Employee Theft – The 10-10-80 Rule Atlanta Georgia

Regarding employee theft, there is a widely held rule of thumb among professional auditors, accountants, and most everyone else involved in the detection and/or apprehension of dishonest employees called the 10-10-80 rule: 10 percent of employees will steal no matter what measures employers take; 10 percent will never steal regardless of the circumstances; and 80 percent will steal if all the right conditions are met.

The employer’s goal then, is to reduce the likelihood that the 80 percent will steal by reducing the opportunity that an employee will be able to steal and get away with it.

This is accomplished through a number of sound personnel practices such as separation of duties so that one employee doesn’t have responsibility for all tasks in a given operation (such as receiving or accounting), adequate supervision and review of bank reconciliation and payroll and vendor checks, and conduct unannounced audits of all operations front to back.

But every business will eventually become victim to some form of employee theft and loss of assets such as cash, merchandise, supplies, or intellectual property.

When internal theft is suspected, the next step is an employee theft investigation conducted by a loss prevention or corporate fraud investigator.  A business owner has expertise in operating his business, but often trusts others to handle the back office and routine tasks.  Once a dishonest employee discovers that he has free reign to steal it can take months and years to discover the thefts.

A loss prevention or corporate fraud investigator can help determine the depth and scope of the employee theft.  Often, the perceived involvement of one employee is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg, as there are collaborators or witnesses that should also be developed.

The advantages of using an experienced fraud investigator in an employee theft investigation situation are many.  Among them are experienced in interviewing suspects and witnesses and developing evidence; familiarity with legal issues and employment law that affect employees; exposure to many types of internal theft; and working for the welfare of the business alone.

Reduce or eliminate employee theft through careful planning and a swift reaction to any suspicion of internal theft.

For more information on employee theft , employee theft investigation , internal theft , or corporate fraud investigation contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

Employee Theft Destroys Profits

Many retailers can’t understand the true costs of employee theft. It goes much deeper than the simple act of theft itself. Employee theft destroys profits, hurts employee relations and can change the entire atmosphere in the store.

Employee theft investigation is an important part of the retail environment. Even if the managers don’t believe their employees are stealing or causing loss, the chances are much greater they are. In my time as a loss prevention professional, I have seen stores closed, positions eliminated and many other restrictions or reductions due to internal theft. It is serious stuff.

It’s not just a plaque at the store level, internal theft or employee theft is also seen at the corporate level. From simple office equipment theft to more intelligent crimes (or white collar crime) are unfortunate and regular occurrences. White collar crime is sometimes difficult to investigate by persons not experienced in these types of issues, or is maybe a little shy at poking around higher level corporate employees. It’s always recommended when conducting corporate fraud investigation to bring in a corporate fraud investigator. Typically, a corporate fraud investigator is very skilled in this level of employee theft and will work hard to ensure every confidential employee theft investigation is given the highest level of attention and closure.

In stores, internal theft (like corporate fraud investigation) should be investigated as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Gathering information both verbally and visually is a good start. As a manager or business owner, these steps are crucial at maintaining an enjoyable and attractive atmosphere for both employees and customers alike.  No one wants to believe they have bad employees, but the cold hard truth is, you do. Help your business, protect your assets and keep your employees satisfied.

Visit the Retail Loss Prevention Store.

For more information on corporate fraud investigation, corporate fraud investigator, employee theft investigation, internal theft or white collar crime contact us at employee theft or call 1.770.426.0547

Corporate Fraud Investigation Leads to Discovery of White Collar Crime

Corporate Fraud investigation has long been looked at by those in the corporate world as “big brother.” In reality, corporate fraud investigation plays into deterring employee theft or internal theft.

As an experienced corporate fraud investigator, I have seen the damages of white collar crime, and although these types of crimes may not directly affect the general public, the crimes still cause damages. As a corporate fraud investigator, I’ve launched an employee theft investigation into corporate employees whom work in various departments like accounts payable/receivable, accounting, and others. The job at times can be tedious and uninteresting, but very important in driving the development of the business and to curtail employee theft.

As with any investigation, it takes a thorough look through all aspects of the business to identify losing trends, but will be worthwhile when you suspect white collar crime. Now not everyone is cut out for employee theft investigation or allegations of internal theft. It takes an analytical thinker and sharp eyes.

Recently, a corporate employee for a retailer was having a hard time paying bills. She saw an opportunity to double pay a bill, she contacted the payee and claimed the overpay. She told the company of her mistake, and that company sent her back the second payment. She took that money, had her husband endorse it, and deposited the check into her personal bank account. During this employee theft investigation, she was certain she was gonna get away with it. She didn’t.

