A former employee of Norwalk, Connecticut-based beer distributor Binding Braurei was recently arrested after an accounts payable audit revealed that she had stolen as much as $123,000 from the company between 2008 and 2010, the Stamford Advocate reports.
According to the arrest warrant obtained by the news source, Tonia Brewster had been altering the names on checks received by the company in order to steal money, depositing them into a total of 18 different accounts over the three-year period. The alarm was initially raised by a fraud investigator working for one of the banks where she kept accounts.
The affidavit indicates that Brewster stole larger amounts as the years went on. In 2008, she forged $5,000 worth of checks. The following year, she stole more than $28,500. Last year, Brewster banked nearly $90,000 of company money, allegedly to help support her painkiller addiction
Conducting regular internal AP audits can help companies quickly identify employee theft. Although some embezzlers – including Brewster – work in the accounts payable department, instating a system of checks and balances can help counteract fund misappropriation.