen-year-old, they should know,” said the manager.

“That girl is worse than our lawyer. She will fight until she gets back her money and he goes to jail.”

“Her own father?” asked the manager in shock.

“He is trying to block us from taking them away to live and my daughter has a full scholarship. She is livid. If she finds out about this,” Mr. Divine laughed and shook his head.

“She gives me the shivers,” said our lawyer. “Told me to fix this, ‘meaning the custody battle’ then walked away like she hadn’t just threatened me but had asked me if I wanted a glass of ice tea.”

“I’m sorry, but as it is their account they must be here.”

“Just remember you were warned,” stated my husband and took out his phone.

“Honey, are you finished with the broker?”

Whatever our daughter said had my husband laughing. “Then come to the bank with your brother when you’re done. We have a little issue.”

Mr. Divine refused to go into details despite being pressed and that alone would speed up my daughter’s arrival.

They called to say they were downstairs fifteen minutes later and I went to get them.

“Hey mom. What’s up?” asked Lindsey

“How was the broker?” I asked, determined to distract her.

Her words as we entered the room made the bank manager’s head snapped up. “I just got another five thousand rolling for both Shane and I. Would you imagine he wanted to tell me to get bonds. I told him I’d reached my yearly cap. Let him go home and think about that. As if.”

“You should have seen the guy’s face mom,” said my son with a laugh.

“So what is going on?” Kylie asked assessing the room. “If the lawyer is here it’s big.”

The manager cleared his throat. “It has been brought to our attention that your father has been removing money from your account.”

“What account? I monitor my account like a hawk. Mine and my brother’s.”

Kylie went for her phone, then paused. “Wait a minute, I don’t know about any accounts at this bank.”

She looked at us, waiting for an explanation.

“Your grandmother started these accounts for both you and Shane and I put money in them all the time. The plan is you don’t access it until you are twenty-one or twenty-five. This is the account your father has been deposited money into for you since the separation, then divorce. It seems somehow he has gained access and has been withdrawing the money.”

“Then send the police for him because we want our money back and him, gone.”

“I told you,” said Mr. Divine to the bank manager with a smug smile.

 

Shot Across the Bow

rawpixel-633841-unsplash

The bank manager was in for a shock. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

The lawyer broke into a huge smile.

“Fraud,” said Mr. Divine.

“Correct,” came the reply. “And theft of thousands of dollars from the children that he used on whores.”

“So what should we do? Bring this to the custody hearing for the kids or countersue?”

“I love how this woman thanks,” said the lawyer.

“He will not expect this countersuit and it will send him scrambling. After we file the papers, we will need to hit the bank. Someone in there give him access.” Explained the lawyer.

“When we were married. Well separated, I found out he was sleeping with this girl in the bank and used her to block my access to our joint account information.”

“He did this before. I love it,” said the lawyer with a laugh. “I think it is time for him to learn a lesson with a punishment to fit the crime.”

So on our dining room table, over wine and laughter, a plan and papers were drafted. As soon as we got proof they were filed we would be hitting the bank.

Things went smoothly and with the papers in hand and lawyer next to us, we hit the bank.

“We are here to see the manager,” said our lawyer.

“May I ask who is it an what it is about?”

“The lawyer handed over his business card and said in a loud voice. “It is about fraud and theft of monies from two accounts in this bank.”

The words drifted downstairs and a murmur could be heard. The time we turned up at the bank had been chosen with purpose. The place was busy. It worked. The secretary scrambled up.

“One moment.” She raced into her boss’s office and in less than two seconds the manager was in front of us.

“Good morning. Can I help you?” said the man.

Our lawyer handed over the papers and he took them. The man took out his glasses and started to read. “Charline, hold all my calls,” he instructed and urged us to follow him.

“This is a serious allegation,” said the man. “Can I see your proof?”

“It’s in your files. Only two or three people can give permission for him to have access to these accounts. The minors who they belong to don’t speak to him. The grandmother who opened the accounts and we know she didn’t do it. She hates the man, always did. Then the mother who is here and sure as hell didn’t give him permission.”

“That is my children’s nest egg. Why are withdrawals being made? Nothing is supposed to be withdrawn until they are twenty-one or twenty-five,” Said Lindsay arms folded.

“Get your files,” urged the lawyer.

 

New Information

rawpixel-589073-unsplash1

The files were very revealing. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

When Lindsay saw the investigator coming through the door with what seemed like a nonstop parade of files she felt my breath caught. I was massive, so much more than she expected. They started to explain what they found. Lindsay felt her jaw drop.

Not only was Walter living in a woman’s house, but he was making the woman pay the bulk of the bills by saying he had one payment or the other for the children. He didn’t actually.

The money for the children from Walter went into a bank account we didn’t touch. The aim was for the accounts to be a nest egg for the children to do something big with when they each turned twenty-one. To date, Lindsay had no clue how much each account held. When she saw the paperwork in front of her, she was shocked. Each account contained a significant figure, Kylie’s being the biggest.

