Embezzlement on the Rise in Nashville

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Small businesses in Nashville, TN are making it easy for employees to steal. Nashville police said they have investigated more embezzlement charges than ever before and blame the economic crisis for the rise in white collar crime. People are more willing than ever to risk everything to earn a few more dollars, and small businesses are the perfect target.

"When there's a lack of oversight, there's room for fraud," said Lieutenant Mickey Garner with the Metro police Fraud Unit. One employee began writing small checks with to herself from a small orthopedics group. She kept writing checks, and since she never got caught she ended up embezzling more than $230,000.

Small business often think that pre-employment checks are not worth the cost. Some businesses only hire one or two people a year and like to trust their gut. The simplest check could save you thousands of dollars. Most criminals are repeat offenders and will strike again given the opportunity.

Another "Somebody ought to write the checks, somebody work the accounts, that way you have two people. Maybe they can check out each other and make sure one's not doing what they shouldn't be," says Garner.

Most people who are caught embezzling are sentenced to probation and rarely forced to pay back the money they stole.


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