This article appearing February 21, 2010 illustrates two key points I highlight in my writing and speaking. First – theft of cash receipts schemes continues to be the method of choice, stealing payments intended to employers and diverting them for personal use. Second – sharing information during an investigation often leads to additional discoveries and information.
This individual was accused of stealing $171,000 in payments payable to the organization, a non-profit working with disabled children no less. Then, by sharing information with the individual’s prior employer, the prior employer discovered the same individual had stolen $335,000 in payments intended to them. Further, the same individual faces yet more charges for theft in a third context here in Connecticut.
Attorneys often provide advice, rightfully so, suggesting that communications be maintained to a minimum to limit potential exposure to the victim organization. However, if sharing of information and discussions with previous and successor employers does not occur, potential actions and thefts of an individual could go undetected forever. It is common for someone to steal, go undetected or go unprosecuted, only to obtain future employment and steal again, commonly using the same schemes of the past.
Thefts of cash receipts and payments have been the most common schemes I have encountered in the last few years. I am convinced the ATMs and other automated depositing processes have contributed in large part to this, as the checks payable to the employer are easily deposited directly into the suspect’s account. Controls are critical for every organization over the cash receipts and deposit processes for these reasons.