Cheated by my friend and business partner

Hi Executive Doc

My business partner and I have set up a network of linked companies in several countries. We have been fairly successful as we operate in a highly specialised niche market. A few years back we worked together to win an international client and we agreed that if we were successful that we would share the profits on a 70%-30% split. I didn’t mind the 30% share as he was going to be doing more work than me. The lucrative client is on board with his company and he has been pulling in the fees as expected. However, he has not offered to pay me my 30% share for the ground work that I did.

I have worked with my partner for over 10 years and he and I get along great. When I have to be in his country he and his family are warmly hospitable and I have felt like a family friend. He comes from an impoverished background and his one failing is that he is very tight with his money. A source of great frustration for his family and other business partners so in a way this is not unexpected behaviour. But I thought that we were close friends and he would not treat me in the same way but he has. The 30% share is in excess of $1.5M, so it is not exactly something that can be ignored.

What do I do now? Legally it is not worth pursuing due to costs and it would end our friendship. Most people would want to exact revenge but I just feel sad that he has done this.


Dear Cheated

Unfortunately it seems to me that you have been deluded by a malevolent executive – the type that I refer to as Medicocre. Their malevolence is not seen upfront because they are arch-manipulators. Their modus operandii is to choose favourites and appease them. That is probably what was happening with your inclusion into his family activities. When it comes down to ‘facts’ he has cheated you out of a considerable sum of money. If he was not so clever and an outright thief you would feel anger. Regardless, you are still very much connected with him, and now it is a negative connection with this grievance.

My advice is this: Clarify what value this person brings to your life. If you appreciate him greatly then put this in to effect: Remind him what he owes you. Don’t let him off the hook with his manipulation. Tell him that you know what he is doing which puts down a boundary. This boundary should never be crossed again. If it is – pull the plug. 

Your chances of retrieving the money are very slim as he will choose to keep the money than you as a friend-partner. This is down to his childhood trauma of poverty and we should feel compassion for him. Personally I would disconnect as I would not want my life to dealing with negative energy people who suck up much valuable time and energy for their own negative goals – in this case to be rich. Come to grips with that he has never been a real friend only a business partner who has cheated you and move on with the lesson that you have learnt.

All the best for a non-cheating future.

The Executive Doc


One Response to “Cheated by my friend and business partner”
  1. Jeff says:

    You have this 70-30 in writing do you not?… Even emails, anything… You need to pursue a lawsuit, threaten to also tarnish his reputation by letting the world know what a snake he is. The friendship as far as I’m concerned is already lost here, don’t hold onto that…

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