Tag Archives: aggravated theft
I was interviewed this last week by Kyle Iboshi, investigative reporter, for KGW News. Here is the link:
The word is getting out.
What is a get out of jail free card? Unfortunately for some, it’s the card your employee has when you catch them stealing from you. The panic from the moment you find out you have been stolen from can become even greater. This is when you confront your employee (remember you need legal and HR help for that) and they turn the whole debacle around to possibly get out of jail and threaten you with disclosure of your dirty little secrets.
What are those dirty little secrets? Do you have two sets of books? Do you write off inappropriate expenses? Do you hire and fire illegally? This is just the start of what the desperate thief will try.
What do you do when this happens? Again, (insert legal advice here from a good attorney who has worked these cases before-not your golfing buddy) you need to process your own personal situation. I never tell someone directly not to file with law enforcement. But as your “fraud coach” I will tell you to take a step back and analyze all the angles.
I had a client once who, as so many do, wanted the perp hung in the town square. The client generally needs to be talked off the ledge. You need to prepare for the process. The process is long and hard and not cheap. You need to think about the potential PR crisis. You need to be ready to take responsibility for your business and other employees.
Tone at the top of course is part of the equation. While there is NEVER a reason for stealing you need to understand the rationalization part of the fraud triangle. When you give your assistant your credit card bill or expense report that is filled with personal expenses realize what you are doing. You are possibly chipping away at their own set of values. When they see you expense a family vacation to ski while attending a work conference they see you cheating and stealing. This can start a slippery slope (pun intended) for them to start stealing.
Most people, in my opinion, do not wake up and say I am going to steal from my boss or my employer. What does happen is they go to work and get a call from a bill collector stating they are late and their car is going to be repossessed, their husband or partner leaves them with a mortgage, their kid texts them about the school ski team they can’t afford and then they start down that path.
So when they get caught they are desperate to not go to jail and break up a family. Everything they have seen taking place at work becomes fair game for them to defend themselves. You need to be prepared for this. How do you prepare for this? Tone at the top. I can’t say that enough. What your employees see in your behavior is incredibly important.
I can’t tell you how hard it is for an employer to go through this. They want to do the right thing but they also feel the need to protect themselves and their business. So what happens is that sweet, conniving little Mary gets off and then goes to the next business. Eventually she will get caught but sometimes it takes awhile.
You set the example for your employees. Be the best example you can be. Set the right tone at the top and maybe she won’t have the get out of jail free card.
If this has happened to you I would love to hear from you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s Not Getting Any Easier for Women to Become CEOs But It Is For Them to Become Pink Collar Criminals
I saw the Huffington Post headline and immediately was drawn in. The statistics are not great for women to become CEOs. In 2015 only one woman in the U.S became a S&P 500 CEO and it’s not looking good to hold the number at 20 with Marissa Mayer’s current situation.
Female executives landed just 2.8 percent of the new chief executive jobs that opened up last year around the world, according to the analysis of 2,500 global public companies. Put another way, there were 359 open CEO slots last year and women filled just 10. That’s the lowest percentage since 2011.
So what does this have to do with Pink Collar Crime? Well the stats show in 10 year period that women embezzlers outgrew men embezzlers by an increase of 42% over men increasing 2%. This came from the FBI for the period of 1994-2003. Statistics are hard to come by for embezzlement specifically because different jurisdictions may charge embezzlement cases as tax evasion or misdemeanor theft depending on loss. Also throw in the fact so many business owners decide not to contact law enforcement. That will be another post soon.
Why are the numbers increasing for pink collar crime? We have blogged about this before but many more women have entered the work force. Women are the primary breadwinners in 40% of households according to Pew Research.
Women may not be breaking the glass ceiling but they are breaking statistics for embezzlement. It’s a growing demographic that won’t stop soon.
So don’t worry about not promoting your best employee to CEO. After all only one woman was hired as a S&P 500 CEO in the US last year. Do worry about them getting on The Ladies of PCC also known as the Pink Collar Hall of Shame.
Watching the Today Show this morning I saw the newest Rossen Report http://www.today.com/news/parents-steal-thousands-dollars-school-booster-clubs-2D79736779 regarding thefts from booster clubs. This comes as no surprise to me. Just this last week down the road from my home an “incredible” volunteer was arrested for stealing from a local school. http://bit.ly/1kZFpXC
These thefts weren’t discovered during an audit. What booster club does audits? Have booster clubs heard of internal controls? This theft was discovered during a review of a videotape to watch an altercation between students. It was completely stumbled upon. How long has this been going on? The school district has no idea. She has been a volunteer for 8 years. According to the county sheriff’s spokesperson “She had access to money in a lot of ways,” Ray said.
This is so sad especially when our kids and parents work so hard to get their kids involved in awesome school activities. In these days of budget cuts and mandatory testing there is no money leftover for “extras”. Kids and parents volunteer their time and give their hard earned money for these clubs.
Taking a look at Bureau of Labor Statistics women volunteer more than men. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/volun.t01.htm That just makes sense to me. So the next step in that thinking is that women will steal more than men from these types of groups.
In the Rossen Report they showed a few men but in my anecdotal experience it is more women than men that steal from these organizations. Many organizations never publicize the “skimming” or thefts because they worry about the bad publicity. At least once a week I receive a story about another “incredible” volunteer that has stolen from the soccer team, band group or cheerleading squad.
Cookie dough anyone??