At firms that specialize in financial services, it's essential to implement tools that protect against embezzlement of either the company's or the clients' money. Without effective oversight in place, it can be all too easy for employees at such organizations to take advantage of the position of trust in which they've been placed. Especially in instances where large amounts of money are at play, recovery audits are vital.
Reports of a recent case brought this truth to light. According to the Washington Post, Kimberly Drummond of Middletown, Del., pleaded guilty to charges that she embezzled nearly $350,000 from a New Castle, Del., branch of Discover Financial Services.
Court documents showed that Drummond was accused of having stolen these funds by falsifying Discover's accounting in an effort to conceal duplicate payments, the news source reported. Allegedly, she deposited fraudulent checks into her personal bank account and went on to put the embezzled funds toward her mortgage payments. The alleged scheme is reported to have gone undetected for around four years.
According to the Middletown Transcript, the Federal Bureau of Investigation stepped in to investigate the alleged crimes, which dated back to November 2008. On Dec. 12, Drummond pleaded guilty to embezzling funds from a federally insured financial institution. She faces up to 30 years in prison, in addition to six years of probation and a $1 million fine.
"Yet another breach of trust by someone entrusted to protect financial resources," U.S. District Attorney Charles Oberly remarked in an official statement, according to the news source. "These cases will be vigorously prosecuted by this office and appropriate punishment will be sought."
If Discover had implemented a duplicate payment audit system, the activities with which Drummond has been charged might have been prevented – or at least halted before being allowed to go on for as long as they did.