Great Women In Fraud

Episode 34 Abby Ellin - Duped Author

June 01, 2021 Kelly Paxton, CFE Episode 34
Show Notes Transcript

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  Our amazing Great Women in Fraud guest this week is Abby Ellin.  She is the author of Duped and writes for many outlets including the New York Times.  This might be the first time you hear Brussels Sprouts in an episode.  Spoiler alert. She is a wonderful writer and I love that she took the time to riff with me.  It’s a different episode because we just had fun. Here is a quote from the Former CIA chief of disguise, Jonna Hiestand Mendez about her book "From the wildly entertaining opening chapter of Duped, Abby Ellin explores the why and how of great imposters, many of whom occupied important swaths of her life. Swerving from the deceitful, manipulative, pathological narcissists to the professional use of lie detectors, she makes researching dishonesty an entertaining and fascinating read."―, Isn’t that a great recommendation?  It’s a crazy small world. Let’s go.


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Kelly Paxton: Okay, so today we have Abby Ellin, and this is one of these crazy stories where like someone new me who knew Abby who, which is Lisa Lawler and she connected us and then Abby wrote the most.


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Kelly Paxton: awesome book Duped and there's a little bit of me in it, but I just love, how we can connect this way so, Abby, give your sort of... it's not an elevator story because it's so much more than that, but give how everyone me explain to great women in fraud.


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Abby: It's an elevator story if you're going to like the Empire State building, you know a lot of time in the elevator.


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Abby: The very briefly, and then we can get into it later is I was engaged to a guy who turned out to be a pathological liar and went to jail so that's the brief nice brief story.


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Abby: And I thought, something was wrong with him.


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Abby: And I left him within a year, and it wasn't until a year and a half later that I got a call from the NCIS saying yeah there's a doctor who's writing prescriptions for narcotics


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Abby: And you're one of the names that he's been using fake fraudulently do you know this guy description, and I said I know him and no I don't and that's that's what happened elevator and now we're at the top of the building.


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Kelly Paxton: Okay, but you do have to put in the Brussels sprouts.


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Abby: Oh well, that's part Okay, so what finally happens I left him, he was telling me all these stories these crazy stories about how.


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Abby: God, he was you know, had been a Navy Seal and he worked with the CIA and all of this stuff that was completely and totally unverifiable.


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Abby: You know you can't call him, Mr. CIA human resources and say hey you have this guy in your office, so I didn't know what to believe.


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Abby: As a journalist, I needed to fact check and I couldn't fact check so that was really maddening for me, so it was finally.


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Abby: When we went out to dinner with my parents and he raved about the Brussels sprouts and this random weird,  unworthy and unnotable restaurant.


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Abby: In Washington DC and then he said they were the greatest Brussels sprouts ever and then we left and he said God that was a terrible meal.


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Abby: And I said, why did you lie, and he said, I wanted to make your parents feel good, and I said they didn't cook it they don't care and that's when I thought, if he could lie that he could lie about anything, and I was out.


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Kelly Paxton: yeah I just think that story is like when I read it, I was just like oh my God cuz I didn't like Brussels sprouts till I turned 50 and I will tell you.


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Kelly Paxton: It 10 Barrel East they have the best Brussels sprouts ever so like again, why are you.


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Kelly Paxton: We can have Brussels sprouts like the best ever truly like not fake.


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Abby: awesome okay.


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Kelly Paxton: I love that story because I'm I have a friend who like I've known her forever she just lies to make people feel good and it's like why what just think.


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Abby: Just don't say anything you know that's normally what when women do that right that's the other oriented lie and normally it's women who do that they will say things lies to make other people feel good, whereas men.


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Abby: will lie to make themselves look good you know it's the you know I'm five foot, you know six feet tall whatever you know they're five foot four.


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Abby: That kind of thing but yeah with this, I mean he's obviously not a man I'm not a woman, but I don't.


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Abby: I don't know I don't know why people do that I guess it's you know I actually I shouldn't say that I'm lying to you because people, the more.


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Abby: The more popular people are the ones who lie the more popular people are the ones who do obfuscate that tell stories and that really turn people and a lot of what time is in a lot of instances is mining right it's telling people what they want to hear, not necessarily the truth.


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Abby: that's spinning the truth.


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Kelly Paxton: I've heard the term and I can't remember who said it toxic charisma.


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Abby: yeah yeah sure I don't know if I've heard that, but it makes total sense it toxic charisma well that's what a lot of these people.


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Abby: are right, especially these narcissists that we always hear about they have their charismatic you know celebrities politicians, they have this charisma and there any Ted Bundy right.


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Abby: was packed well, he is the dark side of charisma Harvard Business Review here's a story I'm just looking right now the toxic effects of toxic charisma.


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Abby: yeah toxic people in charisma school can you go to school for charisma, I guess you can that's interesting.


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Kelly Paxton: Maybe we should go.


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Abby: No, I think, see here's the problem I think I'm charismatic enough, but I also and then, then I think well, but so how much do I lie, you know because I, and I tried to.


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Abby: I tried to ingratiate yourself with people you try to make people I tried to make people feel comfortable and make them feel at home, especially when I'm.


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Abby: When I'm being social with them, but also when I'm interviewing them, but you don't tell them things that aren't true that's where you know you have to find a way to find something good in some way to make them feel good without making something up.


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Kelly Paxton: Well yeah so.


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Abby: that's the difference, that's the difference between a liar and not.


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Kelly Paxton: So I'm looking at your website Abby.


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Kelly Paxton: And you guys have to buy books and I.


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Kelly Paxton: Thought Duped because I'll put it in the show notes, but I'm in 2019, you have the he was the face of a bikeathon to cure cancer, he was also a fake but then you have like.


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Kelly Paxton: A quadruple amputees first guy to walk down the aisle I love, how you have this sort of oh my God, the world is terrible and oh my God, the world is wonderful


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Abby: You know you have to balance can I swear.


