The former bookkeeper of a Shasta County, California-based water company was recently arrested after an internal accounts payable audit revealed his embezzlement.
Stanley Mieszala was employed by Lassen Pines Mutual Water Company in Shingletown between 2004 and 2008. According to Shasta County sheriff's detective Mark Haslam, the misappropriation of funds began in 2007, the Redding Record Searchlight reports.
KRCR-TV notes that over a period of nearly two years, Mieszala made nearly $8,500 worth of non-business-related purchases on the company's Home Depot credit account, and deposited $21,000 of company money into his personal bank account.
Accounting inconsistencies were first identified by an AP audit conducted by the water board soon after Mieszala stopped working for the company in November 2008. By the time the case was handed over to the local sheriff's department in June 2011, nearly 1,000 pages of evidence against Mieszala had been amassed, according to the Record Searchlight.
This case highlights the importance of carrying out regular AP audits. These can identify cases of embezzlement and good faith mistakes before they snowball, which can mitigate company losses.