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Million Dollar Embezzlement Part 2 | Woman Sentenced to Face Jail Time

Here on our blog back in January, we featured a story here in Western New York of a woman working for a local car dealership that embezzled over $1 Million over the course of her career. As it all turned out, the amount of money far surpassed a million. We are talking some serious cash. When it was all said and done the 55 year old who worked for the car dealership had caused a loss of over $4.1 Million!

This woman had worked for the company for 15 years before anyone noticed anything. Trust is one of the most, if not the most important factors in any employer/employee relationship. Knowing that you can trust your team to work hard and always do the right thing is paramount when hiring new employees. In this case however, trust was the one thing hiding the truth from this woman’s employer.

“Through all of this I never got a chance to apologize to the ‘family’ for what I’ve done to them,” she said tearfully. “They treated me like family. I wish I could pay it all back.”

A family-run company, the business was started 48 years ago, and employs over 420 people from around Buffalo and Western New York. Who would have thought that one woman could steal over 4 million dollars with no one noticing? Drug testing employees is one way to ensure you are hiring a solid person, but this woman wasn’t stealing to buy drugs or gamble. Why did she do it? She used the money to fund her love for buying and training horses for competitive dressage. She spent the money as she took it, to avoid anyone noticing.

She stood in front of the judge last Tuesday to find out that she will be going to prison. Though she could have faced the maximum sentence of 25 years, she will face 4-12 years. Members of the family who owned the company wrote letters to the court to try and lessen the sentence, because she did try to make payment restitution by selling everything she owned. Making up the full 4 million dollars however, that would be impossible. She owes the state $256,000 in taxes, and deducting the $1 million covered by insurance, the family’s loss was still over $2 million. After the woman does finally get out of prison, she will be paying $500 a month just to reduce that number, probably for life.

“The ‘family’ say they felt betrayed and have lost trust in people, especially after providing you with such a wonderful job and wonderful salary,”

Though justice has been served, and the company no longer employs the largest embezzler in the history of Erie County, the money remains in limbo and the owners of the company have lost trust in people. This clearly is a daunting example of how even in our own backyard here in WNY, you can find white collar criminals that are damaging the reputation of a company. When your company needs a new employee, you should always take every possible step to ensure you’re hiring someone you can trust.

Read the Full Story From the Buffalo News

Employment Screening Services provides background check services for any industry. We also offer employment drug testing that can be provided prior to employment or during. We take what we do seriously, and our background in law enforcement backs that up. Don’t go cheap when looking into background checks, because you get what you pay for. You could very well miss something on a potential employee’s record that could not only damage your reputation, but it could cost you money. Let this example of a family-owned company losing over $4 million ensure that you take every step necessary.

Does Detail Count?  Instant Vs. Manual Background Checks

The level of detail on any specific criminal background check depends on the circumstance.  For example, do you need to commit resources to checking a potential employee’s driving record for a desk job?  Factors to consider are the field, industry and/or niche your company specializes in, the specific position and duties of job you’re screening for and what specific issues your organization considers important to know.  When requesting a background check, the results depend on the specific databases you want assessed, and those vary premised on if an instant or manual report is being used.  Today we’re differentiating between the two reports and what each one is able to yield.

Time Sensitive?  Instant Reports May Fit the Bill

Some types of information can be accessed immediately in the form of online databases.  While one might assume there is one, national database that documents every crime, that’s not the case.  Instead, a combination of databases can be used that have records reported by state and local municipality courts.  One example of this is the Interstate Identification Index System, from which records from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and State repositories can be shared for some purposes that include employee background checks and government licensing.  But it’s important to keep in mind that a significant amount of state records, whether it be from courts or specific law enforcement outlets either aren’t included or haven’t been adequately updated.  As such, a legitimate issue that runs concurrent with these types of reports is that some local courts aren’t always the best at timely updating national databases, resulting in incomplete reports, and the content of information available depends on an individual state.

Manual for Robust Screening

Manual, also known as repository reports are manually recovered by a court reporter.  The source is direct, from the state and/or federal databases and are updated to be current, making sure all information is available.  These reports are available at both the county and federal tiers, and it’s up to an employer to decide what issue(s) they feel are important to screen for.  As the name suggests, the manual report takes more effort and will typically cost a bit more than the instant version(s), but this type of advanced background check will further ensure nothing slips through the cracks, which is often integral to protecting a business or organization.

Whether you need a criminal background check, reasonable suspicion drug testing or want more information on the process, don’t hesitate to contact Employment Screening Services.  With an actual background in law enforcement, we pride ourselves on our ability to protect and serve all employers, to ensure they hire, and retain the most trustworthy candidates to help their business grow.

Why E-Verify is Critical for ESS Clients

U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This diverse workforce contributes greatly to the vibrancy and strength of our economy, but that same strength also attracts unauthorized employment.

Employment Screening Services can protect your organization from investigation and fines related to violations that you may not even realize you may be committing.

Did you know that E-Verify, though seemingly easy to use, has strict policies that could result in your company being fined, in upwards of $3,200? For example, in the event that there was an error in the hiring process, and your company failed to comply with Form I-9 requirements, you will be fined at the very least $110, but potentially up to $1,100.

Other factors, like document fraud, such as forging documents or not ensuring accurate information will result in a $375 dollar fine. See the infographic for more in depth analysis of the fines associated with various infractions.

Failure to comply with the regulations of I-9 and E-Verify can result in more than just economic ramifications. Lack of attention to detail in this facet of documentation also puts you at risk legally, as well as the public reputation of your company. Don’t let oversight put your corporate image in a bad light.

All of our employees here at ESS have reviewed all of the rules and regulations of E-Verify in depth. We have extensive experience working with E-Verify, having used the service since 2011. We can watch over all of your documentation with I-9 and E-Verify, so you can get back to running your business and not agonize over Government regulations.

For employee verification and other pre employment screening services, please give Employment Screening Services a call today!