Sentences were recently handed down in a $13 million embezzlement case that began with a missing copy machine.
After an accounts payable audit revealed they had misappropriated more than $13 million from Pearland, Texas-based oil services business Davis-Lynch, three former employees – Nancy Moreno, Yvette Ybarra Trevino and Ernest Trevino – received prison sentences of 30 years, 15 years and 20 years, respectively.
According to a recent statement by Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos, the trio used the money to purchase luxurious homes and items of jewelry, as well as to go on exotic vacations.
Moreno was also found to have misappropriated company equipment to use for unauthorized personal purposes. In fact, according to the Bay Area Citizen, an internal auditor's investigation into a missing copy machine was what kicked off the whole embezzlement inquest. The copy machine was later found at Moreno's son's business, along with other items belonging to Davis-Lynch.
"Davis-Lynch was founded as a small, family-operated business, and Nancy Moreno was trusted completely," said Assistant District Attorney Wendy Baker in a statement.
Placing too much trust in a single employee can put a company at risk of embezzlement. Dividing duties between workers and conducting regular AP audits can help organizations mitigate that risk.