Stealing on the job
If an employee gets away with stealing once, investigators say they usually do it again and again. They get greedy, which usually leads to getting caught. But very often, the damage is done.
Dawn Webb was questioned by police investigating an embezzlement scheme. For 15 years, Webb worked at a law firm as a legal assistant and now she's a suspect.
"The law office was responsible for collecting money or suing individuals that had not paid for their apartment rent or hadn't paid a bill. A financial bill," Laura Carter, a U.S. Postal Inspector, told us.
Specifically, Webb's job was to accept those payments, record them in the law firm's books and deposit the funds. But that's not what happened.
"She would add her name in the payee portion, take it to her local bank and cash the check," Carter said.
In all, authorities say she took in more than $118,000. Colleagues were stunned when they found out.
"Long term employee, over 15 years she had been working at this law office, she wouldn't have been on anyone's radar because of the trust they had in her," Carter said.
Postal inspectors say Webb used the money on gambling, cosmetic surgery and personal expenses.
According to Carter, "She created the ledger with all the money coming in and there was nobody checking that ledger."
Postal inspectors say all businesses - big and small need to make sure they have checks and balances in place.
"Always do some type of an audit of your books. Make sure that the funds coming in are actually the funds you are receiving."
Internal checks and balances and audits are the best ways to detect theft and fraud. By the way, Dawn Webb pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year and one day in jail.
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