(Alleged) Rogue Employee of the Week: the Case of the Forged Check Spending Spree

Posted: December 21, 2011 in Rogue Employees

The Los Angeles Times has reported that Alexa Johzen Polar, a paralegal who worked at a law firm, allegedly stole a $19,000 check from her employer. Polar and her roommate then allegedly altered the check so that it was for $285,000 and deposited it into her roommate’s account. The two then went on a shopping spree in New York and put a large down payment on a multi-million dollar mansion. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1213-shopping-spree-20111213,0,694439.story

Not exactly a criminal mastermind, Polar was easily caught. She actually had the gall to go to the bank to find out why the bank cut off her funds. Police arrested her at the bank.

Most embezzlers are much more clever than this, and are much harder to detect. Embezzlers are usually employees who you trust the most. They can be very creative in covering their tracks. Your best way to guard against embezzlement, other than being like Fox Mulder and trusting no one, is to have a good accountant look at your books and accounts every so often.

Embezzlement can destroy the business, and the owner. I’ve personally seen cases where the business not only suffered six figured losses, the owners had to reach into their personal assets to pay back clients whose money was being held by the business. Although you can sue an embezzler (and I have), unless he has significant tangible assets, you’ll never get all of your money back.

By Adam P. Whitney

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