Why Business Owners Should NEVER Hire Family Members


Under no circumstances should a business ever hire family members of current employees. I don’t care how good the current employee is or how good the potential employee seems. No “wife of the CFO to help with the books.” No “son of a sales guy to help with office work.” No “brother of our VP to work in sales.”

No matter what position either family member is in, it’s not a good idea to hire more than one because the chance of collusion for the purpose of committing fraud skyrockets. Is there a study that says so? Not that I’ve seen. I’m just basing my statement on my practical experience and the number of cases I’ve seen with family members committing fraud.

Take this Milwaukee area fraud at Parkview Title Service. Mom (Bobbi Moths) hired her daughter (Jamie Wilson). The daughter had serious financial troubles, and I’m sure the business owner had no idea.

The fraud came to light in mid-2006, and the owner of Parkview, Bill Molkenthen filed a civil lawsuit against Moths. The suit was dropped on a technicality, but Molkenthen was free to re-file the suit and was planning on doing so. Until he decided instead to go to the police.

Molkenthen’s wife says that the funds embezzled by Wilson and Moths paid mortgages and many personal expenses. Jamie Wilson committed suicide as it looked like the case was going to be blown wide open.

Molkenthen’s wife initially thought that the theft was only about $11,000, but after Wilson killed herself, she started digging into more records. That’s when they discovered the theft was more like $200,000. The attorney for Moths says that allegations of embezzlement are “totally without merit.”

Oh, and Bobbi Moths now operates Excel Title Services. Buyer beware.

11 thoughts on “Why Business Owners Should NEVER Hire Family Members

  1. anonymous

    I think more will be uncovered. Shortly after her death there was a house fire; now the family lives in a high end brand new home with new furniture. I know for a fact had I had a small house fire my house would have just been fixed – under no circumstances would I have been able to build a high-end home. I also think that more info will be disclosed with regards to the suv that she purchased before her death. I only wish I could have bounced back from foreclosure so quickly. The community pulled together for this family – now I think the community has egg on its face and will think again about it.

  2. je

    I thought in this country we were innocent until proven guilty. In this case there is still an investigation going on. “Buyer Beware” seems very unfair to me.

  3. Tracy Coenen

    Would you really do business with this woman? I wouldn’t! She may not be convicted, but I’m not stupid enough to do business with her, especially when there are so many others to choose from. Unless of course you’re her???

  4. anonymous

    This is a very one sided story – how do you know the other guy is not a crook who is trying to pass his financial issues onto someone who obviously is no longer alive to defend herself & take advantage of a grieving mother?

  5. jd

    I think this is a very sad story. Look at how many wonderful family owned/operated companies there are in this country. And yes, as the second poster said “innocent until proven guilty”.

  6. Tracy Coenen

    The accusations were made before the daughter killed herself, so she did have an opportunity to defend herself. It’s an unfortunate case for sure. I guess we’ll see what kind of evidence there is, but you have to admit that it doesn’t look good for the mom and daughter.

  7. anonymous

    Well, as a previous posted said – Innocent until PROVEN guilty. Time will tell who is telling the truth & who is lying. I hate to see people jump to conclusions when a newspaper article is very one-sided. If they were provided with an interview by the mom to give her side you might feel differently???

  8. Tracy Coenen

    So what are the chances that the three of you are friends of Bobbi’s who are going around to blogs, trying to drum up support for her?

    Answer: Very likely, especially since you’re all basically finding this blog post the same way. 🙂

  9. jd

    I know someone who used Excel title service this past December – he said it was the best service and everything went like clockwork and they didn’t over charge … he hopes to be able to send them more business in the future. I cannot imagine what their family is going through. The children Ms. Wilson left behind are so young – my prayers are with her family (and her mom and dad) that their names are cleared.

  10. je

    What sense is it to make a comment to you when you already have your mind made up and are making up other peoples minds for them. You have accused me and other posters of being liars and friends of the accused. I think that maybe you’re a friend of the accuser.

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