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To Catch an Employee Thief

April 11, 2009

By Dunn, Carney, Allen, Higgins & Tongue

As Mara, an accounting clerk at a dental supply wholesaler, hung up on the phone, she knew that her coworkers heard everything –another creditor demanded money she didn’t have.  Four months earlier, her husband lost his job and bills were piling up.  Mara shared her tale of financial woe, time and again, with her colleague Jenny.  But as months passed, Mara simply stopped talking about her debts.

Six months later, Jenny discovered why Mara had been silent on the subject.  At the end of one workday, when no one else was around, Jenny saw Mara slip a vendor check into her purse.  Now it all began to make sense: Mara was stealing from the company.

One third of all U.S. corporate bankruptcies are directly caused by employee theft, which is the fastest growing crime in America.  Experts are pointing to one prime cause for rising employee theft – the sputtering economy.  With housing prices falling, food prices rising, and credit being crunched, employees are confronted with personal financial crises at a time when employers may not be able to help out with a much-needed raise.  Today, more than ever, understanding and preventing employee theft  may mean the difference between the life and death of your company.   For more information about this problem and what employers can and should do about it, click here.

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