White collar crime or corporate crimes can and will cost business profits. The time it takes to investigate, representation in court and the loss of the employee all play a part.

Visit the Loss Prevention Store.

For more information on internal theft, employee theft, employee theft investigation or corporate fraud investigator contact us at corporate fraud investigation or call 1.770.426.0547

Employee Theft Causes Long Timer to Lose Dream Job

According to the New York Times, the long time clubhouse manager of a major league baseball team was charged with employee theft for stealing items from the team valued at over $2 million, an employee theft investigation revealed.

Sports fans and speculators are willing to pay big money for sports memorabilia, particularly items that are autographed by famous players.

The local District Attorney, who was looking into an organized gambling ring, initiated the corporate fraud investigation that led to this case of internal theft. Soon this turned to the vast collection of sports items and team equipment that was being held in the basement of a house owned by a friend of the suspect.  The basement held several team sets of autographed uniforms bats and balls.

In addition to the employee theft of all the merchandise, the ex-clubhouse manager was charged with embezzling approximately $25,000 from inflated expense claims for providing meals to umpires, and failure to pay taxes on $200,000 received as tips over two years.

According to the article, the suspect was also in charge of the equipment and was the traveling secretary, booking all flights and hotels for the team.  Two or more people, for oversight purposes, normally hold these three jobs, but this individual had free rein, and an open invitation to commit internal theft.

He overbought equipment and handled the road account for the team.  One investigator remarked that he led the team in steals.

This baseball team was fortunate that the District Attorney’s look into gambling activity led to this employee theft investigation.

The lesson from this story for every business owner, is to set policies and procedures in place that will reduce or eliminate internal theft.  There has to be oversight and supervision over every employee, no matter how long they have been employed and no matter what the position.  If not, employee theft is the result. A corporate fraud investigation is not pretty, but with the appropriate security procedures in place you can avoid it.

For more information on employee theft , corporate fraud investigation , an employee theft investigation , or internal theft questions, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

Employee Theft Investigation Leads to Better Profits – Atlanta Georgia

It’s true. Employee theft investigation can lead to better profits.

Working as a corporate fraud investigator for a specialty retailer with 20 stores, I had my first real observation of just how an employee theft investigation impacts profits. Recently the company had inventory in 10 stores. 8 of these stores did pretty good, some better than expected. However, for two stores, it was clear they had an internal theft problem. One store had shrink as high as 12%. Merchandise was disappearing before it even made it to the floor. My partner and I launched a corporate fraud investigation in each store. During the course of the investigation, we looked at all avenues of employee theft including, POS systems (Registers, checkstands), backroom areas including trash, conducted general interviews of all employees to get a feel of what was happening. As we dug, we uncovered a wealth of information and evidence to prove the high shrink numbers were a direct result of employee theft.

It is pretty well known throughout the retail industry that internal theft is more than 70% of the average retailer’s losses. In some cases, it’s much more. Controlling the effects of internal theft can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for or at. In many cases it takes the help of an outside corporate fraud investigator to really get a good look.

As we continued our corporate fraud investigation, we narrowed our suspects down to 3 main culprits in the first store and 5 in the second. To us, it was clear internal theft caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in loss to this company. We did interviews of the employees and gained confessions from each. Many of the employees admitted to being involved because they were unhappy with the company, the store, the manager or fell on hard times in their personal life.

Employee theft investigation is a must when there are suspicions of employee theft. When I speak to my stores, I constantly share with the management the negative impacts of employee theft and inform the employees of the damages of internal theft.

For more information on employee theft , employee theft investigation , internal theft , corporate fraud investigation or corporate fraud investigator contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

Employee Theft – Stop It Before It Stops You in Atlanta Georgia

How big is the problem of employee theft?

 The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that over 30% of all corporate bankruptcies are caused by employee theft.  The U.S. Small Business Administration says that 60% of small business failures are attributed to internal theft.

 My estimate is that with many businesses struggling to survive in the current economy that the figures can only go higher.

 What can a business owner do to avoid becoming a statistic?

 The first thing to do is to try to prevent employee theft from becoming a problem in the first place.  When formulating policies and procedures, think like a corporate fraud investigator.  Identify any vulnerability in the systems and eliminate them through a system of chain of command, supervision, and delegation of duties.

