Thank you for your additional information,
As I am sure you know, anybody can sue anybody today, so I am assuming that you are asking how you can protect yourself from liability if you are named as a Defendant in a lawsuit.
If you are named as a Defendant in any lawsuit, you must bring in the former CEO as an "Additional Defendant". From what you have stated in your additional information, I cannot see any Judge holding you liable in any way. You handled no money, did not write out any checks, did not hold the books of account in your possession, and you made no financial decisions. The former CEO did everything and without anybody's approval, or consent. He made the financial decisions, he wrote out the checks, he apparently, never gave an accounting to anybody, and there is a strong belief that he was comingling funds (what you referred to as "blending"). Commingling of funds is strictly prohibited and if you got a forensic accountant to examine all of the books, you might even discover that he was appropriating funds to his own personal use and this would be "embezzlement" which is a crime by anybody's standards.
If you want to help the staff get some of the money that was promised to them, you must convince the staff that you are all on the same side and that you should join together in making a formal demand for an accounting from the former CEO. If he refuses (which he probably will), then you and the staff can file a lawsuit against the former CEO and whoever else was involved in his activities, demand an accounting and ask the Judge to award you and the staff members judgment against the former CEO in both his official capacity and in his individual capacity not only for the money that is owed to the staff members, but also for all amounts he appropriated to his own use, or transferred to any other company which he controlled. By getting a judgment against him in his official capacity, you will be able to collect from any bond that he may have had to put up in order to act as CEO. And, by getting judgment against him in his individual capacity, you will be able to ask the Sheriff to seize his assets and sell them at Sheriff's Sale in order to satisfy your judgment,
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