Safe from Scams: Theft in the Workplace

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How an employee was able to steal tens of thousands of dollars, even with the right safeguards in place. (KFSN)

How an employee was able to steal tens of thousands of dollars, even with the right safeguards in place.

Dawn Webb was questioned by police investigating an embezzlement scheme.

Police: "So, you take in payments and do billing?"

Webb: "Correct."

For 15 years, Webb worked at a law firm as a legal assistant and now she is a suspect.

"The law office was responsible for collecting money or suing individuals that had not paid for their apartment rent or had not paid a bill -- a financial bill," said Laura Carter, US Postal Inspector.

Specifically, Webb's job was to accept those payments, record them in the law firm's books, and deposit the funds. But instead, she would add her name in the payee portion, take it to her local bank and cash the check. In all, authorities say she took in more than $118-thousand.

Colleagues were stunned when they found out. "Long term employee, over 15 years she had been working at this law office, she wouldn't have been on anyone's radar because of the trust they had in her."

Postal inspectors say Webb used the money on gambling, cosmetic surgery, and personal expenses. She created the ledger with all the money coming in and there was nobody checking that ledger.

Postal inspectors say all businesses, big and small, need to make sure they have checks and balances in place.

"Always do some type of an audit of your books -- making sure that the funds coming in are actually the funds you are receiving," said Carter.

The suspect in this story pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year and a day in jail.
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