 One of the most common scenarios in corporate fraud investigation concerning the theft of money occurs when one employee (usually the accountant or the bookkeeper, unfortunately) has the responsibility for receiving the money, depositing the money, and disbursing the money in cash or by check.  And there are so many ways to steal and get away with it for years:  payroll, vendor payments, petty cash disbursements, expense checks can all be falsified if there is no oversight.  If the same employee has access to the company credit card, look out.

 That’s just the cash end.  There is also merchandise or product to consider if you are a retailer or manufacturer, raw materials used in production, and samples are all company assets.  A corporate fraud investigator look at all the ways company assets like these can be removed from the premises, and devises methods to prevent employee theft from becoming a fact.  Business owners and managers should learn to think in this mindset.

 Then there is company property like office supplies, tools, vehicle supplies, computers, peripherals and software that is subject to internal theft and fraud.

 Finally there is time theft that can become a problem through falsified time records and employees working on personal projects while being paid by the company, which is fraud that can be corrected through a corporate fraud investigation.

 When considering ways to eliminate employee theft, there is no need to reinvent the wheel, only to adapt it to your own use, if you are a business owner or a concerned manager.  An experienced corporate fraud investigator can be a huge benefit in ways other than looking into isolated instances of internal theft after the fact and conducting an employee theft investigation.  There is no reason to wait until workplace theft becomes such an issue that it puts the business in jeopardy.  He or she can take an overview of your business and recommend steps to be taken to correct deficiencies and vulnerabilities in the operations of almost any category of business, small or large.

 If an employee theft investigation is warranted to a specific incident or just a suspicion, the corporate fraud investigator has the experience and knowledge to bring the situation to a successful conclusion and how to obtain restitution in full.

 For more information on employee theft , employee theft investigation , internal theft , corporate fraud investigation or corporate fraud investigator contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

When should I call for a Corporate Fraud Investigator?

Loss Prevention Systems  experienced Employee theft investigator ‘s  are known for having conducted thousands of varying employee theft investigation ‘s for all types of companies. Large companies with experienced senior staff and the smallest of companies that are less than 5 employees, any company that suspected internal theft. One problem that we consistently see with all of them is that clients don’t call us untill it is late in the process. It is not an issue for us but it normally does cost the client more. Because we generally have to start over with much of the investigation.

 Most people including some of the most savvy business people I have ever met are like a fish out of water in these situations. Because of this they do not know how to build proper corporate fraud investigation s. And because they all watch CSI, they try to be their own employee theft investigator. It is not like what we see on TV, far from it.

 Our job is to build a thorough corporate fraud investigation, which will prevail with civil, and criminal courts and serve to effectively block unemployment claim if the client so desires. Most company executives are frustrated in these situations because they are missing a key business element that they must have to make their every day business decisions. That is control. They do not know what to do. We provide and therefore restore that sense of and actual control.

 Why not just call the police or FBI you ask? They have a staff of professional investigators. They have the skills. Of course they do. But as anyone in my field knows the chances of getting law enforcement to do this type of corporate fraud investigation is like playing the lottery. It isn’t that they do not want to or do not have the skill. The fact is that there are too many investigations assigned to them and they cannot actually work one to the extent necessary to get the investigation where it need to go. The average police detective in the U.S. is assigned 40 +/- investigations in a thirty-day period. They are civil servants and work a 40-hour workweek. How many of those 40 investigations do you really think get worked?

 On the other side we at LPSI assign a single corporate fraud investigator per investigation. That corporate fraud investigator will work on it from start to finish and that time frame is short depending on the case. Even complicated ones. Most of the delays we experience is the client trying to catch up with us.

 SO when should you call? Save yourself some money and call right away before you start firing people, calling the police and defiantly before the losses and investigation becomes water cooler gossip.

 For more information about corporate fraud investigator or internal theft , employee theft or employee theft investigation please contact us through corporate fraud investigation or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

Exactly what is the primary cause of Employee theft in Atlanta GA?

We know from long experience in the corporate fraud investigation field that there are many reasons for the employee theft you may be experiencing.  Greed, want, need are all reasons. We as employers can do little to effect the reasons except to do the best we can to screen out potential problems. Criminal background checks find problems such as candidates with poor criminal histories; candidates that have a poor credit history who may be handling our money and drug abusers top the list

But what are the CAUSES of employee theft? In the 2010 Global Fraud Study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners it was found that the leading primary internal theft weakness is…”Lack of Internal Controls”. In organizations with less than 100 employees it amounts to 47% (over 100 employees equals 33.7%). There is not even a close second.

Keep in mind that the cause is something that we as business leaders have complete control over. Yet business appear to do little, or clearly not enough, to protect the fragile margins we have. I believe that there are two reasons for this.

