Las Vegas Case: The Electrician and the Embezzler

What can businesses learn from this cautionary tale of employee fraud, recently reported on by Jackie Valley of the Las Vegas Sun?

“A billing statement for an Office Depot credit card helps tell the story of how a trusted bookkeeper bilked a small Las Vegas electrical company out of a six-figure sum.

The expenses listed for a one-month period in 2010 make Tom Clift, owner of N.A.C. Electric Inc., shake his head and cringe. There’s a $36 charge at a nail salon, $52.93 at Best Buy, $24.86 at the Disney Store, $128.61 to Allstate and numerous purchases at Target. And that’s just a sample.

As for actual office supplies, the billing statement offers only one hint at such a purchase: a $111.89 charge at Office Depot.

“If you sit and dissect it a little, you can understand it better,” Clift said recently as he sorted through thick, colored binders filled with bank statements, copies of checks and other financial documents. “It was very sophisticated.”

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