The warnings are not working!

When will businesses, organizations, municipalities and any other entities with employees take notice regarding employee embezzlement?

All the warnings that have been provided to employers in the past few years about preventing employee embezzlement are not working.

How do I know? Every night this week I have gone to Google News and entered the key word “embezzlement.” Every night this week I have read pages and pages of new embezzlements in the papers around the country (and globe). If that didn’t provide an alarming number of articles, I entered a second key word search for “employee theft.” More articles every day, and none were duplicates from the first search.

Keep in mind the rule of thumb – one in nine cases hits the paper.

I for one have been speaking, writing and posting on this specific topic to employers for many years – how to prevent and detect employee embezzlements. So how and why does it seem to be growing in frequency?

Maybe a solution is to hold individual employees and directors personally responsible for not preventing these thefts along with the actual perpetrator. After all, isn’t there usually someone at the victim organization at a level higher than the perpetrator who was responsible for preventing or detecting the theft at the earliest stage (before it amounted to hundreds of thousands and millions as seen in many cases all week)?

In several cases a town or municipality was the victim of the crime. Who was the real victim – the taxpayers. How come the town finance directors or tax directors still have jobs with their towns after their employee stole millions? Will they do their job and prevent it in the future? How competent can they be if these thefts ran into the hundreds of thousands or millions before being detected?

I have been watching the issues with AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Lehman Brothers, and everything I have seen in the media has been asking where the management (the “C” level) was during recent months? How could they (the “C” level) allow these things to get to where the ended?

Here’s my question – where were their boards of director members? Paid directors to guide and oversee these organizations. Who is holding these folks accountable for their “directing” and overseeing the management of these organizations. Shouldn’t they be held accountable along with management? Isn’t that part of their fiduciary duty as a board member?

Employers – please start holding all your employees (at all levels) responsible for the prevention and detection of thefts.