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When employers suspect theft: 3 things to know

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2018 | White Collar Crime |

If your employer suspects you of embezzlement or some other type of theft, your otherwise ordinary day could turn into a nightmare.

In a recent case, a New York judge sentenced a woman to serve between three and nine years in prison for an embezzlement scheme. The judge also ordered her to pay more than $800,000 in restitution for the company reimbursements she received for the false invoices she created. As this case indicates, if your employer accuses you of stealing, you must be careful not to make the situation worse.

You can refuse a polygraph test.

Every citizen of New York has a right not to self-incriminate. While that right applies to state actors and not private employers, polygraph results could end up in the hands of prosecutors. That is, while you may think submitting to a polygraph is the best way to clear your name, your employer may pass the results of the test to a detective.

Be careful about what you say.

Even if you are innocent, you may not want to share much information with an employer who is looking for reasons to blame you for stealing. When a supervisor suspects a subordinate of theft, someone in the company usually investigates. The findings of the investigation often form the basis of the initial police report. While you may have a comfortable relationship with your boss, you should expect your statements to become part of a police record. As you may suspect, the contents of the report could have both criminal and employment consequences for you.

Your case could turn on financial documentation.

You may have extensive financial documentation that proves you did not steal from your employer. Still, if your employer is working with law enforcement officers, a prosecutor could ultimately use information you provide to your employer against you in court. Having professional legal help may be able to prevent you from incriminating yourself.

Having an employer accuse you of theft can be nerve-wracking. Regardless of the accusation’s veracity, you must think about protecting yourself. If your employer thinks you embezzled funds, you must act diligently to assert your legal rights.