If there is one thing that has come to the fore in recent times, it is the fact that every job and every position can see temptation occur. Even if you think that the role is well-paid and provides people with a great return for their time and effort, there is always likely to be someone who will decide that they would like to earn a little bit more. There will always be an opportunity for people to make a cut for themselves but in the current economic climate, this is not something that businesses can afford to tolerate.
Every penny has to be a prisoner for businesses and if they start to lose money because employees are taking items or making a killing of products, it will eventually start to hurt a business. This is where businesses have to be ruthless. There may be no desire to see anyone lose their job but if the one person stealing or committing fraud isn’t halted in their tracks, it could see everyone lose their job.
This is how serious fraud can be to firms so it makes sense to protect your business by being as harsh as possible. This means that if anyone is found committing fraud or carrying out fraudulent acts, they need to be reported to the police and let the law deal with them.
Businesses need to Set the Right Example
If this doesn’t occur, it will set out the wrong example for the other professionals in the team. They may think what is the point of them working hard to improve the firm if other people are going to steal from the business? There is also the fact that many people will rightly point out that if other people are going to steal from their firm and not be punished, why should they be any different. These are just some of the reasons why businesses and organisations have to be tough on criminals and people who are looking to divert money away from a business.
This is the situation that faced Glemsford Parish Council when a clerk carried out theft and fraud from the firm over a two year period. The 51 year old clerk received £20,000 per year in her role but she took to over-ordering printer cartridges and then took them for herself. Away from work, she sold these items on Amazon and banked the profit. In court, Sara Turner admitted an offence of fraud between the period of September 2009 and September 2011.
She was sentenced to 22 months in jail, albeit this was suspended for a period of two years. This may not have been the punishment that the organisation was looking for in order to send out a message to other employees but they did at least take things to their natural conclusion. That suggests that the organisation will not hold back when it comes to ensuring that thieves and fraudsters are punished in their organisation.
A Curfew has also been Imposed
In addition to the suspended sentence, Turner will be required to meet a ten week curfew which will be electronically monitored. The curfew will see her being forced to remain in her home between 9pm and 6am. She has also been ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service. The presiding judge, when handing out the sentence, stated that Turner had lied continuously throughout the interview conducted by the police and in the initial defence statement. It was only in October of this year that Turner changed her plea to guilty.
Turner had the authority to make purchases of up to £500 at a time and in a two year period, she managed to over-order stationery, which was predominantly printer cartridges, to a total value of £16,000. This was easily far in excess of what was actually needed by the Parish council. There was a further issue in the fact that as Turner bought in bulk, the buying firm was eligible for bonus gifts, which never made their way to the Parish Council.
This style of fraud can be a common one with people desperate to make money any way that they can. This is why there is a growing need for fraud defence specialists who can deal with this sort of case and who can provide the right type of guidance and advice to their clients.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.