Today a staffer at Mediaworks has been sentenced for defrauding the company of nearly half a million dollars.
Employee fraud is a serious matter, and can hit large and small companies alike, even when there are safeguards in place. For small businesses in particular the fraud may not make the headlines, but can be tip them over the edge.
As a broker I have seen several situations over the years that have hurt companies. A well known franchise, who believed themselves secure, lost $80,000. A large electronic repair service $75,000.
Trust is often the key. When an individual is in a position of trust within a company, scrutiny becomes laxer and the incidence of fraud is hard to pick up for long periods.
It can be fuelled by lifestyle, or a secret addiction, like gambling. The pressing needs of a loved one, perhaps in the form of illness can also push individuals to begin the deception. If an initial attempt goes undetected, it regularises the behaviour, which continues and grows.
Businesses need to vigilant. According to American CPA’s Gross Mendelsohn, watch for some telltale signs:
- Reluctance to take anything but the shortest breaks.
- Spending on items incongruous with their payscale.
- Frequent Overtime work or staying late in the office
- Regularly taking work home
But that can sometimes not be enough.
Fidelity Insurance, sometimes called Employee Fraud or Crime cover, is there to assist when a hidden case is eventually discovered. Most modern policies will be triggered as long as a loss to the company can be shown – which is far easier to do than the older style of policy, which required a successful prosecution before a payout could be made.
A good Management Liability suite of covers should include a Fidelity cover.
To make sure your business is covering all its bases, talk to RDi Insurance for a full review of your requirements.
The NZ Herald is reporting that
A Former MediaWorks staffer who misused company credit cards and created fictitious invoices to the tune of more than $450,000 has been sent to prison for three years.
Rebecca Maree Boyce, 28, of Onehunga, appeared in the Auckland District Court this afternoon to be sentenced on 25 charges covering just over two years of her employment with the media company from 2013.
The bulk of allegedly stolen cash came from her dishonestly using 69 invoices from another company, which netted her $233,967 from the end of 2013 to mid-2015.
During that time she is also accused of using 34 invoices from a different entity which scored her $122,302.
Her charges include five counts of forgery, five of using a false document and 15 of dishonestly using a document.
According to court documents, the woman used the money to splurge on concert tickets, high-end designer clothing and general household items.
Judge Taumanu said Boyce ran eight “distinct” schemes over the period of her offending which involved sophisticated invoicing arrangements.
One of the schemes involved putting her bank details in the place of another company’s and invoicing MediaWorks.
See the full story here nzherald