Imagine there was a restaurant employee who was caught running off with $ 1 million from his employer’s three restaurants. Apart from money, he also embezzled motor vehicles, land certificates, and even gold. If this is the case, what efforts can the company take?
What Are the Cases of Embezzlement Under the Law?
Please note, although both are acts of taking other personal property, in the eyes of the law of embezzlement is not the same as theft, you know. The difference between the two lies in the existence of the items taken.
In the case of theft, the item is not in the thief’s hands, and must still be retrieved. While embezzlement, the goods are already in the hands of the perpetrator, who is legally under the control of the perpetrator.
For example, control of an item by the actor, because the owner entrusts the item. Or control of goods by the perpetrator occurs because of their duties or positions, such as a custodian of goods.
Embezzlement is a criminal act, so it is included in the realm of criminal law. Therefore, embezzlers of company assets can be sentenced to several years in prison.
What Steps Can Companies Take?
Before reporting the perpetrator to the police, it is a good idea for you as a business owner to make a series of administrative and civil measures. In fact, long before embezzlement occurs, you can try to prevent it. One of them is by making clear company regulations, work agreements, or SOPs, in which these rules define administrative duties and responsibilities when workers hold inventory or office assets.
In addition, you are advised to formulate rules regarding sanctions if an employee commits embezzlement or negligence. That way, you have a strong basis for administering administrative action against employees who are caught embezzling money or company assets.
If you are going to terminate your employment (layoff), it may be because embezzlement is a serious mistake that can result in layoffs. Or, if you still want to keep hiring the employee, you can impose suspension for a certain period of time. However, keep in mind that during the suspension, employees must still receive wages and other employee rights.
In addition, make sure you have strong evidence of embezzlement before applying sanctions to employees. For example, an employee was caught red-handed while committing the embezzlement, or there was an acknowledgment from the person concerned that he had embezzled company money. Or, there is other evidence in the form of an incident report prepared by the competent authority in your company, and supported by at least two means of witnesses.
The administrative action above should be accompanied by civil action, in the form of making an agreement or a refund statement letter that was embezzled for a certain period of time. The contents are free, according to the agreement of both parties, including the question of whether the embezzled money can be returned in installments or not.
Even though the employee has returned the embezzled funds, either partially or completely, you need to know that this will not waive the penalty. Because, his criminal act has been perfect.
So, if you feel that the criminal effort will have a more deterrent effect on the employee, as well as a warning for other employees not to take the same action, even though the embezzled funds were later returned, he could still be charged under the embezzlement article.
However, because there may be good faith from your employees to acknowledge and return the funds, it will be a judge’s consideration to lighten the sentence.
To find out more about embezzlement and the efforts that the company can take, don’t hesitate to consult directly with an advocate like permanency hearing Oklahoma CPS who is an expert in their field to provide the best solution for you.