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Abby: where you have to balance this sh-- with other stuff I can't you.


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Abby: One of the things I took away from writing this book actually was that and it's it's my second book, the first book was about fat camps, but anyway, this book.


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Abby: The big takeaway for me was that people, people are really complicated.


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Abby: And people are not just one thing right it's you know, when I look at my idol my guru, but I think someone the most spectacular woman in the world, I think, is Amal Clooney I just think she's amazing I think she's.


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Abby: brilliant I think she's beautiful and in my head I think wow This is my own limitation, but I think someone who is that smart and who's that focused and doing good.


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Abby: Why would she wants these sort of you know she looks like a fashion model every time she goes outside, why would you care about fashion well yeah.


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Abby: But you can have both things right, you can be brilliant and also be beautiful, and I mean of course it's stupid that but I will say that, but it just you can care about fashion as much as you can care about human rights.


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Abby: So I can care about exposing some guy who faked cancer, because I think it's despicable and, like the worst thing you can do.


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Abby: One of the worst things and I can also care about this woman who lost her limbs and her vow to herself was and this guy was yeah I'll marry you, I want to walk down the aisle and she did and I thought that was fantastic.


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Kelly Paxton: Well yeah and that's I mean So when I read your stuff first off, I mean I love the way you write because.


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Abby: I don't say that, thank you, thank you, thank you yeah tell me more I'll tell you, if you're lying.


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Kelly Paxton: No, no, I truly do and actually I gave your book to a friend slash lawyer of mine and because she, I think, is also a very good writer, you have like it's an I don't like this book educated, did you read educated.


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Abby: No see I didn't and I have not, I have to, I have to, and yet I don't know why I've been resisting it I just don't know that I.


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Abby: I don't know I haven't. I want to say that I don't care, but I do care because everybody in the world can't be wrong, can they and they rave about it, so I need to write it, but you didn't like it.


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Kelly Paxton: Well, I didn't there were parts of it I didn't like, I do think she was a good writer.


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Kelly Paxton: So I could appreciate her writing I just didn't like the story as much, but I did really appreciate her writing, whereas like I like your stories, but I appreciate your writing so.


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Abby:  Thank you, thank you.


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Abby: And and I'm just going to assume that you're telling me the truth, so there you go.


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Kelly Paxton: Well I'm.


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Kelly Paxton: kidding not enough people tell me that I'm.


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Kelly Paxton: Far too transparent, so I am telling the truth, I don't I wouldn't say it, I would focus on something else if.


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Kelly Paxton: Instead of saying a lie that's just I had I had someone tell me, I was just too transparent and I'm like what's wrong with that is that a negative like I was shocked he thought it was a negative.


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Abby: I don't think you know it's because I have people say to me you're a little you know too blunt.


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Abby: And I don't think I think there's a way of saying the truth, but without being harsh right there, I guess, there are ways to say things without being.


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Abby: But I in my own life I just you can be blocked like I appreciate the directness I really in general, I appreciate it life is too short to beat around the bush, for me, but a lot of people don't feel that way.


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Kelly Paxton: yeah yeah I.


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Kelly Paxton: totally agree so you saw my list of questions, and of course it was like one of the questions if you were going to write a book what it would be about what you've written to but are you working on a third.


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Abby: I am working on another book that has to do with fraud So yes, and I am also we sold my podcast my Duped book.


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Abby: To a podcast so a company, I saw the movie rights, the film the TV rights and the podcast right, so it is going to be a podcast, it is a podcast supposed to be coming out, God willing, in the fall.


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Abby: At that you know, like an episodic thing kind of like dirty john with my story, as the as the.


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Abby:  main hook or the main thrust and then I'm working on a few other projects working on a documentary film that has to do with an execution and Alabama and then I'm working on something else so yeah I'm so yeah I'm busy life is too short.


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Kelly Paxton: So do you want to play you in the movie rights oh my God.


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Abby: you're hilarious you know I joke with I want Keanu reeves to be somewhere in the movie that's All I want I don't care if he plays me are people at 11 inches.


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Abby: I just want to be able to hang with Keanu so I want to play me I don't know probably hopefully somebody tall and blond because I'm a short dark Semite.


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Abby: I don't know you know how hard that was.

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Abby: And I read.


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Kelly Paxton: You haven't thought of anyone.


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Abby: yeah I really haven't that's the truth, because I think the likelihood of it happening is so small, I mean just because I've dealt a little bit in Hollywood space.


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Abby: You talk about talk about obfuscation and in Hollywood no means no and, yes, means no I mean that's what I've noticed, they just can't and no one can be direct, no one can just say you know your stuff sucks like I don't want to work with you.


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Abby: Okay we'll be in touch and then they ghost you know just come on people you're not curing cancer here.


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Kelly Paxton: Oh, my God so Okay, I listened to do john and I started to watch it and you know what I like the podcast but your story is so much more compelling than dear john except there wasn't a killing or an attempted murder, but like honestly your story I.


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Abby: So thanks I really.


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Abby: interesting.


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Kelly Paxton: First off I don't know how she was so successful like.


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Kelly Paxton: Like truly I was like you know was she a grifter herself no she wasn't, but I just was like and then, how could she be that financially successful and be that blind to him.


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Abby: Well, that kind of gets it what I was talking about earlier doesn't it in a way, I mean it's people, you can be two things at once, it seems hard to believe, how could you be such a brilliant business person and instant more on in your own life.


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Abby: But, and I say this, you know about myself to not necessarily the smart business person, but more about my life.


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Abby: Except except I think it's a matter of to the truth, I think it's a matter of really being honest with yourself I think that's what it is.


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Abby: And it's just probably a reason why I'm not married never have been because I think, with a relationship there's got to be a lot of looking the other way.


