Georgia Woman Sentenced for Embezzling $1.27M

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Handcuffed hands behind bars

Former controller of a California based company was sentenced to federal prison after she pleaded guilty for embezzling over $1.27M from her now bankrupt former employer.

Since 2015 the former employee had been working remotely from her Blue Ridge home in Georgia for the nation’s largest event rental companies. One of her primary responsibilities was reconciling and recording employee’s corporate card transactions. For more than a year the former employee charged over $1.2M in unauthorized personal expenses to a corporate credit card issued in her name.

The former controller manipulated transaction reports from the corporate credit card company by deleting the unauthorized transactions from the spreadsheets and then presenting the manipulated data to conceal the credit card transactions. She also recorded fraudulent entries within the accounting system. She used her position of trust to hide those charges from her supervisors and colleagues.

Sentencing included two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. She has also been ordered to pay $1,274,907.35 in restitution to the victims.

Click here to read more.

Prevent This From Happening to YOU!

Many companies provide corporate credit cards to employees for a wide range of reasons. However, the possession of a corporate credit card can prove, for some, all too tempting to misuse, particularly if the threat of detection is considered by employees to be low. This is why it is important to institute dual controls so there is a separation of duties for any payment processes. The following are some additional recommendations from Fraud Matters Newsletter of CPA America (reprinted by Stonebridge Business Partners) to help prevent this from happening in your company:

  • To effectively reduce the threat of credit card fraud, monitor credit card activity closely – and let your employees know that you are watching.
  • Receive credit card statements intact and review them.  Credit card statements can be altered, revised or edited.
  • Review credit card activity for the type of expenditure, the vendor and the reasonableness of the amount.  Do the types of transactions and the amounts seem reasonable for the organization and user.
  • Insist on receipts.  As the credit card is used, insist that original receipts be obtained as part of the documentation for the expenditure.  Do not let the invoice, the credit card receipt or the credit card statement be the only supporting piece of documentation.

Click here to see the full list of safeguards to help reduce the threat of internal credit card fraud.

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