In the company you work for, it was just discovered that funds have gone missing. You feel very uncomfortable because you work in the bookkeeping department and are among those who are now under scrutiny by management.
A study of hundreds of major embezzlement cases has provided us with facts about the perpetrators, including common traits that produce an interesting profile. Do you meet the description of the common embezzler?
About the study
The study took data from 554 active cases in the United States, each of which involved more than $100,000 in losses. Research included six years of aggregated data that turned up some surprising commonalities among the perpetrators.
Profile of an embezzler
The most common scheme, according to the report, is the forgery of company checks. Major schemes are often carried out over a period of five years on average. Here are other findings from the report:
- The perpetrators usually begin their embezzlement career when in their early 40s
- Women are more likely than men to embezzle on a large scale, but men embezzle significantly more money
- By a wide margin, successful embezzlers likely hold financial positions
- Gambling is often a motivating factor driving embezzlement schemes
- Government agencies, nonprofits and religious organizations are the entities most often victimized
- The greatest losses occur in the financial services industry
- Only about 5 percent of major embezzlers have a criminal history
Embezzlement in South Carolina
The state of South Carolina considers embezzlement a breach of trust because it revolves around a trusted employee who absconds with company funds for his or her own benefit. Sometimes the individual a business focuses on if funds go missing is a disgruntled employee, and sometimes it is simply an employee like you who works in the bookkeeping department—which, by the way, may be the only link you have to the profile of a common embezzler. If you feel you are being targeted, you may want to seek the help of an experienced embezzlement defense attorney who will get to the bottom of the missing funds crisis and protect your rights.