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Abby: And I'm not good at that because I'm a little too, honest and so I think like in my situation.


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Abby: With the guy was when I left him like I said, within a year, because I knew something was off and I couldn't I try to keep saying something you know pushing it away, but I am too, honest and I couldn't I couldn't do that I think deb renewal.


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Abby: didn't want to see it like she made a conscious decision or an unconscious decision but.


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Abby: You know, it was there that she didn't want to see what what whatever the tells where, for whatever reason.


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Abby: that's what I suspect, most people don't want to really look, because the to their benefit to whether this is an romantic situation.


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Abby: Whether this is in a business situation, whether this is, you know with a family member anything neighbor you just didn't want to see it because it's to your benefit not too.


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Kelly Paxton: Well, so I'm pulling back some notes that I just took from a guy who just contacted me because his partner, just like business partner just stole a bunch of money and his quote I gotta pull this quote because it was like  he just said, I thought I knew and trusted him and if.


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Kelly Paxton: This also goes to and you probably know, this term optimism bias, we never think it's going to happen to us.


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Abby: that's right that's correct.


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Kelly Paxton: yeah.


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Abby: Well, and it's also a bit the betrayal.


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Abby: betrayal blindness same kind of deal you never think it's gonna happen to you I wouldn't.


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Abby: yeah it's and the smarter, you are actually, the more the more susceptible you are precisely because you're so smart you think it would never happen to me, so you are, you know what's How does your invulnerable to your vulnerability.


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well.


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Kelly Paxton: I do this presentation, for I call them the masters of the universe, and like you know they're all incredibly successful businessmen it's a male group.


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Kelly Paxton: And you know they're looking around and they look to the left and they're like well, it could happen to him, because you know what he golfs a lot or he's not as smart as me and then I'll look to the right and yeah it did happen to him, because you know.


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Kelly Paxton: he's just not as smart as me and it's like dude you're next.


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Abby: Totally totally but is this is this in business or in life.


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Kelly Paxton: well.


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Kelly Paxton: I mean I love business side.


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Abby: Business yeah.


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Kelly Paxton: Sure it's in life too so like one of my sort of cheesy questions and I'm very curious.


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Kelly Paxton: About this, if you could turn back time and talk to your 18-year-old self.


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Kelly Paxton: What would you tell yourself and I'm curious about your answer for this.


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Abby:  I like to joke about that order the video no I'm kidding what would I tell my age me oh so.


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Abby: I would probably say try to stop drinking so much diet coke that's what I would say just because I don't know if it's bad for me, but can't be good for me, but as far as the rest of my life goes, you know.


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Abby: I've had little hiccups along the way right, but at the moment I'm pretty happy with where I've landed so far.


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Abby: So, actually, I do not believe that everything happens for a reason at all, I think you figure out the reason after and you make sense of it.


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Abby: And you create the reason but I don't live it, you know, in order, a billy beane vs has my back and all that, because if it does, its priorities are seriously.


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Abby: Out of whack.


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Abby: You know, it should worry about climate change now but, but I think that, like I'm really glad that I had that situation with.


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Abby: The guy was engaged to I call him a commander I'm thrilled with that it launched my you know it helped this this sort of focused and like career, I wrote this great book I opened all these opportunities and It made me.


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Abby: Actually, a savvier person personally and professionally, so I would not give that experience up what do you think of that.


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Kelly Paxton: Okay, did you know Mark Cuban got ripped off his first business out of his MBA Program.


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Abby: And he's no but I'm not.


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Kelly Paxton: The best thing that ever happened to him because.


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Kelly Paxton: He says yeah and again.


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Abby: that's right that's right well I did happen to me again in a much different level, I mean I don't know if you remember in the book, but I was seeing this guy.


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Abby: After a couple me like seven years later, who told me he separated from his wife and they were.


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Abby: You know, they were separated the way just separate when you're sitting across from somebody you know, like by like a pitcher of water, you know, they were not separated and he lied and that was really shitty but.


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Abby: I would never you know I'm never going to get saved again that's like your basic lie right I'm married when I'm not married when you are.


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Abby: But yeah this I would never I will not get duped again like I'm like my dad and you know, in the animals and the animals have to pitch it wasn't terrible right there they've been much worse, but it's still it mean it was definitely sucked but I'm glad it happened.


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Kelly Paxton: I mean I tell like a lot of unfortunately for fraud victims it sucks now but get back to what you're good at which this made you, you know not that you ever left driving but I didn't read teenage wasteland but.


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Abby: that's okay.


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Kelly Paxton: duped is so good that like if this hadn't have happened I don't think your career would be where it's at.


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Abby: I mean it might not it wouldn't yeah I.


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Abby: wouldn't have it wouldn't have and I wanted I let me, let me make it clear, you know I've never, which is another reason I don't think I've been married I've never.


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Abby: gotten my identity for my relationship, a lot of people do a lot of women do, and a lot of men do but I've always it's been my career and I've always you know wanted to have my career on track, before I did any of that other stuff.


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Abby: And so I feel like it now is, and I mean that that's sort of unrelated whether I you know, find a partner, not as sort of unrelated but it's it's just that I mean, let me say that again, you can do it believe that if I find a partner not.


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Abby: In either way I'm happy, and this is where I wanted my career to be going it's not where I want it to be or read that certainly but it's in the right direction, so yeah I'm you know.


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Abby: I'm happy.


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Kelly Paxton: yeah I well, and so this goes to another and we're like totally way off, on the whole great woman and.


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Abby: Friday yeah.


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Kelly Paxton: You know what I, this is what I love about this is, you also have the article helping women over 50 face their financial fears.


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and


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Kelly Paxton: I love this article.


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Kelly Paxton: My mom ended up getting divorced from my dad due to all of a sudden, the lack of money coming in and.


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Kelly Paxton: Women and money like I just I love this article, so, can you tell the audience.


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Abby: I think well and that's that gets into fraud, I was gonna say that gets into Freud but that would have been a Friday and slip.


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Abby: That's a lot of women, a lot of women.


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Abby: I think still to this day, expect their partner their male partners in a straight to take care of the.


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Abby: Financial stuff and so a lot of women turn a blind eye and it's as if they don't want to admit it, but it's true and they're like he'll deal with it and you can't you have to know everything that's going on.


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Abby: You have to know you have to be in charge of your own finances.


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Abby: The irony is that I know people who have espouse this who have talked about this very thing and in their own like become sort of gurus to other people on this subject and in their own life they were.


00:21:12.000 --> 00:21:18.840

Abby: Disasters themselves, they like they didn't practice what they preach and it was one of them died, and it was just really bad for everybody.


00:21:19.380 --> 00:21:23.340

Abby: In their family, like you need to do this, you need to have a will you need to have.


00:21:23.820 --> 00:21:31.530

Abby: everything in place for what you want, when you die there's like things you need to do, and you need to know about the finances and you cannot rely on anybody.


00:21:31.890 --> 00:21:42.330

Abby: And I would say this, I mean, I would say this to men to you know if we're going to talk about women for men have to know what's going on, if there were no with female spouse is straight.


00:21:43.200 --> 00:21:43.500

Kelly Paxton: yeah.


00:21:43.560 --> 00:21:45.870

Abby: You can't rely on anybody else I'm sorry you can't.


00:21:46.410 --> 00:21:59.910

Kelly Paxton: Well yeah that's the that's The other thing is that  I mean I've always been in charge of the finances because, basically, what happened with my parents, but  I just think that like you have to.


00:22:00.900 --> 00:22:08.430

Kelly Paxton: You have to do it in my case, I have children, I want to protect them, I don't did you read the book by Leslie bennett's the feminine mistake.


00:22:08.610 --> 00:22:10.200

Abby: Yes, sure.


00:22:10.440 --> 00:22:11.400

Kelly Paxton: I love that book.


00:22:12.090 --> 00:22:15.510

Kelly Paxton: or ya know what she did a lot of crap thrown at her.


00:22:16.530 --> 00:22:22.710

Abby: She did, and I still don't know why why why why, why was that.


00:22:23.160 --> 00:22:36.660

Kelly Paxton: I don't know why she did it but, like, I mean I think she was brutally honest I think she was really, really honest about you know, the biggest socio-economic predictor of your children's success is your socio-economic background.


00:22:36.960 --> 00:22:37.320

Kelly Paxton: Yet.


00:22:37.440 --> 00:22:49.620

Kelly Paxton: don't take charge of it, you know I yeah so you've never you haven't you haven't done that, and that's part of the reason I think that, like you're so good, because you've always have to take care of yourself.


00:22:50.670 --> 00:23:03.150

Abby: You know I I mean I yeah I think that's another part of it there's I mean it's probably not good, I think I mean, in a way there's you know isn't the goal to be interdependent but.


00:23:03.630 --> 00:23:12.420

Abby: I just My instinct is always just been to do my own thing and every possible level so I've never understood I don't understand people who.


00:23:12.840 --> 00:23:18.360

Abby: I don't understand people who follow the advice of influencers like I don't understand anybody who follows.


00:23:18.690 --> 00:23:25.650

Abby: Anybody like blindly, you know and that's I've always been fascinated, this is a bit of a tangent so feel free to edit this but I've always been fascinated by Jim Jones.



00:23:26.040 --> 00:23:34.950

Abby: And all the people who followed him, you know I I don't I never did that so I've never understood anybody who's just it's different with romance because obviously.


00:23:36.900 --> 00:23:47.100

Abby: You know there's your emotions going on there, and you want to believe that your partners has your best interests in mind and all that, but they don't always have to just take it.


00:23:48.030 --> 00:24:00.840

Kelly Paxton: Well, one out of two marriages end in divorce so like I'll get you know because I picked on dentist you know, three out of five dentists get ripped off and then every so often I'll meet a dentist and they'll say or she'll say.


00:24:00.870 --> 00:24:01.470

Kelly Paxton: My spouse.


00:24:01.500 --> 00:24:08.580

Kelly Paxton: Does the books and I'm like do you know that one out of two marriages end in divorce so like right there you're not a good, you know percentage.


00:24:08.970 --> 00:24:10.950

Abby: And then their spouse who rip them off.


00:24:11.520 --> 00:24:20.370

Kelly Paxton:  well if you know, not all the time, but like in the last two years I've had two dentists were there now ex-spouses rip them off one male one female or one has been.


00:24:22.050 --> 00:24:22.770

Abby: interesting.


00:24:23.040 --> 00:24:28.950

Kelly Paxton: Sorry, because your spouse is watching the money doesn't mean your spouse won't steal from you.


00:24:29.670 --> 00:24:30.660

Abby: Totally.


00:24:31.020 --> 00:24:32.520

Abby: Of course of.


00:24:33.930 --> 00:24:34.440

Abby: hers.


00:24:34.650 --> 00:24:35.370

Abby: And law.


00:24:35.850 --> 00:24:43.590

Kelly Paxton: doesn't like to get involved in those cases, because they're like I'm not family law matter it's like well, is it is it no yeah yeah.


00:24:43.890 --> 00:24:46.980

Abby: yeah no I meet people I hear these stories all.


00:24:47.130 --> 00:25:00.870

Abby: The time all the time and not not too much dentist but I mean in general that you just didn't know what your partner was upset with money, and they trust, and you know again and why wouldn't you assume that this person has your best interests at heart at heart.


00:25:01.650 --> 00:25:04.290

Abby: that's not always the case until they don't correct yeah.


00:25:04.950 --> 00:25:12.720

Kelly Paxton: So what are some of the best resources that you think, have helped your career Have you taken class and you travel a lot, I think, travel.



00:25:13.350 --> 00:25:24.600

Abby: I travel a ton I and that's also might be a problem because I yeah I need to go like like I mean I can travel during the pandemic like I was, I was out, I was just like I can't just sit here.


00:25:26.160 --> 00:25:41.190

Abby: And I travel a ton I have two useless masters degrees one I have an MFA in creative writing and I have a master's in international relations, and I think that you know helped certainly didn't help make me rich, but it helped me with my career and my work.


00:25:44.550 --> 00:25:54.270

Abby: And I'm just terribly curious pretty much everything, and I think that helps I don't know if you can develop curiosity, do you think you can have something you're just born with.


00:25:54.840 --> 00:26:10.590

Kelly Paxton: Those that's so funny because in great woman in fraud, like the guests that have come on curiosity is like one of their biggest things is being curious, and I just was listening to a podcast about being curious and, like my dad called me being snoopy and I'm like.


00:26:10.620 --> 00:26:11.430

Abby: I prefer uh huh.


00:26:11.790 --> 00:26:12.780

Kelly Paxton: Yes, but.


00:26:13.740 --> 00:26:18.030

Kelly Paxton: it's snoopy are curious I'm just interested like.


00:26:18.090 --> 00:26:19.050

Abby: yeah that's right.


00:26:19.800 --> 00:26:28.200

Kelly Paxton: Like in connecting dots like when I see someone who's like you know driving a tesla and living in a mobile home doesn't make sense to me like.


00:26:28.260 --> 00:26:28.920

Abby: So right.


00:26:29.670 --> 00:26:30.330

Abby: Right like.


00:26:30.420 --> 00:26:38.430

Kelly Paxton: I need to connect that dot like, how is that tesla in the motor in the mobile home like you know, whatever no offense to either tesla or mobile homes.


00:26:40.680 --> 00:26:42.510

Abby: Maybe they need to make mobile tesla's.


00:26:42.900 --> 00:26:43.710

Yes.


00:26:45.150 --> 00:26:51.360

Kelly Paxton:  so yeah I just curiosity oh that's good you see fit right in with Great Women In Fraud.


00:26:51.630 --> 00:26:51.840

there.


00:26:53.310 --> 00:26:54.480

Kelly Paxton: yeah.


00:26:55.200 --> 00:27:01.830

Kelly Paxton: So do you have anyone that you think has been most influential to you in your writing.


00:27:04.980 --> 00:27:06.660

Abby: I'm thinking I'm.


00:27:07.800 --> 00:27:19.800

Abby: not know I mean, who I, who I relate to, who I emulate who I love to me it was so much at it, I have stories, I still have them because my handwriting hasn't gotten any better.


00:27:20.070 --> 00:27:28.470

Abby: But I have stories that I wrote when I was like five years old, I mean I was reading these Nancy drew books and and will house on the prairie and you know that's it was.


00:27:28.950 --> 00:27:35.910

Abby: clear to me that I was going to write I am so lucky I'm so lucky because I knew I was going to do.


00:27:36.600 --> 00:27:49.590

Abby: And so I you know I don't want to say Nancy drew is Carolyn Keene, who I don't even think was a real person, I think it was amount of them, but that's who really helped me was was to shaping that and then later on in life, you know reading.


00:27:51.780 --> 00:27:56.550

Abby: Reading Hemingway reading Fitzgerald reading Tolstoy in a reading.


00:27:57.720 --> 00:28:02.910

Abby: George eliot reading the bronte I mean you know that's that's just reading.


00:28:03.060 --> 00:28:04.050

Abby: that's you know so.


00:28:04.560 --> 00:28:10.800

Abby: yeah and then I had a couple of teachers one in undergrad who I'm still very good friends with what's one of my writing teachers.


00:28:11.370 --> 00:28:25.350

Abby: Her name is Barbara Adams and she was very helpful to me and very helpful after college and then one of my graduate school professors name pamela painter, who is a brilliant fiction writer, but even more brilliant teacher, so they helped.


00:28:26.490 --> 00:28:27.960

Kelly Paxton: So education yeah.


00:28:28.920 --> 00:28:32.700

Abby: Because there's education and reading a lot as a kid and being genetically.


00:28:33.330 --> 00:28:48.660

Abby: cuz I believe it is just being genetically predisposed to two words, whereas I'm not genetically predisposed to numbers I'm a mathematical imbecile and I still I count Now this is true Kelly, I count I add it with my fingers, I came in at.


00:28:49.650 --> 00:28:51.540

Kelly Paxton: Oxford surprised you didn't become a lawyer.


00:28:52.410 --> 00:28:56.400

Abby: I would love to be where it's funny that I keep thinking I keep thinking about going to law school.


00:28:57.150 --> 00:29:03.120

Abby: Oh God No, I do I do Oh, I think it would be so interesting I don't know if I want to practice law, but I would love.


00:29:03.780 --> 00:29:04.260

Abby: to learn.

00:29:05.100 --> 00:29:07.080

Kelly Paxton: Okay Okay, we have to be friends.


00:29:07.710 --> 00:29:08.760

Abby: Yes, okay good.


00:29:09.360 --> 00:29:15.390

Kelly Paxton: So that's one of my questions if you had a chance to attend college now you know what would you do law school.


00:29:16.530 --> 00:29:19.740

Abby: yeah the law school just to learn, it just just to sit in.


00:29:20.340 --> 00:29:29.010

Abby: Do civil rights, human rights stuff they are I was just in Alabama working on this story, I was telling you about the documentary about this execution and I'm.


00:29:29.460 --> 00:29:37.860

Abby: Talking all these lawyers, you know they're not always I don't it was so interesting to me because Defense attorneys knowing somebody committed a crime.


