School secretary accused of embezzling more than $18,000

For organizations in every industry, verification is an important part of managing accounts payable. While it’s one thing to see that information is recorded, confirming whether this data is correct is an entirely separate matter. This is because many times, in cases of misappropriation, perpetrators fabricate documents to keep up appearances.

The Portales News-Tribune recently reported that Jeremy Phillippi, a Math Department secretary and Science Fair coordinator at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU), was arrested on embezzlement and forgery charges. Phillippi is accused of stealing funds by forging his supervisors’ signatures, as well as producing fake receipts for school-related items to cover up his misconduct. In an interrogation, the news source noted that Phillippi claimed to be “embarrassed and ashamed” of what had happened.

Business News Daily advised that in order to prevent employee fraud, leaders need to implement the right financial controls, including the regular use of audit solutions to detect theft early. Additionally, the source stressed that when requiring receipts for purchases, it is important to make sure those records are properly itemized, making it more difficult for workers to hide personal expenses.

Business News Daily pointed out that any submitted expenses that involve meals or entertainment functions for work purposes should be equally detailed. For instance, staff members should include information such as where they went, who they were with and why. When people know their actions are being monitored, they are less likely to attempt to commit fraud.

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