How an employer may respond when suspecting internal theft

On Behalf of | May 17, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

An employer may suspect employee theft or fraud when an external audit does not reflect a company’s internal financial records. It may take a thorough investigation to discover an employee’s mistake or theft.

As reported by Kiplinger Personal Finance, a manager cannot ask an employee to return goods or money. By doing so, the employer may break Indiana’s intimidation and harassment laws by suggesting that returning money or property may prevent prosecution.

Employees may believe they will only need to return borrowed property

Employees trusted with property or funds may believe they have the authority to borrow from an employer. If the intent is to return money after payday, for example, a personal loan may go unnoticed, especially when the employee maintains the books.

Short-term borrowing, however, may develop into a serious issue over time. If products or money cannot find their way back to a company’s shelves or bank account, an employer may discover a discrepancy. An employer’s legal recourse is to conduct an investigation and file a report with local law enforcement officials based on the results.

Indiana insurance company responds to suspected employee theft

An Indiana travel insurance company experienced an income reduction and suspected several employees had stolen money from the business. As noted by the Southern District of Indiana’s U.S. Attorney’s Office, a federal investigation uncovered an employee filing false insurance claims and purportedly wiring funds to co-conspirators.

The outcome of the investigation resulted in the employee’s conviction of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. His sentence included paying the company more than $750,000 in restitution.

A business owner may consult with an external forensic investigator to find possible reasons for missing funds or inventory. A third-party audit may determine whether an employer decides to submit a report with local authorities and include sufficient proof for a prosecutor to file charges.