Excerpt

3

Satisfied that he has solved the origin and occupation options of the young woman, he looks in earnest at the review of a Yankee victory the previous night.

In a few minutes Posner is satisfied that the seat next to him will remain empty. He scans the Business section. Just as the bus enters the Midtown Tunnel, he is drawn to an article under the fold. The headline shouts the news of the indictment of a financial executive for bribing foreign officials. He feels a chill dance across his back and his pulse rate elevates. He has felt this way before, but not in a few years. He believed all of this was behind him. He forces himself to read through the article. He does not know the man, but the transaction description is all too familiar.

For two years he has waited for a call from the Justice Department. In his address book he keeps the name and number of a lawyer, a specialist in challenging government accusations of misconduct in such matters. He waits in limbo for a call that may never come while the statute of limitations runs towards expiration.

He knows the Justice Department is still involved and has not yet decided to dismiss the case. The authorities have in recent years showed a particular interest in transactions that involve excessive payments to foreign agents to secure overseas business in a country where honest auctions are unknown. If he had worked for a public company, the SEC might also have tracked the matter, but his past employer was a private, family-owned business, so there is no question of securities fraud, but this is small consolation. He has lived with this issue without comfort. The smallest thing can set him off into an orbit of worry that might take days to ease. His mind tells him that he is innocent, at most a dupe of more senior people’s ambitions, but he sees no easy resolution.