Number one is that it seems in many cases there is a lack of strong leadership. The kind of leadership that people understand and respect. An understanding by employees at all levels that strong controls that the company has in place will not under any circumstances be violated and that such violation is not open to interpretation. The violation of these procedures will be met with strict and immediate punishment at all levels. This draws a line in the sand.

Number two is that even when that line in the sand is drawn we find it to hard or we are too busy to maintain it. Because of this that line in the sand is quickly washed away by the waves. We then find ourselves a year later scratching our heads trying to make sense of why we are having yet another corporate fraud investigation another serious internal theft or series of employee theft incidents have occurred.

Want to bring internal theft under control once and for all? Make your line in the sand a granite wall with no compromise that the waves will not affect.

For more information about employee theft or a consultation for a corporate fraud investigation in Atlanta GA contact us or call 1.770.426.0547

Corporate Fraud and trust relationships in Atlanta GA

In my over 30 years of experience in corporate fraud investigation a sad but simple reality had come to my attention. Management uses the wrong kind of trust when dealing with employees, assets, cash and the rest. I have finished the employee theft investigation, the employee has confessed and we are filing criminal charges. At that point the manager or owner says something like “I trusted that person”.

They feel guilty, are angry and question their own skills. They often feel as if they should have seen the employee theft coming. It is not their skills that they should be questioning. In this world there are two kinds of trust: personal trust and business trust.

Personal trust is the kind you have with your best buddy. They are always there for you and you for them.

Business trust is defined in three words: Trust But Verify. That’s it! You do not have the luxury of doing anything else.

The most reasons that we end up doing a corporate fraud investigation is that management uses personal trust in a business environment. They simply don’t see their “friends” being involved in employee theft. This is business not personal and if your management style is to be “friends” with your employee then you should probably change careers. You are responsible for an incredible amount of assets and liability and if employee theft is occurring because you’re using the wrong kind of trust with your employees you are responsible. As a professional you realize that you must protect those assets to keep the company profitable, which insures that, your employees have a job.

To do this you must trust but verify. I am not advocating that you are always watching over people’s shoulders. In fact a healthy work environment gives employees the ability to grow and do things in their own style. So what do you do? Here is an example; you receive a shipment. The person who is responsible for checking it in is almost finished. Pull part of the paperwork and recheck 10% of it. When they say to you “I just did that” you reply, “ It looks like you did a great job too, it is accurate, thank you and good work”.

As a professional you cannot afford to use personal trust in a business environment unless a frequent employee theft investigation is your thing.

For more information on employee theft or an employee theft investigation contact us at corporate fraud investigation in Atlanta GA or call 1.770.426.0547

Internal Theft Investigation and the Real World – Atlanta Georgia

An employee theft investigation is a situation most business owners and managers are uncomfortable with. This is understandable since this is a criminal and civil situation that the average businessperson rarely deals with. Because of this uncomfortable situation, there are trained employee theft investigator s . When an employee commits internal theft by stealing cash, merchandise, time or supplies they commit a clear crime. Most of the time the amount warrants felony criminal charges.

Internal theft in the “real world” happens in every business with employees. We would like to think that the person we hired would not steal from us. But the sad fact is that many do. Internal theft also known as employee theft many times is committed by some of the most “trusted” employees.  The problem is management’s definition of “trust”. Many managers and owners use personal trust in a business environment.

Personal trust is the trust you have in a friend or spouse. You may trust them with your life, house, car or dog. But you do not trust them with your business! In my experience most employee theft flourishes in this environment.

Business trust involves something called “trust but verify”. A good supervisor prevents employee theft and thus the need for an employee theft investigation by not simply assuming that work tasks are accomplished the way you want them. Following up on what and how an employee for instance is checking in stock keeps them on track and cuts down on mistakes and let’s the employee know you are involved. A simple audit of what the employee is doing or has done with feed back to them both positive and negative lets the employee know that any dishonest actions have a good chance of being discovered. Many times employee theft takes root when the employee feels that no one cares or knows what they do.

The same hold true for a corporate fraud investigation. Executives at all levels must be held accountable. Audits by CFO’s should be conducted at all levels. An outside auditing firm can also be used to conduct company reviews. You must tell them to include this type of review with their work.

But for the average small business a corporate fraud investigation will never be needed. Focus should be placed on control of all assets. This can be accomplished with a loss prevention audit or by simply being engaged at all levels.

For more information on employee theft , employee theft investigation , internal theft , corporate fraud investigation or corporate fraud investigator contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia