Embezzlement is a type of white-collar crime that covers a wide range of illegal activities. The Legal Information Institute defines embezzlement as the fraudulent taking of personal property by someone to whom it was entrusted. In the case of employee embezzlement, all that must be proven in Minnesota and all other states is one of two things: the employee either had possession of the goods or funds or had substantial control over them by virtue of his or her title or job description or by the practices within the company.
Bizmanualz.com sets forth numerous types of embezzlement. The most obvious type involves cash. Employees can keep the cash from sales instead of putting it in the cash register or other designated repository. They can take cash from the petty cash drawer or from unattended purses, wallets or briefcases belonging to other employees. They also can embezzle the negotiable instruments of their employer. Examples include forging their name to company checks or money orders or misusing refund authorizations or credit and debit memos to manipulate accounts.
Wire transfer embezzlement entails an employee falsifying, altering or manipulating company accounts or faxed transfer instructions. Often this is done in conjunction with computer embezzlement whereby an information technology or data processing employee devises ways to skim money off some or all customer transactions and electronically place it in different accounts for their own benefit.
Credit embezzlement is a frequent occurrence among employees. Here they misuse customer credit card numbers or their inactive or dormant accounts to get unauthorized cash advances. They may also create “ghost” employees for purposes of payroll fraud or “ghost” persons or entities to receive stolen or forged checks.
Unfortunately, only the imagination of embezzlers limits the ways in which they can steal, convert or misappropriate the property of someone else to or for their own benefit.