How Much Embezzling Is Occuring Today?

The investment Ponzi scheme of $50 billion is quite interesting. Just how many of those could be out there? Locally a separate large embezzlement was detected in Connecticut – $350 million.

I was reading the CT Law Tribune 12/15/08 issue today. Cover story – Marc S. Dreier, sole equity partner of a six-city, 238 lawyer firm was charged with embezzling $350 million from client funds accounts.
$50 billion, $350 million – these numbers are getting staggering! Not long ago one hundred thousand dollars being stolen seemed to be a large number. Matter of fact it was the magic threshold to interest federal law enforcement’s involvement. Problem is today getting to $100,000 takes no time at all, as the thefts have become much larger. Half million or million now seems to be more like the norm.

However, as more of these mega embezzlements continue to surface, the bar for prosecution will continue to be raised. Law enforcement and the courts soon may only take interest if the amount involved is a mega unbelievable, unrecoverable amount. I don’t know – something like $350 million or $50 billion is a good start.

It is already difficult to get the court’s attention with white collar and financial crimes, especially if the amounts involved are less than a hundred thousand dollars. Why thefts and embezzlements have become prevelent again is that the individuals choosing to steal from their employers or commit a whole host of identify thefts know this as well.

The real sad news of these mega thefts is what they say about the state of our society.Greed has become the motivating factor in many individual’s lives, and at any cost.

So who is left for us to entrust our funds. Investment managers? Attorneys managing client funds? Those who believe they should keep their money close to their vest in their own home runs the risk that a burglary or fire could cost them their entire investment savings, as well as the growing popularity of home invasions.

In the end there is no simple answer to address either issue.

How can we bring about a change in our society where core values exist, and where pride, ethics and morals actually matter. Buying the things one can afford, working and saving for the things that one can not afford, and living within one’s means. Eliminating all the lying, cheating and fraud that has seemed to infect virtually every program and system that exists, many times in an effort to get something one would otherwise not be entitled or to simply get ahead.

And secondly, when we work really hard and accumulate excess funds beyond that needed to live, just where do we invest the funds and with whome do we entrust our hard earned funds?

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Heading the team is Stephen A. Pedneault. A CPA and forensic accountant, Steve is also a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) and is a Forensic Certified Public Accountant (FCPA). He brings nearly three decades of accounting and fraud investigation experience to the firm.