Dale N. Frantz's letter to the judge

The one-time CIO of Auto Warehousing Co. pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges

Dale Frantz
Dale Frantz

Editor's note: Prior to sentencing last week, former Auto Warehousing Co. CIO Dale Frantz wrote a letter to U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan to explain himself and his actions. Minor personal details that have no bearing on the case have been edited out.

Honorable Judge Bryan

My name is Dale Frantz, and I am a thief. Not exactly what I wanted the description of my life to be, but it is the truth. When I was young I had so many thoughts, hopes and dreams for my life, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I would end up here.

This has been a long and tortured journey that is ending today in your courtroom. As the pre-sentence report indicates, I have struggled with stealing throughout most of my adult life. I've never understood why I have the compulsion to steal in times of financial distress rather than to seek out alternatives.

I am thankful for this case. In my entire life I've never accepted responsibility for my actions. In the prior case where I went to jail I did not take responsibility for the crime. I was found guilty at trial, but mentally never accepted the blame that went with the theft. I fought the case until the bitter end, and even when I lost I maintained my defiant attitude. I think the fact that I'd always run away from the guilt and blame has resulted in my failures in this case.

I was relieved on the day I was terminated from AWC. Relieved of the pressure of the job, but more importantly it meant that the double-life of "successful executive" and "embezzler" was over. A lot changed on that day and the days immediately following. I made some key decisions for my life that has shaped my behavior since and I hope is making permanent changes for the future.

The first decision I made was to accept full responsibility for my actions. No running away, no trying to hide or deflect, no longer being defiant. I clearly stated I was guilty to AWC, to my lawyer, and ultimately to you and this court. I have tried to comply with every directive and instruction I have been given by the authorities.

The second decision I made was to get help. As I mentioned above, I've never understood how my decision making "system" was so flawed as to allow the criminal behavior that has destroyed by life and my family. I had no idea who to call or where to turn for help, so I simply looked up a local Psychiatrist in Google. In early November 2009 I had my first appointment with Dr. Trenton Williams with Rainier Associates. After two sessions with Dr. Williams he determined that he would not be able to help me with this behavior problem. He referred me to Dr. Mark Whitehill, a Forensic Psychologist, who I have been seeing for treatment almost weekly for the last year. I don't have insurance, but Dr. Whitehill has been accepting smaller payments for the treatments so I can continue to see him. I think the treatment has been helpful and is making positive changes in my life.

After my termination from AWC I determined early on that I did not want to seek full-time employment anywhere else until I had a better understanding of why I had the propensity to steal - and, more importantly, had either solved the problem or put in place protective measures to insure that this behavior was stopped. I did not want to put another employer at risk by hiring me.

My treatment with Dr. Whitehill has been very helpful. For the first time in my life I've been able to honestly deal with the failures in my life, and tear open all of the wounds to help them heal. Many times after I leave his office I feel awful about myself and the things I've done, but with his help I know I will conquer this problem and have a different future.

I have created a nightmare scenario for my wife and family. Our personal finances are devastated. In preparation for imprisonment and as an effort to help my wife and children get through this, my wife and I filed for bankruptcy last July. Due to the criminal case, the bankruptcy was denied, and the full weight of all our debt will rest solely on my wife's shoulders while I'm gone. My wife had not worked outside the home for most of our 25 years of marriage. She recently completed her CAN certificate and is now working full-time in an Alzheimer's Treatment facility. I think she also will be bearing the burden of the tax liability of this case - I am working on that part also, trying to make sure I've accurately reported the theft income on my returns so that I don't inadvertently commit a tax crime....

Unless something drastically changes I will be paying the financial debt incurred in this crime for many years to come - but I will get it repaid in full. I intend on continuing my counseling with Dr. Whitehill until leave for prison, and then plan on starting again immediately upon my release. The successful treatment and establishment of realistic action plan to prevent a future reoccurrence is vital to my ability to thrive in the future.....

In conclusion, I am continuing the course of accepting full responsibility. I hope there is nothing in this letter that can be viewed as me trying to defend my actions, for there is no defense. I am very sorry for what I've done and to the damage it caused at AWC. The financial damage is only part, but the betrayal of trust for my fellow employees had to be devastating. I hope that the company has been able to repair the damage I caused, and I hope the conclusion of this case will bring closure for them.

I look forward to the day when I can that I have worked hard to pay my debt to AWC and to society in full. Until then I will dedicate my life to that purpose.

Thank you

Dale N. Frantz

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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