Welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and we’re waiting for a very special caller. While doing that, let me ask you something.
How would you feel if you were accused of something you didn’t do? What if the ramifications were beyond serious? Would you rely upon the system to get it right? You only have so much energy and time. Would you focus on proving your innocence, or would you try to find the actual culprit?
Oh, my phone lit up. “Hello, this is Lisa Burton.”
“You are receiving a collect call from the Suffolk County Jail. Do you accept the charges?”
“Hello. Is this Lisa? Please forgive the collect call. I didn’t know when we scheduled this interview that I would still be in jail.”
“Yes, Greg it’s me. Don’t worry about the call. I’m sure you will have some interesting information behind the fact you are in jail. For our listeners, this is Greg Petros. Can you give us a bit of your personal background?”
“First of all, Lisa. I’m totally embarrassed having to call you from a public phone in jail. I was to have a bail hearing this morning and it was postponed so I need to spend the night. More games by the District Attorney to get me to say I’m guilty. He accused me of hiding funds and revoked my original bail. Secondly, I’m not too sure what your listeners want to hear about me.”
“I understand how you feel especially in your current position. Okay, I’ll do it. Greg is a football guy at heart. He was a Heisman Trophy winner in college and went on to quarterback the New England Patriots for ten years. After that he became a highly successful sports commentator.
“Greg wanted to do some good with all the money he earned, so he started a new company called Petros Investments, with worldwide clients. So, Greg, how do we go from there to Suffolk County lockup?”
“Oh man, Lisa you don’t beat around the bush. Well, I have to say direct questions are very appropriate given what happened. As you mentioned, I started an equity fund. I started by putting in my own money and then attracted a whole bunch of the people I knew. I had some very important and wealthy friends.
“The fund grew to over a billion dollars under investment. Our objective was to invest other people’s money and be able to sleep at night. I guess about a month ago I got a heads up from my financial guy that the SEC had some findings on a routine audit. They called in the Justice Department and I was hit with an indictment on twenty-three counts of mail fraud, securities fraud and insider trading.
“All this over a so called mishandled twenty million in funds. Hell …oh excuse me. I should know not to use that word on the radio. Anyway, even if there was twenty million missing it was probably my money. I put a hundred million into the company. Of course, that is academic since once the news of the indictment got out, all my so-called friends pulled their money and the firm tanked. All for what? Some accusation that I mishandled the funds. I haven’t even been to trial yet and I’ve been punished as if I’m guilty. I’m not. Guilty that is. I’m sorry Lisa. I haven’t had much sleep over the last few days and it is looking worse by the hour. I shudder to think of closing my eyes in this place.”
“That has to be tough. Are you getting any support from outside?”
“My daughter Constance has been frantic since she heard what happened. She has decided to stay in my house in the Boston area for the duration. She lived in New York and tells me she can work anywhere. I also have a terrific lawyer. He used to be the corporate council but has been hired by the law firm defending me. Finally, my oldest friend, Keith who I grew up with showed up. He and I were like brothers. His parents adopted me when mine passed away. He is giving me moral support and excellent advice.”
“Keith sounds like a great friend. Maybe he can run down some leads for you or something.”
“Keith and I were in college together as well as childhood friends. We revolutionized the game of football. Stuff taken for granted now like quick huddles and option plays we were pulling off every week. One night we went to a party. Neither of us liked to drink but on the way home we were hit by a drunk driver. I was driving and tried to avoid the accident. I yelled to God to help me find a way out. There was no way out and we crashed head on. Keith hit the dash with such force that er um he was killed”
“Wait a minute, you’re talking to a dead guy? I need to download The Sound for some of these shows. You know The Sound, from Law and Order? I could play it at moments like this. What did they do to you in there?”
“You just made me think of the first time I heard the cell door lock. I thought about the Sound myself. I think I keep hearing that dun, dun, dun too. With Keith it isn’t like that. I have to admit sometimes I think I’m just making his presence up. Keith first came to me when I thought all was lost. He told me this fabulous story about someone he calls The Leader. He tells me the afterlife is about earning the right to be in the presence of The Leader. He even told me he knows who hacked my computer and took the twenty million, but he can’t tell me. He says there is a time continuum that can’t be altered. He has been forbidden to interfere. I understand his predicament and want him to get to the goal he seeks. He can help but can’t alter history.”
“It all sounds a bit like helping Clarence get his wings. I mean, it would be nice to help Keith, but you have troubles of your own.”
“Your wings analogy is spot on. I love Greg and want him to progress and would never ask him to violate the sacred instructions he has been given. Brothers are like that, Lisa.”
“So how is the trial going?”
“I get this feeling that the prosecutor is out to make a name for himself. I can imagine getting a guilty verdict on Greg Petros would be a ticket to higher office. The case all centers on whether or not I used my computer to take twenty million out of the firm. Our experts say I was hacked and had nothing to do with it. I understand they have an expert who will be on the stand tomorrow who takes the opposite position. At this point it’s very convoluted. I think it will be a matter of who the jury believes. I know I didn’t do it and that is all I know. I can’t figure out how the twenty million came up missing.”
“So. if you can’t figure it all out, maybe the prosecution can’t either. Will that help you in some way?”
“I don’t think he cares if he figures it out or not. All he can see is a former jock and rich guy who is brought to his knees by his fine legal work. He will do anything to get a conviction.”
“I wish you the best of luck, Greg. Keith too, if he’s listening out there on his cosmic radio. Any last thoughts for our listeners today?”
“Thank you so much, Lisa. I’m sorry if I sounded all in earlier but I had a life that would be the envy of most of the world and it turned to a nightmare in the blink of an eye. I think my friend Greg would advise us all to enjoy the moment since that moment is all that counts.”
“To learn more about Greg and Keith pick up the book, Circumstances of Childhood, by John W. Howell. I’ll post all the links after I go off the air.
“You can help John and Greg by using those sharing buttons today. I’m sure they’d do it for you, and John has a long history of supporting other authors. Here’s your chance to pay a little of it back.
For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”
Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.
His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.
If you enjoy stories of riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.
John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. His latest book Circumstances of Childhood, a thriller fiction story, was launched in October of 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.
John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.
Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/
Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell