Have you ever heard an expression “born under a lucky star”? Most people who enjoy gambling can only wish some sort of similar blessing. And some legends out of the world of casinos are truly born that way. The today’s hero is not one of those guys.
Brian Molony could be called anything but lucky. In fact, he wasn’t that good with cards and he wasn’t a notorious hustler. So why am I even talking about the guy? Well you see, Brian had a thing for money, in fact, he adored it, but not for reasons of personal enrichment, no. It’s as if he just wanted to spend it only while gambling. The problem is… The regular person soon runs out of money and that’s it.
Mr. Molony here, on the other hand could afford to lose $1 million in a single game, on a humble salary of 35,000 a year and get back home without ever worrying about a thing. The question arises, how did he manage this? Well for that you have to hear the whole story.
Back to the past, when Brian was just a ten years old kid, with a promising future, or maybe not. Even as a child Molony already had passion for gambling. And it all started as it usually does with the father and son story, how else. But unlike most, this one does not have dark or traumatizing particulars, his dad wasn’t a notorious gambler, nor was he a criminal of any sort. No, his father just took him to the racetrack one day and decided to show his son the thrill of betting money, and I guess on this day something has snapped in the kid’s brain.
From this day on, he would spend most of his free time there. Not just watching, but also betting. He actually managed to become a bookie for everyone at school. It was the flow of cash that got him going.
Setting up the Table
Time passes and our hero is now a fresh graduate at the University Of Western Ontario. Despite his humble nature, Molony aimed high. As high as one gambler can ever dream of, the biggest casino of all – the stock market. Brian wished to combine his two passions.
The first is journalism, in which he completed his academia, and gambling, or better say… Love for the thrill of money, gambling itself wasn’t the issue, but there isn’t truly a word for his obsession. He wanted to become a financial writer, so he applied for the job position at the CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce), the second largest bank in Canada. But during the entry exams, he impressed everyone so much that they actually offered him the position of a manager straight away. Apparently he was really good with money.
By the age of 26 he was already in the position of assistant manager of his branch, which is almost unheard of for the person of his age. Still he couldn’t afford a luxurious life. He took subways on his way to work, to save money on cabs.
He had a kind of pretty girlfriend, who worked at the same bank branch as he did. College sweetheart, all that staff. And by now you think again, where does the story go? From her point of view, he was a sweet guy, who worked too hard and was too tough on himself. And just sometimes couldn’t make it to the date. But nothing couldn’t be further from the truth. Right at that point Brian got to be sick of suits and his daily routine.
Obsession and no Less
Respected banker by day and a notorious gambler by night. Brian Molony took out all of his issues betting money and losing, again and again. Very soon he was full of debts which he couldn’t afford to pay off, so he decided to switch the game a little bit, but not in a way that you would imagine.
He decided to play with his employer’s money. His managerial position at a bank allowed him access to volumes of cash, and that was all before high-tech electronic security – papers please.
He embezzled millions upon millions from one of the largest financial institutions in the world, all for his obsession. And you know what? He actually started winning. Just enough to pay off the old debts and spend all the winnings on monthly trips to Vegas and Atlantic City.
And at that moment he realized: why risk my own money, when I can gamble with bank’s?
Despite what this kind of lifestyle does to people, Brian never lost his morality. Well, yes he was stealing from his boss, which is a big no. But consider that: millions in cash, trips to casino cities and all the extra that comes with it. For those of you who might not realize what it is, let me give you an example from Brian’s life.
Molony loved spending money, so he was favored by the managers at casinos. So sometimes, regular customers would receive some complements from the house. And in that line of business and especially in those days it would be free meals, free suites and eventually Brian found a half-naked woman waiting in his room, supposedly she came as a package deal with a vintage wine and a whole pile of free drugs. And Brian turned all of it down, not interested in the lifestyle and what all that stolen money could afford. Maybe he didn’t know himself what he wanted in the end.
His winning streak came to an end on April 27th, 1982, when he lost about a million dollars at a single game of craps in Atlantic City. The same day the CIBC finally closed down on Molony’s embezzlements. By company’s estimation he had stolen over 10 million dollars.
Brian pled guilty to all accusations against him and so he was sentenced to 6 years in jail. He got out only after 2.5 years for good behavior and was forced to attend numerous gambling addiction recovery programs.
And to this day he works as an account manager, slowly but steadily paying off his debts. He also gives seminars for people who struggle with gambling addictions.
Despite everything, his girlfriend, and now wife, managed to forgive him. Now they live a happy family life with three kids. So, just maybe Brian was born under a lucky star after all.