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Embezzlement Schemes More Readily Exposed During Tough Economic Times…

Not so long ago, when times were good; business was steady, everyone in your organization worked diligently to meet deadlines, production schedules, quotas, all in an effort to make your company successful. The backroom crew was processing invoices; paying vendors, ordering stock and moving moneys to accommodate payroll, expenses, and other day-to-day operational needs.

By all measures, she was a ‘trusted employee’; rarely missed a day of work in 8 years, appeared to be competent and capable in her job as the accounts payable bookkeeper, and even put in extra hours to insure that all payments due vendors were processed in a timely fashion. She dressed modestly, wore no fancy jewelry, and drove a compact car that was seven years old.  The only problem for this model employee (as it was eventually discovered) was that she was systematically stealing the company blind. It wasn’t because of a drug addiction, or gambling, or some hidden agenda against her employer. It was husband’s failing construction business that prompted her to create phony invoices that were paid to a dummy corporation and sent to a post office box and subsequently deposited at a nearby Bank.

The scheme unraveled quite by accident, when downsizing forced the company to consolidate jobs and a co-worker questioned invoices that were billed to projects that didn’t match the vendor list. An internal audit ensued coupled by a call to the Company’s Attorney who was advised of the discrepancies.  Jennings Smith was retained to conduct an investigation of the matter. After securing documents and account data available, schedules were compiled, interviews conducted and an analysis was conducted by our Certified Frauds Examiner who determined the embezzlement totaled in excess of Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00).

Our firm then conducted an asset search and located banks accounts and real property owned by the employee and her husband which were immediately liened and subsequently liquidated as part of a restitution agreement.

Most embezzlement can be avoided by increased diligence and employing checks and balances in all financial transactions. Signs of potential embezzlement activity include missing records; invoices, checks, unknown vendor payments, altered check amounts and overall poor record keeping.

If our firm can be of assistance to you regarding this or any other matter, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

Jennings Smith Associates


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