Even in a tough economy, good employees can be hard to find. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates three out of four workers steal from their employers. Gone undetected, this can lead to financial hardship and even bankruptcy.
Scam victim Howard Kalina says, "Don't trust anyone with your money"
Kalina knows that owning a business can be taxing, especially when you find out your employees are stealing under your nose.
"How could we be so dumb ?- how did we miss that?"
Howard and Michelle Kalina had a gut instinct that something wasn't right with office finances at their auto dealership. After doing some digging, they discovered their trusted book keeper of nine years was a their. She embezzled nearly $200,000.
Howard Kalina says, "We basically unfolded a scheme where she had been stealing for years and years,
an enormous amount of money… complex bookkeeping, writing checks to herself… stealing automobiles"
The couple reported it to local police who then referred the case to U.S. Postal Inspectors. The employee was convicted on mail fraud charges and ordered to repay the money she stole.
U.S. Postal Inspector Don Washington says, "We always have to prove our cases. We follow the money. We subpoena the bank records of the suspect, we analyze those documents."
The Kalinas recouped their losses thanks to an insurance policy taken out several years prior to protect against employee dishonesty.
Howard maintains, "You can't trust anyone, no matter how long they work for you"
Postal inspectors suggest having more than one person involved and aware of all financial transactions.