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.

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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

Employee Theft Surprises Everyone

The true costs of employee theft may never really be known. However, in the retail world, employee theft can be prevented with the right loss prevention awareness program.

A small chain of stores that I oversee as a corporate fraud investigator recently went through an annual inventory process. The shrink numbers coming back showed obvious signs of internal theft. I went to each store to gather more information and to start an employee theft investigation. At the first store, I looked at all available exception reports, narrowing down issues that occurred on the registers. I reviewed hours of footage on CCTV and built a case file. Looking at schedules of all employees, I started eliminating the least likely. After, I compiled all associates I felt may be involved or have knowledge of internal theft.

This employee theft investigation exposed 5 different employees at one location. As my investigation continued, I interviewed each employee, asking questions of a general nature. The first employee admitted to theft and implicated other employees he knew were involved with internal theft. This employee also told me of a manager that was the ring leader in a big portion of this theft. I continued with the employee theft investigation, gather admission statements, witness statements and finalized the cases. Once all was said and done, I took the results of my employee theft investigation to the owners.

Employee theft was something no one at this company wanted to acknowledge. Employees at these stores were “honest”, and paid well… so according to the owners, these employees would have no reason to steal. Being the corporate fraud investigator, I showed them the results of the cases. They could not believe what the employees had been involved with. In fact, they were so surprised; they closed one store for 24 hours to speak with all associates about what had happened.

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For more information on internal theft, corporate fraud investigator, or employee theft investigation please 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.

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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 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

Getting More From Your Internal Theft Cases

As a Corporate Fraud Investigator doing an internal theft interview it is important to stay open minded and not get tunnel vision in looking for an admission. Let’s face it, by the time you’ve concluded your employee theft investigation your subject has probably been performing his/ her particular brand of shenanigans for quite some time and it’s possible that you’ve missed a few things. So now that you’ve succeeded in getting them to confess to you about their wrong-doing it’s time to expand the admission.

Many internal theft cases start small and build to a point where they become noticeable enough to catch the eye of a corporate fraud investigator, or some other loss prevention professional. In truth, depending on how long the crook has been committing the crime, he/ she may not even remember how they got started. It’s your job, as part of your employee theft investigation to jog their memory and get the whole story. Use phrases like, “It’s important that what you tell me is consistent with what I already know”. Don’t let them know you’re fishing for information. Make them think you’re just reviewing the facts you already know as a formality.

Remember, at this point they’ve already confessed to a crime of some sort and mentally they’re slowly accepting their fate; however you don’t want to pounce on them. This will do nothing more than make them clam up again and in some cases it has been known to cause them to retract their initial confession. Your goal in the process of an employee theft investigation is to find the truth, not to pulverize the subject. An internal theft case is often like an onion, the more layers you, the corporate fraud investigator, pull back the more you’ll find.

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 For more information contact us at Internal Theft or call 1.770.426.0547

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

Employee Theft – What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You – Atlanta Georgia

There are a couple of common denominators in over 90% of the employee theft cases that I’ve been involved in as a corporate fraud investigator over the years, and they are 1) The perpetrator held a position of trust; and 2) The thief started taking small amounts and became bolder as he continued to steal and stole more and more until he was caught.

A business owner who undertakes his own employee theft investigation does so from a position of having an employer/employee relationship with the people he suspects may be stealing from him.  Although the employee may see his actions as being taken against an impersonal company, the company owner or manager sees it as a personal affront, in effect taking money out of the employer’s own pocket.  This is not the best place from which to impartially look at a potential internal theft situation, as emotions are likely to enter into a situation that requires an objective look to remain impartial.

The employer often has a tendency to rush into the employee theft investigation to find the guilty party, confront them, and get them out of the business.  Haste in this case can be costly because early into the investigation, there is undeveloped knowledge about both the depth and the scope of the employee theft.  How many are involved and how long have they been doing it?  These are important questions that need to be asked and answered for the health of the business.

All the employees who were involved in the theft and all who knew about it and didn’t speak up should be disciplined and separated from the company.

A corporate fraud investigator is frequently called upon to investigate cases of internal theft, whether it’s money, merchandise, company property, or even intellectual property.

The corporate fraud investigator has a good working knowledge of business operations based on experience in both investigations and exposing vulnerabilities in the operations of different types of businesses through audits and policy formulation.

The causes of internal theft can be complex and not the result of a single employee, and the corporate fraud investigator is experienced and qualified to get to the root cause of the problem and fine a viable solution for the business, whether it’s a hole in the procedure or out and out employee theft.

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

Employee Theft Interviews

So, you’re a corporate fraud investigator and it’s time for you to conduct an employee theft interview. We all know that the ultimate goal of your interview is to get the subject to confess that they have taken part in some sort of internal theft, right? Well, what you may not know is that what the subject does is just as important as what they say. Non-verbal communication makes up 90% of the average person’s daily communication. Therefore, as a corporate fraud investigator it is extremely beneficial for you to know what to look for in order to quickly and efficiently get that confession that you so desperately want.

The phrase “neuro linguistic programming” refers to the almost involuntary movement of your eyes when asked a direct question. How is this useful in an employee theft interview? Well, let’s say you’re smack dab in the middle of an employee theft investigation and you ask your subject, “What happened in the cash office on Tuesday night?” Watch their eyes. If they look up and to the left (the part of the brain that controls imagination) they’re most likely making up a story to tell you. Conversely, if they look up and to the right (the part of the brain that controls memory) they’re likely trying to remember exactly what happened Tuesday night.

During an employee theft investigation, an individual’s body movements, posture, etc. can all be visual clues as to whether it is the right time to close in and push for that admission of internal theft. If someone sits with their arms folded indignantly staring at you and denying all wrong-doing through most of the interview then suddenly drops their arms, slumps their shoulders and stares at the ground it’s a good indication that mentally they’ve given up and it’s time for you to close in. As a corporate fraud investigator it is vital that you understand the part that non-verbals play in the employee theft interview process.

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