Lai was fixated with money. He talked only about how much he would make, how he spent it, and how others would envy him. He was selfish and never used his money to help someone else.
At the start of the Tyranny of Dragons,in 1489 DR in order to travel to Waterdeep, he joined a great caravan with his scented cooking oil and perfumes. Unknown to him, the caravan was full of agents of the Cult of the Dragon transporting treasures for the Hoard of the Dragon Queen.