Embezzlement is defined as the misappropriation of items with which a person has been entrusted. Embezzlement differs from larceny in that the perpetrator of embezzlement comes into possession of property legally, but fraudulently assumes rights to it. It does not need to be an employer/employee situation for a person to be charged. The charges of embezzlement can even be levied if the embezzler intended to return the property later.
Embezzlement and Employee Theft
One of the most common instances of embezzlement in today’s society is employee theft. Employees of many companies have access to company property, creating the potential for embezzlement. Examples include such small crimes as theft of items, discounted sale of retail items, and theft from cash registers. This also include the theft of millions by employees of large firms. Many times this occurs because the employee feels that they are underpaid or not appreciated and entitled to increase their income by criminal behavior.
There are a number of warning signs of employee embezzlement. Some general indications may include but not limted to the following:
- Missing Documents
- Delayed bank deposits
- Holes in accounting records
- A large drop in profits
- A jump in business with one particular customer
- Customers complaining about double billing
- Repeated duplicate payments
- Numerous outstanding checks or bills
- Disparity between accounts payable and receivable
- Disappearance of petty cash
- Goes out of the way to work overtime
- Spending more lavishly than salary might indicate
- Has the same address as a vendor
If you are a victim of embezzlement or maybe have suspicion, please contact J. Carter Investigations for a free consultation.