As Lindsay looked over the bank statements that was when she started to notice withdrawals. Slowly she went over all the bank statements she had been given. They indicated that for the last year, Walter had been taking money from the children’s accounts because it hadn’t been them or me.

“Look at this,” Lindsay said to Mr. Divine. “He’s been taken money from the children’s accounts and considering he hasn’t been sending them cash. What has he been doing with it?”

“Rolling flush trying to impress women with it,” said the investigator who was handing us the papers as we requested them. “He pretends he is rich and can buy them anything and the women he had been sleeping with are pros and he doesn’t know. They are draining him.  That is why he has been using the children’s accounts, for the money.”

“Who started the accounts?” asked the lawyer.

“I did. No wait, it was my mom. When Kylie was born my mother bought me a thousand dollars and said I was supposed to open an account for her. Well, more like she opened the account and brought the book after she took one look at Walter. She did the same for Shane. The bank book came in the post. I deposited money every month.”

“When did you stop and Walter and start?” asked the lawyer.

“Since the divorce or more like months before. I started new accounts for them and planned to move the money but the bank was giving me drama so I left it there,” said Lindsay with a shrug.

“It’s funny how they give you trouble when it’s your money but let someone who it doesn’t belong to gain access it without a problem,” said the lawyer.

“Did you give Walter the power to withdraw money from the account?” The man went on to ask.

“Hell no!” I replied.

“Well, somehow he has it.” Was the lawyer’s reply.

 

Hidden Angle

helloquence51716

The lawyer was going over the paperwork. Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

Lindsay was tempted to just leave Mr. Divine with the lawyer to figure out a plan of attack but she had to stop herself. This was a problem she had been the root cause of, so she needed to contribute, somehow.

Settling in Lindsay told the lawyer about Walter’s interaction with the children throughout the years and the fact that after the separation things got progressively worst. He insisted she elaborate.

She went on to explain the massive switch in the children’s attitude because Walter had started to bully them. As she spoke the lawyer wrote down the information. The man was especially interested in the teachers who were present at the mediation meeting we were forced to hold to get the children back under control. Each story seemed worst than the last.

Leaning back Lindsay tapped her hand on the table as she tried to understand what was truly going on.

“What is his aim?” Lindsay asked out loud. “That is what is bugging me. Walter never showed interest in the children so why is he doing this?”

Lindsay turned to Mr. Divine. “I know you said you have your guys on him but tell them to dig deeper. I know he doesn’t what the kids. He is after something else I’m sure of it.”

She was almost frantic by the time she finished her speech.

Mr. Divine reached for Lindsay to calm her down and she clutched his hand like a lifeline.

“The investigators will come in tomorrow and we will go over what they found together. You know the way Walter thinks after enduring him for more than eighteen plus years, so if anyone can figure this out, it’s you.”

Lindsay took a deep breath and nodded, trying desperately to keep calm. It wasn’t happening. Mr. Divine had no clue what he had just asked of her. To get into Walter’s mind was to delve into a place of negativity, manipulation and hate. Anything that man did was self-serving so Lindsay knew she would have to keep that in mind.

Mr. Divine leaned in and kissed her and Lindsay held him tight.

“Make sure you pull me back after I do this,” she whispered to him as unease crawled through her body. “Pour the positivity into my life as soon as I’m done looking into what that man is doing. Fill me with light to counter his evil.

“I’ve got you baby,” he assured me. “I’ve got you.”

Fight Stance

arthur-yao-469874-unsplash

We are ready for war. Photo by ARTHUR YAO on Unsplash

The kids came into the living room from sorting out their clothes in their rooms to find me sitting down in the kitchen with the phone off the hook next to me

Kylie gave me a look and pointed to the phone with the open line beeping loudly next to me. “What is going on?”

It was on the tip of my tongue to say, ‘your father is acting the ass’, but I curbed my tongue and said. “Your father is being difficult.”

The kids looked at me puzzled. “What’s the matter?”

I sighed in frustration. “He said there is no way he is he is letting me take you kids and move you overseas. He plans to take us to court.”

“Ohhhhhh,” said Kylie. “You mean my biological sperm donor. I don’t consider him my father. He lost that privilege a long ago.”

“Can he do that?” demanded Shane. “After not giving a flying leap about us. Try to jump in and destroy our lives. Our dreams.”

“You know we will make sure that doesn’t happen Shane,” I said. Trying to reassure him as well as myself.

“He is a wicked, vengeful and spiteful man mother. You can bet he is going to do everything he can to make our lives a living hell,” murmured Kylie.

“Mom I have a full scholarship and there is no way I’m letting him destroy this opportunity for me. This new school that Shane is planning to go to will give him the foundation he needed in his chosen field of study. They have a good sports program and he has the potential for a scholarship. He is trying to destroy our lives and I am not having it.”

“Calm down Kylie. We’ll get this sorted.”

She started to take slow, deep breaths, determined to return to that peaceful place.

