Years later, George goes to see Uncle Billy at his house, who’s devastated he lost $8,000 of the business’ money but is gobsmacked as to how it happened. Billy says he’s checked every room in the house, even the rooms he’s kept locked since his wife Laura died. It’s one of the most revealing aspects of Uncle Billy’s character that cries out for further development. Uncle Billy is already down for the count at this point, but George drives the nail in deeper, telling him what’s could very well happen. “It means bankruptcy and scandal and prison. One of us is going to jail. Well it’s not gonna be me,” George says, making it clear he’d send Billy up the river if the money doesn’t turn up. George Bailey is not an ethically bad person, but if his family is in jeopardy, he’s going to do whatever he can to save himself. Later, he tells Potter he lost the money, because deep down he couldn’t fault Billy for being absent-minded.