An accounts payable audit found that a former payroll specialist and contract administrator from Rio Vista, California, embezzled nearly $784,000 from her employer, according to The Reporter.
Beverly Harville did not report the extra income to the Internal Revenue Service, which resulted in her recently being found guilty of five counts of tax evasion.
According to the plea agreement, Harville worked for the unnamed company for 21 years and was a trusted employee. Because of her status within the business, she was given unlimited access to its accounts, as well as those of a sister company and the personal bank accounts of both companies' owners, the news source reports.
The AP audit found that between 2004 and 2008, Harville misappropriated funds and attempted to hide her activities by recording false vendor payments and manipulating the companies' payroll systems. Additionally, she was found to have stolen blank personal checks and recorded them as void.
Harville was sentenced to 30 months in prison and must pay more than $1 million in restitution, the news source reports.
However trusted an employee is, embezzlement and good faith mistakes can still occur. Conducting regular accounts payable audits can help companies quickly identify irregularities and take the appropriate action.
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