“This will be sorted,” she said with a huge smile. “Daddy will fix it.’

With those words, she crossed the kitchen to the fridge. Got a glass of water and left the room. Shrugging Shane did the same thing.

The kids had spoken. “Daddy will fix it.”

Spoke in Our Wheel

alistair-macrobert-688941-unsplash

The ‘Ex’ is determined to cause trouble but we’re ready for him. Photo by Alistair MacRobert on Unsplash

Everything is in place, well as much as it can be, and the children are excited for their big move to start their breath schools. The date for our move is a month from now and we are in the downsizing, sort mode to figure out what we are going to take, leave or get rid of. Everything is progressing well, close to perfect when the phone rings and we are tossed into a spewing volcano of drama.

“You think you can just take my children and move to another country. No way. I’m taking you to court and stopping it bitch.”

My breath caught and I put down the phone not wanting to answer and start a quarrel and have my words recorded to be used against me. Yes, that was how I thought now. Keep your mouth shut, listen and protect your interest.

The phone started to ring again and I let it ring for a while then answered it. Again the tirade started. I disconnected the call then took the phone off the hook and went to find my phone. I needed to call my husband to let him know trouble was knocking with a battering ram at our door and we needed to fortify our defenses.

When Mr. Divine answered me all I could think was this man loves me.

“Hello honey. How is the sorting going?”

“Good,” I answered dismissively. I took a deep breath.

“What is the matter? What happened?” demanded Mr. Divine.

I just let everything out. “Walter has called here twice in the last ten minutes saying we can’t take the kids overseas to live and he is going to take us to court.”

“Is he now!” Said Mr. Divine. “I knew things were quiet when it comes to him. Let him come. I’m looking forward to smacking him six ways to infinity. When I’m done with him he will know not to mess with my wife, my kids, my family. I’ll protect what I love no matter what and I’m to make him understand and never forget it again.

Build and Grow

kelly-sikkema-198975-unsplash

Bit by bit our plans where falling into place. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

With the children’s help, we’ve got five companies we plan to approach to talk about creating a partnership. Mr. Divine’s guy came back and cut the number down to three because the other two gad bad business practices which included and but was not limited to, dodgy associates. By that, I mean people that can get you thrown into jail or killed. That made things a lot more simple.

Over the next few weeks, we set up meetings to speak to the people in charge of the businesses we wanted to deal with and started to draw up contracts about what would be expected by both parties. We tried to keep things basic as we still needed to have a proper chat with the people we planned to approach.

The first guy we spoke with was the guy with the paddle board business. He was interested in what we had to say but wanted us to explain how the business would exactly benefit him. As passionate as I was about the possibility of working with partners to boost the business I didn’t want to give too much away.

Mr. Divine did most of the talking, with myself adding in bits and bobs as we went along. By the second presentation we had the process down to a T. Two of the three people we approached were interested and we worked with them, continuing negations to get the way how we would link the businesses established. The kids, because they were smart, figured out what we were doing and added another company into the mix.

By the time we were done, we had established contracts with three companies and were setting up a one month trial run to work out any potential problems we might encounter. We are all eager to evaluate the outcome so we can move forward. Another step along the exciting path to discovering one’s full potential.

Business Mind

michael-longmire-689531-unsplash

Making sure my business work for me means knowing what my money is doing every day. Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

Money and how I use it has been on my mind for the past few weeks and the next money related item in my agenda to tackle is my little side business. I have it on a separate account at the bank, but I think I need to make some changes.

Mr. Divine found me one afternoon making notes I’m going over the paperwork for the company.

“What’s up?” he asked sitting down next to me.

“it’s not so much that something is up but that I would like to set things in place so if that the money that is made by the company is allotted usefully.”

Mr. Divine urged me to explain what I had in mind. “I want to establish a salary for myself and the children so I can take the money that comes in and invest it like you do. I have some money that I put into an investment a while back but I have not added to it.

He listened as I continued to explain my overall vision. From there we started to toss ideas back and forth as we looked at the company’s income and what was the best course of action. By the end of our pow-wows, I was truly happy with the ideas we came up with and the decisions we made.

With a solid plan in place, we made appointments to go to the back and put systems in place to transfer the money to the various organisations where I needed them to go. We also took out a lump sum from the account to start the rotating investment plan that Mr. Divine explained to the children.

We visited the various financial companies that we planned to use and started the accounts that were needed. To do the three month rotation we figured out how to get things done while we were travelled and it was not as difficult as we initially thought.

“I’m so happy that we got that done,” I told Mr. Divine as we walked through the car park.

“Me as well,” he said pulling me closer. “Now we just have to look at the business and see if  there are any major changes you want to put into place before we have to leave and take the children to school.”

“Back to some major brainstorming to see what possible ways we can maybe up the business,” I said with a smile.

“Brainstorming. That is always non-stop fun. Let’s get going,” said Mr. Divine as we got into the jeep and headed home.