00:29:38.430 --> 00:29:47.250

Abby: And still defending them is so fascinating to me and I asked somebody about this, and she said, will you you're getting your emotion in the way this is purely.


00:29:47.730 --> 00:29:58.770

Abby: A logical thing this is purely what is the letter of the law, what is the last thing you know it's a different way of thinking and I'd like to learn to think like that, even if I still I don't think I could do it, but I'd like to learn to think like that.


00:29:59.670 --> 00:30:04.290

Kelly Paxton: I love doing Defense work, I mean I've done prosecution and Defense and I love the Defense work.


00:30:04.950 --> 00:30:09.870

Abby: How do you do it, how do you do it, how do you defend somebody you know is guilty for something heinous.


00:30:11.040 --> 00:30:13.410

Kelly Paxton: You try to make the best deal possible for them.



00:30:14.940 --> 00:30:17.580

Abby: But why, if they someone does something heinous.


00:30:17.910 --> 00:30:20.880

Kelly Paxton: Well yeah generally do heinous stuff.


00:30:20.940 --> 00:30:30.030

Kelly Paxton: So, but still, it affects people and I just you know I think good people make bad choices, and I think that people make good choices and so.


00:30:30.060 --> 00:30:30.870

Abby: Do you do murder.


00:30:31.680 --> 00:30:32.880

Kelly Paxton: No I've never done a murder.


00:30:34.650 --> 00:30:46.530

Kelly Paxton: Now, on the prosecution side I did sex cases like you know when I was a special agent, those were off they were really, really rough, but it was on the prosecution side, so I don't know if I do it on the.


00:30:47.790 --> 00:31:00.150

Kelly Paxton: But everyone gets a Defense and there is bad, if nothing else, in the last couple years there is bad police work once in a while it's just you know there's bad apples in every field so.


00:31:00.750 --> 00:31:06.690

Abby: What about the people down South who were lynching and who were you know doing these terrible things.


00:31:07.140 --> 00:31:17.790

Abby: I need one minute I mean you know they say every conversation, you know anytime you get into philosophical question and discussion, it always devolves into the Holocaust, but he was trying, you know it's like.


00:31:18.810 --> 00:31:25.770

Abby: somebody who was, who was a guard in a prison camp, you know and I think people need to find that.


00:31:27.450 --> 00:31:28.920

Abby: it's a rhetorical question I don't know.


00:31:29.040 --> 00:31:46.890

Kelly Paxton: yeah you know the other we kind of have digressed here, but I kind of left us it's like behavioral science and Danny kahneman and all of that is like we aren't rational we just aren't have you have you got speaking of books have you gotten Danny condoms new noise book.


00:31:47.580 --> 00:31:49.470

Abby: No, and I need to I need to.


00:31:49.920 --> 00:31:52.350

Kelly Paxton: Well he's all over podcast right now so.


00:31:52.470 --> 00:31:58.230

Kelly Paxton: Okay, I have the book I haven't started it but  he's I love listening to him I just.


00:31:58.320 --> 00:32:08.820

Abby: yeah no we're not rational and that's the end and again we're not cohesive right and there's the part that writing about you know, fraud and then there's a part of that celebrating people who.


00:32:09.540 --> 00:32:17.310

Abby: Do amazing things in their lives, right and there's I mean I read about wedding sometimes too right, I mean just straight out weddings even with people who have all their limbs like I.


00:32:17.580 --> 00:32:23.820

Abby: write happy stories right we're not you know that's that's I mean it's about to split we're not rational people, but I still.


00:32:25.050 --> 00:32:37.980

Abby: Yes, that's how you can go to school, one day, and go go to go home one day with your family and have a lovely lunch, then you can go out and annihilated bunch of people there's the split, I still don't know that I could defend them but that's Okay, because I'm not a lawyer.


00:32:38.490 --> 00:32:46.290

Kelly Paxton: yeah yeah we probably wouldn't be good lawyers, because yeah I thought of law school briefly, but I didn't want to go into debt so.


00:32:46.500 --> 00:32:49.020

Abby: When you say you defended people, what do you what were you doing.


00:32:49.470 --> 00:32:52.050

Kelly Paxton: So what's capacity, accused of embezzlement.


00:32:52.530 --> 00:33:01.620

Kelly Paxton: I would you know go in and I take a look, because sometimes like I mean I had one case where they overcharged or they said that she stole like a ton of money, she had receipts.


00:33:01.950 --> 00:33:13.680

Kelly Paxton: So you know they just weren't thorough, so I went through all the receipts and said, you know okay this receipt here, this was all legitimate business expenses and they're like how could it be and I'm like.


00:33:14.100 --> 00:33:26.280

Kelly Paxton: Well we've got like this invitation here for this event for this nonprofit so of course they need 50 pounds of hot dogs, how did you think that this woman here would eat 50 pounds of hot dogs, yet you charged her with stealing that money.


00:33:27.030 --> 00:33:27.390

Right.


00:33:28.500 --> 00:33:32.550

Abby: And then, what were you doing when you were working I know we're flipping the tip that.


00:33:32.760 --> 00:33:36.000

Abby: Eventually, but that's all right I'm more comfortable in Israel, what.


00:33:37.020 --> 00:33:38.910

Abby: When you were doing investigations for Nike.


00:33:40.020 --> 00:33:40.290

Abby: Was.


00:33:41.190 --> 00:33:48.330

Kelly Paxton: Well, you know what so have you heard the saying that I'm creative people are have a tendency to be a little more dishonest with area.


00:33:48.540 --> 00:33:50.040

Abby: Totally oh yeah.


00:33:50.130 --> 00:34:04.320

Kelly Paxton: He knows work because yeah they're creative, so you know Nike is a very creative company and people can become very creative with their expense reports or with their vendors or with services, so you know it's a huge company and.


00:34:05.460 --> 00:34:14.130

Kelly Paxton: Just if you look at the amount of you know narcissist psychopaths 2% so 2% of 60,000 employees kept us busy.


