Employee theft is a rapidly growing crime in the United States, statistically, nearly one-third of all employees commit some degree of employee theft. Employee theft costs employers billions of dollars in annual losses, these losses are eventually passed on to the consumer who must then share the financial burden of employee theft.
According to the National Retail Federation (2010), 60% of inventory losses are caused by employees; moreover, the FBI cites employee theft as the fastest growing crime in America. Another statistical fact according to the National Retail Federation (2010), U.S. retailers and small businesses lose an estimated $40 billion dollars annually. Workplace theft is a serious crime and if not dealt with accordingly, they too could end up being in the 30 percentile of corporate bankruptcy due to employee theft. The banking industry reports losses of over one billion dollars annually because of employee theft, greater than the amount taken in bank robberies many times over. Recent reports have found that employee theft is increasing at a rate of fifteen percent annually.
Employee theft can encompass many activities including but not limited to faking an on the job injury for compensation, unlawful taking of merchandise, stealing money, forging or destroying receipts, shipping and billing scams, placing fictitious employees on payroll, and falsifying expense reports. Employee theft may be a simple isolated event carried out by one individual or a highly organized and sophisticated scheme to acquire substantial financial or material gain. Employee theft can range from petty theft acquisitions valued below a specified dollar amount or may be grand theft, whereby the losses exceed the value established through state and federal legal statutes.
There are many things that employers can do to prevent employee theft, for example, an employer can implement stringent hiring practices by contacting CIS to conduct in depth background checks on employees whereby yielding more trustworthy employees.
When a person is charged with workplace theft, a number of legal consequences follow, for example, an employer may handle the incident internally or contact the local police. Workplace theft is a serious criminal offense and an individual charged with such an offense, may subsequently receive jail or prison time, steep fines, and restitution. If you would like to learn more about employee theft, please contact us to speak to a professional investigator.