You don’t go into business hoping to be betrayed, but it happens. Unfortunately, there are times when a trusted partner or employee can decide to cross over the line and embezzle money from your company.
The first thing you need to do is take a deep breath and relax. Before you confront your business partner, you must ensure that you have enough proof that they actually committed a crime. Even if you are 99% sure that your instincts are correct, there are plenty of ways that someone can deny wrongdoing if they think they might get caught.
That is why working with a lawyer and a professional private investigation team is essential. You wouldn’t want to make an accusation that is false and end up in an even worse situation.
What is Embezzlement?
Embezzlement is the act of stealing money or property from a place where you have a duty to protect it, usually through your employment. Therefore, if your boss has entrusted you with money from the company and you take it without permission, this is embezzlement.
Embezzlement can be divided into two categories: personal and corporate. Personal embezzlement refers to the act of an employee who steals money or property that belongs to their employer. Corporate embezzlement involves employees stealing funds from their companies for personal use instead of using them in ways that benefit the company and its owners.
There are many levels and shades of embezzlement legally according to the industry you serve and the location you live. Different courts will have varying requirements for evidence in these kinds of cases.
Another term used interchangeably with embezzlement is fraud. Both terms describe instances where someone steals something they shouldn’t have access to. Even though both terms are used in criminal cases involving financial misconduct, the definitions differ slightly. Fraud entails intentionally deceiving someone into giving up something valuable (such as money). Embezzlement doesn’t require intentional deception on the part of the thief but instead focuses on what was taken.
What are the Signs of Embezzlement?
Embezzlement is a form of theft, but it can be challenging to detect since there is frequently no evidence left behind. If you suspect that your business partner has embezzled funds from your company, you may want to take steps to ensure that the money returns and/or prevent future acts of embezzlement. Signs could include:
- Missing financial documents
- Vendors going unpaid for services and goods you never see
- Customers paying “unpaid” bills
- Unusual account withdrawals or checks
- Shrinking profits when you are doing extremely well
- Disappearing cash or products
- And more!
If you believe that someone has been stealing from your company and you wish to pursue legal action against them, hiring an attorney may be necessary in order for them to successfully recover stolen funds from an accused party. Before that, you need a private investigator to uncover verifiable evidence that will hold up in court.
The most crucial step in the process of bringing your partner or employee to justice is documenting everything. This means that you need to keep a record of all the money that was taken, what it was used for, and how it went missing. Without this record, there’s no way you can prove your case or even get justice.
Consult a Private Investigator
Hiring a private investigator to help you gather evidence and find the truth is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your business, and your sanity. A good private investigator will be able to help you get justice in court by providing all of the evidence needed to convict an embezzler. They will also be able to recover money that’s been stolen from your company, which is invaluable if it makes up a large portion of your income or savings.
The most experienced investigators have been working on cases like this for years. At Privin Network, we have private investigators with accounting and forensic backgrounds who understand the key signals of embezzlement and how to successfully navigate uncovering evidence of the crime while keeping clients’ identities confidential throughout their investigations.
Talk to an Attorney
If you suspect that a partner or employee is embezzling from your business, it’s important to consult with an attorney immediately. An attorney can help you understand your legal options and provide guidance on the best way to proceed.
You should also consider getting a second opinion from another qualified professional before taking any action against this person. This will help protect you from making expensive mistakes later on in the process.
Never Make Acquisitions or Threats on Your Own
When you suspect a business partner of embezzlement, you must be careful not to make any moves that could jeopardize your case. It’s important to remember that this is not a time for rash decisions.
Never make accusations on your own!
Don’t go running around telling everyone what you think happened. If the situation is true, it will come out eventually anyway. Don’t risk getting sued or opening yourself up to slander charges by making accusations without knowing all the facts first.
Get Law Enforcement Involved
Once you have consulted an attorney and have evidence gathered from a professional private investigator like ours at Privin, then get law enforcement involved. In many cases, a local detective or sheriff’s office will be able to help you determine if a crime has been committed and what steps you need to take next. Be aware that it may be necessary to enlist the assistance of federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI or U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) if your situation involves interstate commerce or federal entities.
Embezzlement cases are often one of the “sexier” crimes that end up in the newspapers and online. It can lead to challenging marketing issues with your brand or business interests. That is why you must go about this process as carefully as possible. You do not want any negative press based on local fallout.
Privin can Help!
If you’re a business owner who suspects embezzlement, it’s important to act fast and not stay silent. The sooner you find evidence of wrongdoing, the less damage is done, and the easier it will be for you to overcome this difficult time in your professional life.
In addition to hiring professionals with corporate investigations experience, we also encourage you to work with law enforcement officers or other legal professionals who can help protect your rights and those belonging to others who may be affected by these crimes.
At Privin, we have experts who specifically work with embezzlement cases. Many of our private investigators come from law enforcement backgrounds who understand the unique evidentiary needs of this kind of case and can ask you the probing questions necessary to uncover the truth. This is a serious crime that can make a significant impact on the operation and reputation of your business interests. Contact our team today and let us handle the groundwork of putting together all the evidence you need to move forward.