Embezzlement is a tricky term. During her work as a bail bondsman in Oklahoma City, Laurie Poole has come to realize that many people – clients and colleagues included – do not know what the term really means. This is why she tries her hardest to shed light on the subject; hoping to spread the knowledge in the direction of those that really need to utilize it.
For starters, embezzlement is an offense that occurs when a person deliberately withholds or uses assets and monies for something other than the intended purpose. In other words, you might have heard embezzlement referred to as “financial fraud” or even “larceny”. While embezzlement is often committed by an employee working in finances or an individual directly linked to the qualifying assets, that is not always the case.
As a white-collar crime, embezzlement can affect companies of any size – or even singular individuals. In legal terms, embezzlement can also range from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the specifics of the crime. The qualifying factor on whether or not embezzlement is a felony depends on the total amount of money or the value of the assets taken. For most states, felony embezzlement is the theft of anything over $2,500.
There are a large variety of different types of embezzlement. A few examples include siphoning, lapping, and kickbacks. Siphoning is usually accomplished by employees working at registers in stores and restaurants. By pocketing money from the register while cleaning up the discrepancies left behind, the employees are successfully siphoning money – or committing embezzlement. Lapping, similar to siphoning, is typically found in the area of a company that accepts incoming payments from customers and/or vendors.
Kickbacks, on the other hand, refer to those involved in purchasing activities from an organization becoming victims to embezzlers via kickbacks. When a vendor sells company materials in relation to their business, they are typically offering deals in exchange for future business. In some cases, the vendor will inflate the prices of their materials in an effort to achieve personal profit in addition to company profit. Out of the three types listed here, dozens of other variations also exist.
As a woman working in the Oklahoma bail bonds area of expertise, Laurie makes it a point to know the different variations of embezzlement. Furthermore, she also makes it a point to know ways of identifying embezzlement for clients, friends, and/or colleagues that might be none the wiser. When working in the business world, it is important to recognize these identifying factors of possible embezzlers:
Sudden changes in financial metrics that make no sense
Employees acting overprotective of work-related things
Signs of financial suffering or discontentment
Problems with transaction records
If you suspect that you or your business might be a victim of embezzlement, there are several things you should and should not do. For starters, DO call your lawyer. Do NOT alert your employees. DO discuss the possibility in private quarters. Do NOT make changes to your banking, vendors, or systems. With careful consultation, the situation can be handled without consequence for you or your business.