Acts of embezzlement are responsible for the majority of losses attributed to employee dishonesty. In the U.S. estimates of employee embezzlement run in the range of $400 billion. No matter how prepared the employer might be, each possible act of embezzlement creates an understandable emotional response.
Acts of embezzlement tend to be unique. They find their way to the top in different ways and when they get there, an air of disbelieve usually gives way to anger and even fear. Acts of embezzlement have one common feature in that they require an immediate strong, decisive and informed course of action.
Too often, disbelief forestalls prompt attention to the matter. When employers hear of possible acts of embezzlement, the first thing they should do is sharpen their listening tools. Then, pick up the pone and get professional advice from an experienced private investigator.
While this will be a difficult time to be patient, patience is exactly what is needed. In possible embezzlement cases, the first reaction is the one that can get the principal in trouble. It is natural to be surprised, angry and feel invaded, but in this legal environment, embezzlers have rights. The worst thing a principal can do is to move too fast, without solid advice and without proof of the embezzlement.
Surprising events are likely to take place. False accusations or accusatory language opens the door for serious repercussions. Take a deep breath, pick up the phone and call an experienced Private Investigator. This PI can help in a number of ways.
The employer and the Investigator will carefully:
• Determine whether embezzlement has truly occurred
• Determine the total amount and method
• Plan to remove embezzlers from work place
• Institute remedial actions to prevent future acts
• Recover lost property and money
At all times, the Private Investigator’s experience will protect the principal from reverse exposure. The Private Investigator will conduct research and discovery within the law but to the fullest extent.
Most employers retain a Private Investigator to systematically address the five core issues stated above. At certain points, the Investigator may work in tandem with the employer to interview employees, identify policy weaknesses and recover assets. The PI will keep the investigation within the limits of the law and remove some of the inflammatory possibilities from the investigation.