Administrator tries to steal over $250,000 from property management company

On January 23, a RaleighNorth Carolina, resident named Sarah Brock was officially charged with attempting to embezzle $281,364.39 from her place of work, Wellington Advisors, LLC.

Brock was employed as an administrator for the company back in 2012– according to authorities –before she began putting her scheme into action.

Wellington Advisors is a relatively new company out of High Point, North Carolina. The firm specializes in third-party regional property management.

In just a year’s time, the agency has taken on over 9,000 apartment units and 200,000 square feet of retail space. Unfortunately, more than a quarter of a million dollars of these profits was nearly stolen from the company when Brock attempted to misappropriate funds gained from their properties department.

According to a study published last year by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, employee embezzlement is actually on the rise, with the average organization losing roughly 5% of its revenue every year on its behalf.

“The median loss among organizations both large and small was $140,000 per occurrence, and more than 20% of embezzlement losses were more than $1 million,” Leader’s Choice Insurance (LIC) reports.

“Small organizations are especially susceptible to losses from employee embezzlement. These problems are often seen in cash-heavy businesses, or those with large inventories, but employee embezzlement is most frequently experienced in organizations lacking owner oversight of financial processes, usually due to placing far too much trust in employees and having no internal controls.”

It is not yet clear how exactly Brock intended to lift funds from Wellington but the most common methods of embezzlement are as follows: unauthorized checks, fraudulent loans, reimbursement schemes, Inventory/equipment theft, vendor fraud, and payroll deception. All involve an employee misrepresenting where profits are meant to be allocated.

Early last year, Nisson CEO, Carlos Ghosn was charged with misappropriating funds before fleeing his jail cell in Japan for Lebanon.

To avoid suffering losses on account of employee fraud, LIC suggests employers align their business with relevant insurance practices before these types of crimes occur.

“Most business insurance policies either exclude or provide only nominal amounts of coverage for loss of money and securities as well as employee-dishonesty exposures,” they concluded.

“But a crime insurance policy protects against loss of money, securities or inventory resulting from crime. Common crime insurance claims include employee dishonesty, embezzlement, forgery, robbery, safe burglary, computer fraud, wire-transfer fraud, and counterfeiting.”

Embezzlement of property or funds that exceed $950 is deemed to be grand theft. A convicted person can receive between one and 3 years of jail time depending on the jurisdiction in which they are tried.