A Lewisville woman pleaded guilty last month to embezzling over $29 million from a charitable foundation and several other companies run by the family of a late Texas representative.
The 74 year old bookkeeper for the family’s companies admitted in court that, beginning as early as 2012, she began abusing her power as the bookkeeper for the family’s companies and using her signatory authority over the companies’ bank accounts to fraudulently write at least 175 checks, which she deposited into her personal account.
Prosecutors said that in order to hide the scheme the former bookkeeper provided falsified paperwork to tax preparers that misstated the year-end cash-on-hand numbers for the multiple accounts she was embezzling from. She used over $25 million of the stolen money to fund the construction business she presided over as president.
The Lewisville woman pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and faces up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing, which has not been scheduled yet. The FBI is also investigating the case.
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Prevent This From Happening To YOU!
Employee fraud is more common than most business owners realize. In fact, employee theft is one of the most serious problems facing small business owners in the U.S. According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), an employee is 15 times more likely than a non-employee to steal from an employer. Oftentimes there are signs of ongoing employee fraud. Here are 6 red flags that can help you spot employee fraud:
- Financial discrepancies. This sign takes form in several ways, such as an unexplained increase in purchases or inaccurate invoices.
- Secretive behavior. An employee who refuses to have you check or share processes regarding work may be committing fraud.
- Long working hours. While some companies appreciate employees’ commitment to the company, unusual work hours may be a red flag.
- Suspicious lavish lifestyle. According to ACFE, 39% of fraudsters start living beyond their means.
- Unexplained closeness with a vendor or customer. ACFE’s 2022 study showed that 20% of those committing employee fraud have a strange closeness to a particular vendor or a customer.
- Multiple complaints and tips regarding the employee. Another key finding of the ACFE is that tips detected 42% of fraud cases.
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Make sure your clients have crime insurance. Take the steps to ensure that your clients are covered by calling one of the Berkley Crime team members listed below.
|National Practice Leader|
|East Regional Manager/Commercial Crime Product Leader|
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|Financial Institution Product Leader|
|Renewal Team Leader|