How Common is Embezzlement?

Posted by Ryan Russman | Oct 28, 2013 | 0 Comments

Have you ever wondered how common embezzlement is? Just look at some recent New Hampshire headlines.

“Former NH accountant pleads guilty to embezzlement”

“Police: Manager siphoned cash from gas station”

“Embezzlement charge involves care for child”

“Cub Scout treasurer indicted on embezzlement charges”

Who Are These People?
Embezzlers come from all occupations, from the lowest paid clerk to the highest paid fiscal officer, and from the largest corporations to the smallest businesses. Why is it so prevalent?

Most embezzlers rationalize their behavior. Perhaps the wrongdoer doesn't think he makes enough money or feels he is being over-worked. Maybe a mother feels the only way she can keep her family afloat is to dip into the business' petty cash drawer occasionally. The fiscal officer overseeing large amounts of money makes himself believe that a little bit missing won't be noticed.

This is the stuff from which fraud and embezzlement is committed. It has no social or business boundaries.

Persons holding positions of trust are usually the ones that commit this crime. Usually, these people are the last ones anyone would accuse. Trust is the one component that differentiates the crime of embezzlement from stealing.

What are the Embezzlement Statistics?
According to the National White Collar Crime Center, it is estimated that employee theft and embezzlement cost businesses and organizations $400 billion per year.

The FBI Financial Crimes Report to the Public estimates that financial crimes account for approximately thirty to fifty percent of all business failures.

The recently published Marquet Report on Embezzlement highlights statistical data on the 416 major embezzlement cases (theft of over $100,000) in the United States in 2009. The report shows that New Hampshire had five major cases in 2009, and has one of the highest loss ratios in the country at 1.69%. Based on various indicators, the report defines loss ratios as those greater than 1.0, showing that these states in the U.S. have a “greater loss propensity from major embezzlement cases than expected.”

In most U.S. states, embezzlement is a felony. New Hampshire is one of those states who consider it a felony when the amount exceeds $1,000.
As the statistics indicate, embezzlement is prevalent in today's workplace. Consequently, more sophisticated education is being given to businesses and organizations so that owners and managers can detect the kinds of behavior that might signal workplace theft and fraud.

New Hampshire's punishment for embezzlement is very stringent. Because charges of fraud and embezzlement are so serious, people who feel their employer is watching them, or those that have been accused of this crime, need to seek the counsel of a professional and experienced embezzlement attorney immediately.

About the Author

Ryan Russman

Attorney Ryan Russman has dedicated his career to fighting for the rights of New Hampshire citizens. His practice, based in Exeter (Rockingham County) New Hampshire, is limited to cases involving DWI and DUI, other motor vehicle and criminal cases, and many cases involving personal injury. He is, however, best known as one of New Hampshire's leading legal authorities on DWI.


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