There are many people who feel the need to “cheat” the system. For example, those who feel as though they have been wronged by the government may engage in tax fraud. Employees who work hard without much recognition or reward may feel as though they have a right to steal from their employer to make up for it.
As a result, many people engage in embezzlement schemes. Embezzlement is a white collar crime that involves theft and fraud in the professional community. It also involves misuse and misappropriation of funds.
Employment embezzlement schemes are the most common type of embezzlement. They also result in substantial financial loss. Companies have lost millions of dollars through embezzlement that has gone on for many years.
When a person embezzles money, it is typically not a one-time deal where they take a large amount of money. The embezzlement usually happens over a period of time and involves small sums of money.
In fact, nearly 30% of employee embezzlement schemes are carried out over a period of five years or longer. The average loss is $2.2 million for cases lasting longer than five years and $5.4 million for cases lasting 10 years or longer. Two-thirds of cases involve small- and mid-sized businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
Most cases (more than 33%) involve fund theft. This involves taking money out of a vault, safe or cash register. It could also mean short-changing customers or stealing from purses or backpacks on the premises. Women are more likely than men to engage in fund theft.
Check fraud is another common form of embezzlement, accounting for 22% of cases. Most cases of check fraud occur in small companies with fewer than 100 employees.
While anyone can be an embezzler, there are a couple of characteristics that these crimes have in common. The median age is 48 years old. Women are more likely to commit embezzlement, though just slightly (51% vs. 49%). Also, embezzlers are more likely to work in accounting and finance jobs. In fact, the financial services industry loses the most money to embezzlement, at $120 million per year.
Embezzlers are not picky when it comes to choosing their targets. Businesses of all sizes can be impacted by embezzlement. Larger companies tend to experience embezzlement less often than smaller ones, but when they do, they suffer a greater loss, at $452,025 vs. $289,864.
People are motivated by money. Even high-powered CEOs and businessmen and women often feel compelled to engage in embezzlement schemes for financial gain.
Embezzlement is a serious crime, especially if you have illegally taken a large sum of money. You could face state and federal charges. You could face extensive prison time and be forced to pay restitution to your victims. Make sure you have aggressive representation on your side by contacting the Columbia white collar crime lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. Schedule a free consultation by calling (410) 774-5987 or filling out the online form.
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