On Special Assignment: Tackling employee theft and white collar - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

On Special Assignment: Tackling employee theft and white collar crime in Billings

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BILLINGS - Business owners know a good employee is better than gold, but one deceptive one can bury a company. 

FBI Special Agent John Teeling said about 90 percent of his caseload -- surrounds employee embezzlement. It's generally not sophisticated, and it’s often that valued employee, the last person you’d ever expect, he said.

"White collar crime is real. People work their whole life for their money, their businesses, and it creates incredible harm. It's different, but it's incredible suffering. When you steal people's money, people suffer. It's a different type of suffering. It's not a physical pain, but... it is devastating and it is real," Teeling said.

Watch Jeanelle Slade go On Special Assignment to find out more about the untold harm caused by employee theft.

The FBI also offered these tips for business owners to avoid employee theft

  • Look at bank statements and all incoming mail. The owner should receive and open bank statements. Also, be wary of unpaid bills, letters from the IRS or other notices of unpaid bills. Employees often steal by paying personal bills with company checks or other transactions. Often, company bills end up getting delayed. Watch for bounced checks, complaints from vendors and balance bank statement each month. 
  • Get a lock box – stolen mail is a significant risk, both by employees and people outside the company.
  • Make sure that all checks and cash received by the company are deposited into the company’s bank account. Have someone independent of the accounting department add up them up and make sure daily deposits are made.

The FBI also suggests rotating employee duties, carefully watching employees who gamble or have financial or drug problems and maintaining independence between the accounting department and the owner. 

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