William Scott Deloach, Chief Financial Officer and Controller of PBS&J Corp., in Miami, Florida, was accused of issuing fraudulent checks for a total of $49 million during a period of 13 years. The scheme was discovered in March 2005
William Scott Deloach was originally hired as controller for PBS&J Corp., a Miami, Florida – based national employee-owned and publicly traded engineering and construction company and over a period of time became its chief financial officer.
Maria Garcia and Rosario Licata, both long time employees of PBS&J Corp., and subordinates of Deloach, were also charged with one count of embezzlement.
According to the official complaint, the embezzlement started in 1992 and continued through 2005. Deloach, Garcia and Licata were involved in a scheme where they issued unauthorized checks from company accounts to later deposit them in their personal accounts. The money was used exclusively for their personal benefit—extravagant lifestyles, luxury vehicles and gambling habits.
The fraud was discovered by the company’s audit committee.
William Scott Deloach plead guilty in September 2006 along with Maria Garcia and Rosario Licata. Together they embezzled $36.6 million.
Deloach was sentenced to 97 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution. Licata and Garcia were each sentenced to 63 months in prison, plus restitution.
Fact: employee theft/fraud causes more bankruptcies than any other crime.
Fact: small and medium sized organizations are more vulnerable than large organizations.
Employee fraud seems to be on the rise and while large corporations have the financial resources to implement costly fraud prevention systems, small and medium sized organizations cannot afford that luxury. Many businesses now require criminal background checks for all potential employees but the majority of employees who steal have no prior criminal record.
Is there no way around it? Should you be forced to assign your business resources to try to keep it safe from embezzlers?
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