MIDDLETON, Wis. -

A Middleton man is facing dire financial straits after a betrayal that was years in the making.

Dave Sindberg bought his business, Grant Communications, in 2004. The bookkeeper of the audio equipment company quickly became like family to Sindberg.

“He was around when our daughter was born, and we saw each other's kids grow up together,” Sindberg said.

After years of working together, it started to seem like bills weren’t getting paid.

Sindberg began receiving calls from collection agencies and letters from the IRS, but an audit by an independent accountant came up with nothing. He planned a meeting to go over things with his bookkeeper.

“We picked a date to sit down and figure out what was going on,” Sindberg said. “That was on Monday that we made the meeting, and on Wednesday, he had a massive heart attack and passed away by the end of the week.”

It was only after his bookkeeper's death that Sindberg found he had been keeping two books, and stealing anywhere from $250,000 to $400,000 from the man who treated him like family.

“It was devastating to find out, just to think of someone doing that to you,” Sindberg said.

Now that Sindberg is hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and has no one to hold accountable , Grant Communications is no more.

Sindberg’s wife’s wages have been garnished and their personal bank accounts levied, leaving little to nothing left to pay back the debt.

Friends and family helped Sindberg launch a GoFundMe page to try and recoup even a fraction of the money that was stolen from him.

“We've been amazed by the outreach people have done already. It’s amazing,” Sindberg said.