Embezzlement is when an employee steals money from a business or organization. It happens everywhere, but in small towns in Minnesota, it may more prevalent than anyone knows. Small towns across the country often run into financial trouble due to workers stealing from the budget. It may seem as if the government should have a handle on its finances, but the very nature of a small town government makes it the prime candidate for embezzlement.
According to the New York Times, there are several reasons why embezzlement often goes unnoticed in small towns, making the damage add up. To begin with, there is little supervision of those in power. While the state ultimately has the right to check the books and monitor each local government, it does not stay on top of things. Even when it does do an audit, bookkeeping in these governments are often not done properly or even in an organized manner. Furthermore, many of the people in power have little to no training on how to do their jobs. Think about your local mayor or city council. Many of them likely have no formal education or training in how to run a government. This makes it simple for errors to occur and for someone who has the desire to take money to do so.
In addition, there is large amount of money passing through these localities. Just consider the money you pay in taxes, fees and fines. They are dealing with a lot of money and if records are not kept properly, it is very easy for someone to take a little here and there. It is also easy for fake fees or fines to be imposed without anyone batting an eye. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.