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What to do if you suspect embezzlement in your business

Business owners across Houston depend on their employees. Some business owners are very close with their employees and interact with them on a daily basis. Others keep things strictly professional and may not have very much interaction with them.

Regardless of the relationship you have with your employees, it can be devastating to learn that one of them is stealing from you. In this post, we examine some warning signs of embezzlement, signs of who might be involved, and what you can do to protect your company from embezzlement.

Be aware of signs of embezzlement

As noted in this FindLaw article, there are numerous warning signs that an employee might be stealing money from your company. Some of the warning signs include:

  • an unusual decrease in company profits;
  • unusually disorganized accounting records;
  • unusual, missing, or duplicate payments;
  • delayed bank deposits; and
  • vendors not receiving issued payments.

Consider who might be involved

Once you suspect embezzlement, look for signs of who might be stealing the money. Signs that an employee might be embezzling include:

  • the employee suddenly enjoys a change in his standard of living, despite not receiving any type of raise or bonus;
  • the employee stays late and works on weekends without the workload to necessitate extra hours; and
  • the employee exhibits signs of addiction to gambling, alcohol or drugs.

Investigate your suspicions

Before you get ahead of yourself and start making accusations, you need to do some investigation. This might involve:

  • performing audits;
  • talking to supervisors and other employees about any erratic or unusual behaviors exhibited by the suspected employee;
  • reviewing daily transactions; or
  • examining vendor records and contact information for inconsistencies and duplication.

Take legal action

Should you find actual evidence of theft, contact law enforcement. It is also crucial that you consult with an attorney as soon as you suspect embezzlement. An attorney can help you understand the lawful ways to investigate embezzlement, and guide you through the process of lawfully terminating the employee and/or taking legal action against him.

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