Claims No Memory of Embezzlement
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Q:  Claims No Memory of Embezzlement

Dr. Phelps:

My husbands business was recently embezzeled for over 100,000 from our office manager.  She claims that she is bipolar and her husband would not let her take medication and does not have any memory of her actions over the past 2 years, or of stealing any of the finances.  Is this possible?  Please answer. 

Dear Ms. K' -- 
No memory for over 2 years: nope, that would be uncommon, at minimum. Manic episodes can last a year or more, but 2 would be unusual.  Moreover, if no one noted any other unusual behaviors on her part for two years, that makes the likelihood of her behavior having been due to bipolar mania very, very unlikely: someone would have noticed something, one would think.  However, you're guessing and so am I. This will have to be a question for a court of law, right? Too bad, because that will draw it out for a long time. So, I can give you some sense of statistical likelihood, but I can't give you a yes or no, as I hope you can see here. 

Dr. Phelps

Published February, 2006


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