Sure. We’ve all done it – slipped an office pile of Post-Its into our purse or grabbed a cool pen, but for most folks, that’s where lifting office supplies ends. But, that’s not the case with these bad hires. HRMorning.com, a network of news, opinion and more for HR pros, shares a few examples of in-house theft and employee fraud that will make you think twice about that next new hire.
A million in made-up expenses: A former medical company manager got reimbursed for more than $1.2 million in false expenses. The employee set up fake companies, created fake invoices and turned in fake expense reports for payments he had supposedly made to companies on his employer’s behalf. The FBI caught on and the employee was sentenced to five years in prison. What was his undoing? In addition to poorly named fake companies like Rep Med Services, one of the fake addresses was an entrance ramp to a freeway.
Biting the hand that feeds you. One company hired a former “professional” thief as a theft-prevention specialist because of his “real-life expertise” in the security field. In this case, a former embezzler was hired by a communications company as a “theft-prevention specialist.” However, rather than offering protection, the employee ended up writing himself checks on company stock — signed with a signature stamp of a co-worker — cashing the checks, then destroying the canceled checks that were returned to the company. He made false entries in the company’s books to cover his actions. Before he was caught, he had taken more than $1.1 million.
A professional juror? A postal worker managed to milk the USPS out of nearly $40,000 in unearned wages over a total of 144 days by claiming he was serving jury duty on an extended federal trial (the USPS worker fabricated court paperwork to support his reimbursement because he was excused before the deliberations began). He would’ve gotten away with it if he didn’t try his luck again — three years later. After a supervisor caught on, he plead guilty to fraud — in the same federal courthouse where he claimed to have spent over 100 days fulfilling his civic duties.
Small change? Maybe not! A former transit employee pilfered almost $375,000 from his company the old-fashioned way. Over the course of seven years, the former fare counter took coins home with him by hiding them in his bag. That’s an average of $200 per day in quarters, dimes and nickels.