With Friends Like These . . .


James Anthony was in his early 20s, and, like so many other people living in Detroit, he had no job and no prospects. In fact, he had never held down any kind of work for very long at all. He made his money the same way everyone else he knew did — by taking what the streets had to offer. That's where he was born and raised, and it was a place where petty crime and drug dealing are career choices. Friends and family came and went. Some escaped by finding long-term work, while others ended up in prison or dead. James had been to jail a few times for possession of narcotics and drug trafficking, but now that he was free he set his sights on a different goal.

Martin Davidson had been friends with James since childhood, and they grew up together. However, Martin tried to find a more respectable path in life than the one James chose, and eventually the two men drifted apart. Martin lived with his mom in Detroit and was saving money for college tuition. He liked to tell his mom about his plans to get a good job after school and move her out of their dangerous neighborhood.

The American National Insurance Company was a national leader in the industry. It was often described with the words prestigious, strong, stable and conservative. The company reputation was sterling and well deserved. It was also one of the company's greatest assets, and executives ...

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