The red flags of embezzlement: What companies look for

Embezzlement is a common criminal act that many Pennsylvania residents have been accused of, and some of them wrongly so. Often, inappropriate embezzlement charges come about because an office worker exhibited the so-called “warning signs” of embezzlement, which triggered a red flag with the employer. Here are some of the most common red flags of embezzlement:

1. An unusual decrease in profits

2. Disorganized records

3. Suspicious changes in accounting records

4. Numerous credits attributed to a particular customer

5. Employees who are in charge of finances, work late, work on weekends and don’t take vacations

6. An employee who has improved his or her standard of living dramatically

7. Missing documentation

8. Delayed bank deposits

9. Customers who say that they are being asked to pay bills twice

10. Increased numbers of past due accounts

11. Check amounts have been changed

12. Making duplicate payments

13. Numerous outstanding checks on bank reconciliations

14. Numerous payments to people with the same address or same name

15. Vendors have the same address as the employee

16. Late bank reconciliations

17. Accounts receivable without balances

18. A disappearing petty cash fund

It’s important to note that just because someone exhibits an embezzlement red flag, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is guilty of stealing money from his or her employer. Indeed, many of these “red flags” mentioned above could be dismissed with various explanations. Hopefully, if your employer has wrongly accused you of embezzlement, you can successfully explain the situation. If you can’t, and criminal charges arise, you will have the chance to defend yourself in court. Make sure that you are fully prepared for your criminal defense and understand the various criminal statutes at play.