Tuesday, March 25, 2008


What constitutes fraud for you?

We just recently had a bookkeeper quit unexpectedly. She left a letter on my bosses chair and the keys and passes to our office inside the garage on a Friday, and never came back. She didn't give any kind of notice and although, I knew that she was unhappy with the job I didn't really expect her to quit in that way.

Now, after the fact, my boss has found several charges on our Fed Ex account that she sent packages to her friends and family out of state. She left many of the companies bills unpaid and left the company in quite a cash crunch. Some of this was my bosses fault due to the fact that he didn't pay attention to her when she said that we were running low on cash.

Now, my boss wants to press charges of fraud against her. The total of the Fed Ex charges is just under $100. Would you constitute this as fraud?

I guess I'm more forgiving. I know that charging something to the company isn't right, but maybe it was just a mistake that she forgot to pay it back. I know that she knew what she was doing was wrong, because the invoice for those particular charges is missing.

So my question is under the circumstances, would you press charges??

This is really bugging my sense of right and wrong........

What do you think??


Meg said...

First off, thanks for stopping by today! I really like your writing and will make it a point to visit on a regular basis! If you decide to do the newbie thing, let me know and I will show you some linky love so people can check out YOUR newbie ok?

Now, let me say from experience, I have been in this position. I wouldn't call this fraud, more like theft, but it's not over $100 so, I don't know if it would be worth it to go after her. For all you know, she didn't think she was doing anything wrong, simply taking advantage of "free" delivery so to speak. You would be better off sending her a certified letter "asking" for the money. Employees who are privy to certain things take advantage all the time without thinking they are doing anything wrong. Maybe, she really didn't see that it would hurt anything, especially if she did it over a period of time. We had one that actually stole money from us over the period of two years. My husband actually had a bookkeeper steal $17,000 before we caught her...she started crying, promised to pay it back and when her first payment was due, she called to say her husband had divorced her because of the theft and she had no way to buy Christmas presents if she sent US money. We let it slide and ultimately filed a judgment against her...we will never see the money, I am sure...but we learned a really expensive lesson!

Good luck to you! Feel better, people for the most part are GOOD!

terri said...

Thanks for coming by my blog! I read a few of your posts and will definitely be stopping back to read more!

I agree with Meg's take on the fraud issue. I wouldn't think it would be worth it to pursue the fraud issue for such a small amount of money. I'd probably chalk it up to a lesson learned.

Suzanne Perazzini said...

It sounds like your boss is taking his financial problems out on her because in other circumstances I'm sure most people wouldn't press changes for such a small amount. Your boss wants a scapegoat.

4urpets said...

I would call that stealing, not fraud. Tell your boss that he's lucky it's only $100.00.

I found your site at Around The Funny Farm. I enjoyed reading your post.

Ranch Mommy said...

Thanks for all of the great comments!!! I guess the hardest thing for me is that I really liked our Bookkeeper. And I'm pretty shocked that she took advantage of our company like that. My mind doesn't work that way............I wouldn't even know how to get away with taking money. I appreciate all of the insight and I'm glad that you enjoy reading my blog, because I enjoy all of yours as well!!!

Ranch Mommy said...

Oh and Meg ~ I can't believe that someone would steal that much and not have a guilty conscience about it. You would think that paying you back would be the FIRST priority!!!

Marci said...

Is this the same gal who had FRAUD in her past anyway?

I agree, it's more like theft. We aren't even supposed to be using company e-mail for personal purposes..and phone call...and too long of a lunch! We take from our company all the time without thinking about it. I personally would know NOT to mail FED EX to my friends and family however. Either way, what she did is wrong but not much you can do about it! He is lucky it wasn't $100,000 like one other person also said.

I understand your frustration. Some of us have a concious and would't feel right taking from our company, or even taking advantage of someone's kindness. But, others do it all the time without even batting an eye.

I'm sorry that happened, I hope it doesn't mean more work for you! IKES!

Good Luck!