By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – What does your average embezzler look like? Not what you think.
You may think of an embezzler as some slick mustache-twirling chap with an evil laugh. In fact, according to a study of 2014 federal court cases put out by insurance company Hiscox USA, they rarely twirl their mustaches while committing crimes. Sixty percent of embezzlers were female, and the median age was 50.
Not Snidely Whiplash, but Shirley from accounting. Embezzlement is the crime of taking property that was entrusted to you and using it for your own personal gain, like the bookkeeper who balances the company’s checkbook and writes checks to her personal bank account.
By definition it’s a crime committed by a person who has the business’ trust. The best way for a company to protect itself is by having more than one person with eyes on the account rather than putting all the financial power in the hands of a single employee.
And, be aware, just because Shirley has grey hair and has been with you for thirty years that no one is above supervision.
Also, if she shows up in a brand new Porsche, think to ask how she can afford it on the salary you think you’re paying her.