13Feb

Funeral Company Employee Tried to Bury Her $9.5 Mil. Embezzlement

Charges Brought on Mail/Wire Fraud, Money Laundering and Tax Evasion

Charges have been brought against a former employee of a large funeral products company for the largest embezzlement in Western Pennsylvania history. The investigation revealed that more than $9.5 million had been stolen over a 15 year period. The perpetrator has been cooperating with investigators and is expected to plead guilty at a March court hearing.

In order to help pay restitution, the former treasury specialist has forfeited what amounts to a 65 page listing of properties and items purchased with the proceeds of the stolen money. It includes multiple houses, a yacht, cars, jewelry, power tools, and many other items.  

To read the full story and find a detailed list of the items, click here.

How Could Something Like This Go on for 15 Years?

The company in question has not revealed how this type of crime went undetected for such a long period.  However, at a high level, it seems the right type of oversight and controls were not in place and/or not followed, if they were in place.

Although we all want to, and should, trust our employees, it is our obligation as managers to verify that duties are being carried out faithfully and legally.  This requires that stringent policies and procedures be established and implemented to ensure business thrives and grows. These should include:

  • Regular audits by experienced third parties

  • Periodic and random record reconciliation of invoices and payments

  • Separation of accounting duties

  • Enforcement of vacation time and switching of accounting duties among employees

  • Regular review by upper management of policy enforcement

Before a Loss Occurs…

Make sure your clients have crime insurance. Trying to recover stolen funds from a perpetrator offers no guarantee of success. Take the steps to ensure that your clients are covered and call one of the Berkley Crime team members listed below.

Call Berkley Crime today, we’ll help you and your clients get the right coverage, quickly.

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National Practice Leader
Sean Missal
(860) 466-7377
smissal@berkleycrime.com

Mid-West Regional Mgr.
Michael Beranek
(501) 707-6548
mberanek@berkleycrime.com

East Regional Manager
Matt McNamara 
(212) 497-3707
mmcnamara@berkleycrime.com

Amanda VanCauwenberge 
(312) 730-1101
avancauwenberge@berkleycrime.com

Patricia Logan 
(212) 497-3708
plogan@berkleycrime.com

Thomas Trieloff
(312) 705-1132
ttrieloff@berkleycrime.com

Cheryl Yorio 
(860) 466-7379
cyorio@berkleycrime.com

Everton Barrington, FLMI
(860) 466-7376
ebarrington@berkleycrime.com

Alexander Doerflein 
(212) 497-3724
adoerflein@berkleycrime.com

West Regional Manager
Jennifer Maggi 
(213) 417-5467
jmaggi@berkleycrime.com

Adam Pardi 
(212) 497-3704
apardi@berkleycrime.com

 

Steve Nguyen 
(925) 472-8233
snguyen@berkleycrime.co

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