With the help of an AP audit, a Merrimack, New Hampshire, excavation company discovered that its bookkeeper was responsible for more than $83,000 in vanishing funds.
Renee Pelletier balanced the business' checkbooks from June 2008 to August 2011, according to the Nashua Telegraph. During that time, she forged checks payable to herself in order to settle personal debts. In total, the Telegraph reported that Pelletier made out approximately 315 unauthorized checks.
Due to a plea deal, the U.S. attorney will request the judge to instate the minimum sentence of eight years, but Pelletier could serve as many as 30 years. She could also be mandated to pay a fine of up to $1 million.
According to the 2011 Marquet Report on Embezzlement, 72.3 percent of embezzlement incidents are perpetrated by employees in charge of a company's finances, including bookkeepers and accountants.
Business leaders should make a habit of using accounts payable audit solutions whenever sums of money go missing from company accounts. Even small discrepancies, which tend to be easier to hide, can add up to significant losses if they go unchecked.