Were They Forged Checks?
The hardest type of check tampering scheme to defend against is one where the crook is an authorized signor on the account. The trickster simply signs checks made out in their own name and then deposits them into their own account. Often these employees hold positions as bookkeepers or accountants and work with little or no oversight. Working alone they competently perform their duties of writing checks and; verifying to you that the banking transactions are indeed accurate. Allowing them cart blanch when it comes to stealing you blind.
This is what happened Angela Buckhorogh Platt did to J & J Materials; perhaps the largest landscaping and masonry supply company in the Rhode Island area. From 1999 to 2006 Platt embezzled $6.9 M. Her scheme wasn’t sophisticated and could have been detected, even prevented. The opportunity presented itself and she had the means to conceal the crime, without which the crime could not have happened.
When taking about employee frauds, forgery or forged check schemes many will advise first to have a separation of duties*, then random audits and third, requiring employee’s to take vacation. But what if your business is so small you only have one or two people? What if a separation of duties isn’t possible? I have the answer.
I propose a more pro-active approach to employee fraud prevention, one that will not only detect ongoing frauds but prevent new ones from occurring. One that will arm business owners with need-to-know information, provide counter-tactics to combat employee fraud schemes in their business.
J & J Materials was forced to lay off 35 workers due to the losses, when Platt plead guilty in 2007 she was sentenced to 4 years for her crime but was released in 2009 after serving over just two years of her sentence.