As a trusted employment screening company we take pride in helping businesses make smarter hiring decisions. Our industry is vital to public safety, and by implementing a strong employment screening program you not only prevent situations like the one we’re going to outline today, but you also help to promote public safety and moral integrity. Today we wanted to highlight an unfortunate example of how you never truly know someone until you do, and that’s why you always background check.
Here’s the story of a recent employee who stole over $250k from her employer.
From 2016 to 2022 a woman in Orchard Park New York was employed and working as a bookkeeper for her company. The company has not been named in public news. By mislabeling transactions in the company’s accounting software, she helped herself to monies that were not meant for her, and subjected the company to public scrutiny.
For 6 years the individual mislabeled transactions, writing herself a series of checks from the company account, and paying herself several “bonus” checks through the company’s payroll provider. She would purposely mislabel the checks to appear as legitimate business expenses. She did not declare any of the additional payments on her taxes, according to the District Attorney. It wasn’t until someone in the business opened an investigation into irregularities on a company credit card that she’d even be questioned.
Read Full Story: Former Employee Pleads Guilty to Felony Charges for Stealing More Than $250k From Orchard Park Business
The story remains to be seen how an individual could rack up that many transactions for herself from the company account without anyone noticing, but it’s a glaring example of how long standing employees can still prove to be untrustworthy. One can assume that with a tenure of over 5 years and working with the company throughout the pandemic, that this particular employee was trusted to do her job and oversee the company’s financial records. When handing this responsibility to anyone, it should always be monitored and overseen.
Always Be Safe
Who knows how long this individual would have continued this scheme with nobody watching. It is fortunate that this person was eventually caught, and justice will be served, but it should awaken any business owner to the reality that these things are real, and more possible than most of us think.
For her crimes, as part of her plea, she will need to pay $266,963.30 in restitution to the business, and an additional $16,400.33 in restitution to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. That’s not all though, as in November she will be sentenced criminally, and faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Had this company paid more attention to their employees and staffing processes, there may have been a sign that this person was dishonest about something in their background. We can’t assume this person had ever committed this crime, at this level, at another employer, but we can assume there may have been a red flag or two somewhere along the way. No company should ever face this type of public embarrassment, or need to restitute a quarter of a million dollars from an employee.
If you or someone you know wants to learn more about what you can or can’t do to screen an employee, don’t hesitate to reach out. We help companies make better hiring decisions through thorough background screening and affordable drug testing services, and we are proud to do it!