4 Steps to Take If You Suspect an Employee is Embezzling

4 Steps to Take If You Suspect an Employee is Embezzling

Whether you are a manager in a large corporation or the owner of a small business that has only a handful of employees, you always hope those who are working for you can be trusted. While most people can, there are times when an employee you thought was trustworthy could be suspected of embezzlement. If you find yourself dealing with this situation, here are four steps you should take immediately.

1- Don’t Ignore the Warning Signs

In almost all embezzlement cases large or small, employers often ignore warning signs that are often in plain sight. The most common warning signs include an employee who suddenly starts working odd hours when few people are around, unusual financial activities such as duplicate payments or transactions, or missing financial documents such as invoices or receipts that may be getting destroyed by the embezzler.

2- Keep the Investigation Confidential

You should also keep your investigation confidential while you try to figure out if one of your employees is in fact embezzling from your company. Should you jump to conclusions and start telling others the person may be guilty only to find out later you were wrong, chances are you and your company will be facing a defamation of character lawsuit initiated by the accused employee.

3- Contact an Attorney

As soon as you suspect embezzlement may be taking place, always contact an attorney to find out how you should proceed, what your legal options will be as the case plays out, and how you and your company should work with law enforcement to conduct your investigation. In these situations, it is always best if you work with an attorney who is experienced dealing with cases of employee theft and embezzlement. By doing so, they can advise you as to the possible criminal and civil proceedings that may follow in the weeks and months ahead.

4- Limit Their Access

As soon as you suspect an employee may be embezzling from your company, do all you can to limit their access to software systems, sensitive company data, and your company’s financial accounts. However, it will be important that you do this in a manner that will not raise their suspicion. If you fail to do so and the embezzler catches on that you may suspect them, they may change up their activities and be able to evade capture. On the other hand, they may panic at the thought of being caught and find a way to escape before being captured by police. To accomplish this successfully, you will need to have the advice and guidance of your attorney and law enforcement personnel, especially those who specialize in forensic accounting and white-collar crimes.

Though it can be disheartening to think about a long-time employee breaking your trust by embezzling from your company, it is vital that you maintain your focus and follow the steps mentioned here during your investigation. By doing so, you will know once and for all whether your suspicions were justified or if any financial irregularities were nothing but honest mistakes.

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