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Independent contractor tanks firm

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For five years, Eric McAlpine worked on an independent contractor basis as a bookkeeper for American Titleworks, which formerly had offices in Clinton Township, Livonia and Southfield. During that period, he stole a staggering $800,000 in checks from real estate buyers and sellers and banks, plus almost $1.5 million from escrow accounts.

The embezzlement bankrupted American Titleworks, costing nearly 30 employees their jobs.

McAlpine was sentenced to three years in federal prison and was ordered to pay back more than $2.29 million.

Advice: Don’t give anyone—especially a contractor—access to your accounts without independent oversight.

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