Someone with fourth-hand knowledge that the bank was robbed claims that Smith conspired — er, I mean, colluded — with the local organized-crime family to rob the bank. Jones figures it must be true because he heard it from a trusted friend, a former cop — and you know those guys have great sources. Yet, Jones has no concrete evidence that it’s true. In fact, he can’t even prove that the mobsters had anything to do with the robbery, much less that Smith did.
But Jones is an industrious investigative journalist. Long before the bank was robbed, he conducted months of in-depth research and came to a single, unalterable, unassailable conclusion: Smith is a really crappy guy. He is a grade-A louche with mafia business partners and a decades-long record of financial shenanigans that walk the razor’s edge of actionable fraud. Born into wealth, he puts on the airs of the self-made man. When he’s in town, hide the women away. If he says he’ll pay you for a job, get it in writing . . . and make sure he still needs you when it’s time to pay up. Better have a good lawyer on retainer, too, just in case. Smith’s books are undoubtedly cooked, but they’re better hidden than Jimmy Hoffa — and yeah, you can bet he knows something about that, too.