Embezzlement during employment 5

Frequently our clients tell us that it is time to ‘separate the wheat from the chaff’ for once and for all. It became evident that management can go through rough times when during introductions one of our clients informed us about several suspicious findings.

Lately our client had found many empty packaging in one of his chain stores. He was aware that his stock was popular, but not that popular that customers could not wait to open the packaging until they got home.

We were then requested to seek verification of his disturbing suspicions. Once our consultants had absorbed the details of the case they commenced their tactical investigation.

At first, technical investigation tools were employed, after which we conducted interviews with the employee who was nominated as the most loyal employee of the store. It soon became clear that the notion of ‘blurring of moral standards’ was going to be a recurring theme in this investigation.

BN in the meantime had obtained a list of employees, as well as a list of persons working in external services such as cleaning and security. The most loyal employee was not amazed at all that an investigation was being carried out and had known things would go wrong sometime. Numbers 2 and 3 were not astonished either about the loss in ‘their’ store.

Again and again remarks were made such as ‘the system is full of loopholes’ and ‘just take a look at our enormous stocks’. In other words, the absence of an effective code of conduct in which the internal rules were distinctively recorded attributed to the fact that none of the employees had an appreciation of the term ‘mine and thine’.

The investigation established that goods had been embezzled on a regular and structured basis and then sold illegally. An entirely private market had been set up. In this way a complete network of thieves and fences had been created where the lifestyle centered around the notion of more, more, more. Even two retail trainees had been included in the network.

At the end of the line, three employees were summarily dismissed and the trainees were refused entry to the shop and to their school. Our client has finally separated the wheat from the chaff. We are still looking for the wheat in this store!


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