Embezzlement – Part 4

The Private Investigator has done the biggest part of his job. The embezzlement plot has been uncovered and revealed. The missing property has been identified. The amount of the loss has been substantiated. The angst of embezzlement is winding down.

Repercussions are running throughout the company. No matter how hard management tries to downplay the act, word of embezzlement spreads like the flu. Every company has its own inner workings. The employees are watching, listening and anxious to see how management will proceed to deal with the perpetrator or perpetrators.

While most employers want clear-cut, quick resolution, this may not be as simple as it seems. In the U.S. everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Employees have rights and lots of protection. Employers are responsible for what they say and how they act. Keep the experienced Private Investigator around for a while. At this critical, decisive time, this is one professional who can help.

There are several steps the employer must now follow. There are some very key decisions to be made and some critical policies to establish. Remember, one of the original goals was to prevent this possibility in the future.
A preventive plan should be developed and enacted. A Private Investigator can make sure all plans are viable and that the company and the employee are within the limits of the law.

Once the embezzled assets are identified, the employer should first determine if this is an insured loss. Employee dishonesty insurance coverage is offered by most liability carriers. Many smaller employers do not know whether they have this form of coverage. Even if this is an insured loss, there may be a decision to be made about the amount of the deductible.

The employer may consider either civil or criminal proceedings. Civil cases can be expensive and the possible gain may outweigh the loss. Criminal cases have other possible negative side effects including public awareness. Many companies do not want the publicity. However, most companies feel every crime should be punished and are hesitant to send employees any other message.

Decisions also need to be made about the employees’ future at the company. Employees who steal usually continue the habit. Their presence sends a dangerous message to other workers. However, employers should be careful about language and representations to the guilty employees. Ask the Private Investigator to assist with the termination. A third party serves employers well.

While the offended employer has been patient thus far, this is not the time to attempt a quick conclusion. Take your time, follow the law and let the professionals help every step of the way.