00:34:16.920 --> 00:34:17.610

Abby: Right.


00:34:18.960 --> 00:34:24.840

Kelly Paxton: So just because you work for a big corporation doesn't mean you can't be you know do bad sh--.


00:34:26.010 --> 00:34:28.170

Abby: Right right okay.


00:34:28.620 --> 00:34:39.480

Kelly Paxton: yeah so you might not know this, but did you know the term white collar crime wasn't even a term until 1939 because prior to 1939 people.


00:34:39.870 --> 00:34:52.500

Kelly Paxton: Only thought of criminals is a key people like people that were you know marginalized poor that had mental defects, the term white collar crime didn't even come into like you know our vernacular until 1939.


00:34:54.450 --> 00:34:55.050

Abby: Really.


00:34:55.440 --> 00:34:56.610

Kelly Paxton: yeah isn't that fascinating.


00:34:57.270 --> 00:34:58.140

Abby: yeah it is.


00:34:58.590 --> 00:35:08.220

Kelly Paxton: yeah and like how many rich people commit crimes like just because you're rich prior to 1939 didn't mean you're a criminal.


00:35:08.670 --> 00:35:09.600

Kelly Paxton: Like yes and say.


00:35:10.590 --> 00:35:13.050

Abby: yeah wow wow.


00:35:13.770 --> 00:35:14.460

Abby: it's fascinating.


00:35:15.120 --> 00:35:23.910

Abby: tell you some something else that's fascinating  you have a blurb on your book from a woman named best Malik tesla.


00:35:24.120 --> 00:35:24.690

Kelly Paxton: Right yeah.


00:35:25.710 --> 00:35:30.720

Abby: I think she was my camper my counselor at summer camp is that possible.


00:35:31.500 --> 00:35:32.070

Abby: from New York.


00:35:33.000 --> 00:35:33.960

Kelly Paxton: I don't know.


00:35:34.500 --> 00:35:35.490

Abby: She she was.


00:35:37.200 --> 00:35:38.610

Kelly Paxton: All connect you to sit that so I.


00:35:38.640 --> 00:35:41.370

Abby: asked her, I asked her if she went to Camp kendo.


00:35:41.790 --> 00:35:42.600

Abby: I think she did.


00:35:43.440 --> 00:35:50.190

Abby: Was she was Kendall ke n da le this wasn't that camp it wasn't just normal camp I think she was my counselor, what do you think that.


00:35:50.610 --> 00:35:54.390

Kelly Paxton: You know what's so funny is I'm interviewing next her next week for my podcast.


00:35:55.710 --> 00:35:58.500

Abby: I'm telling you she was my counselor I'm looking at her picture right now.


00:35:59.730 --> 00:36:03.450

Abby: absolutely sure she was my camp I would bet.


00:36:03.660 --> 00:36:11.310

Abby: My last night coke she was, and I think she we were really close for a while and I think she punished me for something and I was.


00:36:11.430 --> 00:36:14.670

Abby: Like can I talk to my talk back to her, I think she's a couple years older than I am yeah.


00:36:14.850 --> 00:36:17.100

Abby: that's really funny I think that's sheets anyway.


00:36:17.970 --> 00:36:19.410

Kelly Paxton: that's hysterical.


00:36:19.650 --> 00:36:21.210

Kelly Paxton: yep some overall.


00:36:21.240 --> 00:36:23.310

Kelly Paxton: two degrees Kevin bacon six.


00:36:23.340 --> 00:36:25.530

Abby: yeah Kelly paxton two degrees.


00:36:25.890 --> 00:36:32.070

Kelly Paxton: Oh, my God yeah Kelly accidents two degrees that's that is for sure so  what.


00:36:34.050 --> 00:36:35.790

Abby: we're like all over the place.


00:36:36.060 --> 00:36:51.750

Kelly Paxton: No, but I just got like someone called me out on this last week who's a people hacker social engineer she's amazing and you should interview her I'm gonna hook, the two of you up I'm Jenny radcliffe you gotta hook her up or look her up.


00:36:51.780 --> 00:36:52.020

Abby: Okay.


00:36:52.050 --> 00:37:02.670

Kelly Paxton: The people hacker, but I do this question, so what happened, I asked you that you want to tell people and she goes oh my God that's such a law enforcement catch all question but it's a good question.


00:37:03.060 --> 00:37:06.390

Kelly Paxton: it's not what people hacker what's a people hacker what does that mean.


00:37:06.720 --> 00:37:17.940

Kelly Paxton: Oh, she breaks in ethically to buildings and homes and to like do security penetration testing or you're gonna love her.


00:37:19.170 --> 00:37:19.590

Abby: Okay.


00:37:20.280 --> 00:37:27.990

Abby: yeah I asked the same question people what am I miss that's what I say what am I, what do I want to talk  well I.


00:37:29.400 --> 00:37:32.310

Abby: mean there's a ton of things, but you covered a lot so.


00:37:33.360 --> 00:37:36.390

Abby: You covered a lot, I mean this has actually been really, really, really fun.


00:37:37.740 --> 00:37:45.210

Abby: Because it's no because we've sort of rift and it's and it's and it's cool you know, so I there's nothing I really need to tell people.


00:37:45.540 --> 00:37:55.230

Abby: They can go to my website, they can follow me but I mean I'm not having to actually put out a newsletter or anything so you can follow me without getting any return so.


00:37:55.680 --> 00:38:01.470

Abby: that's like the kind of lead to kind of following I like to do it looks like I'm following you, but I don't really want to hear from you.


00:38:03.120 --> 00:38:08.910

Abby: And yeah that's fine about book read the book.


00:38:09.900 --> 00:38:13.770

Kelly Paxton: The book is truly like a given this gifts for people, because I just.


00:38:14.340 --> 00:38:16.140

Abby: Oh, have you really Thank you.


00:38:17.550 --> 00:38:19.770

Kelly Paxton: I gave it to an attorney friend who.


00:38:20.820 --> 00:38:33.540

Kelly Paxton: Is she says her least favorite ex-husband, you know director, and so I thought I would pick her up I don't know if it picked her up, but it certainly picked me up and  yeah I.


00:38:34.020 --> 00:38:34.890

Abby: Will you.


00:38:35.730 --> 00:38:36.330

Abby: start going.


00:38:36.630 --> 00:38:49.200

Kelly Paxton: No, no, I just I love the fact that, like does your story is so relatable I just like it's real it's not but it's also it's also a little bit cliffhanger ish.


00:38:50.460 --> 00:39:00.030

Abby: You think well you know, the thing is that the book people are expecting I want to make this clear, people are expecting a memoir it's not a memoir I mean it is a memory on the thread thread thread throughout the book but.


00:39:00.420 --> 00:39:11.880

Abby: it's also an investigation to why we lie and why we trust, and you know how we deceive and whether or not it's possible to even detect lies, and you know.


00:39:12.120 --> 00:39:21.030

Abby: So that's I didn't want to just write a memoir about myself, I was really interested in the psychology of it so that's what the book is I just don't want to misrepresent.


00:39:21.420 --> 00:39:33.270

Kelly Paxton: Well, that that was the thing I was expecting more of a memoir and then, when I read it, I was like oh my God she did a lot of research, and I remember when we talked I was in my basement before coven but we talk.


00:39:33.630 --> 00:39:46.290

Kelly Paxton: I was like you're doing like a lot of research, so it wasn't a memoir, and I mean I would have been fine with a memoir but I was really impressed with the amount of research that you did.


00:39:47.340 --> 00:40:03.390

Abby: Thank you well, you you're in my I have a  chapter on can color crime and that's yeah you know cuz, I just wanted people to know that it wasn't just men who do this I don't think it's fair to my line when gender or.


00:40:04.620 --> 00:40:08.760

Abby: Non binary person so yeah I know you know yeah.


00:40:09.240 --> 00:40:10.800

Kelly Paxton: Well sure, just like.


00:40:11.820 --> 00:40:26.790

Kelly Paxton: You know, we can't people have to understand, not to victim shame, and this is another good thing about yours, because I'm This is my like monthly soapboxes let's stop victim shaming, so people can sit there and go well how did she not now but it's.


00:40:27.240 --> 00:40:31.350

Abby: Nice we did that didn't we do that Kelly, did we do that with that brand new a little bit.


00:40:32.070 --> 00:40:33.240

Kelly Paxton: yeah so so.


00:40:34.380 --> 00:40:36.330

Kelly Paxton: I know so but it's like.


00:40:37.770 --> 00:40:56.700

Kelly Paxton: it's really so many people will go on to like a news website and you'll go in and see their Facebook stuff and comments of like how didn't they know and is this just our first reaction, but then I think if we stop and actually think about it and go wow it could happen.


00:40:57.870 --> 00:41:05.280

Abby: Oh that's what we were saying earlier know it could totally happen to you because we're we don't want to see what we don't want to see it's exactly that, but I think.


00:41:05.520 --> 00:41:12.120

Abby: And it's hard to imagine just like it's hard to imagine how someone like you know could be so great in business and so.


00:41:12.810 --> 00:41:19.200

Abby: utterly stupid and their personal life or or not in student blind you know missing things in their personal life.


00:41:19.950 --> 00:41:33.090

Abby: But I think it's I you know actually I shouldn't say that I have friends who were business people who were terrific business people and they didn't know that their office manager was stealing from them, they have no idea because they trusted her.


00:41:33.720 --> 00:41:35.850

Kelly Paxton: yeah yeah absolutely.


00:41:35.880 --> 00:41:36.900

Abby: yeah yeah.


00:41:37.500 --> 00:41:41.100

Kelly Paxton: Well, I wouldn't have you back after you have your next book or before.



00:41:42.570 --> 00:41:56.340

Kelly Paxton: like an ongoing invitation, because I just I love talking to you and and I just like I said I love your writing because it I when I see that you have a story I'm like is it gonna be it's like a happy uplifting story, or is it.


00:41:58.230 --> 00:42:00.510

Kelly Paxton: But I always learned, I mean truly.


00:42:00.540 --> 00:42:09.720

Abby: You know, thank you well, life is not always uplifting is it loving this past year sucks right it's not always uplifting as and and you know that.


00:42:10.290 --> 00:42:23.910

Abby: You know so, but you gotta balance and not uplifting this with things that are marginally uplifting you know you have to do otherwise I I can't I can't I'm not a pollyanna but I need something good anyway.


00:42:24.300 --> 00:42:26.850

Kelly Paxton: yeah yeah well, we will have you back and I can't.


00:42:26.880 --> 00:42:27.060

Abby: tell you.


00:42:27.270 --> 00:42:28.980

Kelly Paxton: enough for being on.


00:42:29.460 --> 00:42:33.480

Abby: Thank you, and when I have one podcast you on mine.


00:42:34.110 --> 00:42:35.430

Kelly Paxton: Oh, I would love it.


00:42:35.820 --> 00:42:36.750

Abby: Okay, deal


Okay, I feel a little guilty because I had so much fun and just get to hang out with amazing people.  But you guys get nuggets and I hope they are helpful.  Abby called me out on victim shaming-touche!  It is easily done.  Next week we are going to mix things up a bit.  I am going to do some quick hit questions so you can get to know the guests even better.  Kind of like a speed round.  Be ready. Be sure and get Abby’s book.  It really is great.  I have given it as gifts and it is so much more than her story.  She is a great researcher and you heard her say how curiosity is so important.  Have a great week and talk to you next week.  Thank you.