In a piece for Jalopik, writer David Obuchowski explores the life of his former next door neighbor Terrance. He was an accountant for the father/son company Chrisman Commercial, and was a huge fan of BMWs.
One day, Obuchowski was looking through Craigslist for a reasonably priced vehicle he could use for one of his band's upcoming tours, and came across a Volkswagen Eurovan. The mileage and price were low, but there was one problem: It was missing a heater core. However, one would be provided, uninstalled.
Obuchowski went to ask Terrance about the heater core issue, but he could have never foreseen what would happen next. After knocking on his door, Terrance answered and let it all out. “I need to tell you both something," he told David and his wife. "My wife left me. My kids won’t talk to me. I lost my job. I embezzled almost a half a million dollars because I’m addicted to BMWs, and have been hiding them all over the state. I’ll probably be going to prison soon.”
Terrance's addiction to BMWs drove him to owning "exactly 50" cars, and telling his wife about only eight of them. Terrance used to own storage spaces full of parts, his friend ran a salvage business where he held "30-plus" vehicles, and 12 BMWs sat in the parking lot of the company he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from. Terrance admits to receiving $320,000 by issuing 125 extra paychecks to himself, but his boss Byron Chrisman contests that Terrance stole more than $400,000 over a seven-year span.
When Byron and his son Steve discovered financial discrepancies in QuickBooks, Terrance was immediately fired. As Terrance continued to make his wife believe that he was still working by driving off to the mountains every weekday, he was also contemplating suicide. Eventually, his wife grew suspicious, and it all came crashing down. His wife filed for divorce, his house went up for sale, and he was charged with felony theft.
After initially being sentenced to 20 years of probation, Terrance turned down the punishment because he wanted an "opportunity to pay my debt to society and somehow move forward and have some hope for a life." Angered by Terrance's sentencing denial, the judge gave him six years in prison, and three years of probation. Terrance still only served just over two years of his 72-month sentence.
Nowadays, Terrance's life revolves around the church and avoiding anything having to do with cars. In addition to trying to become a lead minister, Terrance just completed a 25-week financial training course with the hopes of leading a seminar at his parish focused on finances. Even though it appears that he has his former life in the rearview mirror, Terrance still has one car in his possession. And yes, it's the brand you're thinking.
To read the piece in its entirety, which you absolutely have to do if you've made it this far, click here.