Quora: How to deal with false accusations and negative criticism?

Quora: How to deal with false accusations and negative criticism?

I was recently asked this question on Quora.  Click here for the original Quora post.  Below I have added a bit more commentary:

Initially after I was falsely accused, I thought that it had to be a mistake and investigators would discover the error of their ways and everything would be put back together quickly.  This has yet to happen.

I could have never imagined the amount of destruction one false accusation could cause.  When the false narrative in the newspaper was widely disseminated by email and mail to my customers it was devastating to my business and my personal reputation.  It didn’t matter that the article was misleading and inaccurate – it only mattered that there was a mug shot of a formally respected member of the community and a juicy narrative in the local paper.  It was (and still is) painful to think of my close friends, family, and associates reading the misinformation.

I believe that people are generally good, and that my errant prosecution is one of the anomalies in an otherwise well functioning justice system. My affiliated companies did a great job for many thousands of clients for over a decade prior to the case being brought.  No company does a perfect job, but good companies strive to continuously improve their offering – especially when faced with adversity. We worked through many challenges and continued to provide services to existing clients even after the case was brought and access to our client files was blocked. A company with different intentions would just simply have closed down. I vowed that we would not stop until each and every client received the assistance they paid for. In fact, to this day our clients can still call the toll-free number that has been active for over a decade and receive assistance for any questions they may have.  This phone rarely rings now that we are no longer accepting new business, but I have no plans to discontinue its use as a matter of principle.

Detectives and prosecutors are overworked, and do not have the time to carefully review every case prior to trial.  Soon, someone will take the time to review the facts of the case as trial approaches. I look forward to that day, and I will be grateful to the people who take the time. In taking the time to review, they will find happy former employees, happy past and current clients, and happy vendors.  Every business that does millions of dollars in revenue annually will have a small percentage of dissatisfied clients in the minority of otherwise deeply satisfied clients.  I am proud of the vision and the business we built.  We offered a valuable service to a community desperately in need of help – timeshare owners of every age and socioeconomic status.


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