Arrest Employee Embezzlement

Document and enforce a zero-tolerance fraud policy.

After nearly three decades working with credit unions to detect and prevent employee dishonesty, I’ve seen the same triangle of causation nearly every time an employee is caught embezzling money: need, opportunity, and rationalization.

The need is usually a personal financial emergency brought on by divorce, an extramarital affair, a child’s financial distress, uninsured medical costs, an addiction, etc.

The opportunity to embezzle usually stems from inadequate internal controls, inaccurate audits, lack of oversight, or abuse of authority.

Rationalization is the psychological technique criminals use to justify their actions. Some folks convince themselves—at first—that they’re just borrowing the money and will pay it back.

Other times, perpetrators believe their employer owes them something. Perhaps they were passed over for a promotion or a raise.

Take these steps to take to detect or prevent embezzlement:

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