CONSUMER ALERT: An embezzlement scheme of almost a million dollars and the thief was a friend and colleague of the victims.
How does something like that happen and could it happen to you?
Tammy Mayle is a US Postal Inspector. Mayle says, "The foundation of this business was built on trust."
An environmental engineering company specializing in hazardous materials cleanup.
Mayble says, "They worked at previous companies together. They started a business together. They trusted each other."
Strangely, $800,000 went missing and one of the company's founders was the culprit.
Mayle says, "He used the money to build a house in a very nice community and do very extravagant upgrades to the house."
A $100,000 geothermal system, a $30,000 driveway and an expensive wine cellar.
Mayle says, "Everything he got for his house was top of the line."
And the company was the one footing the bill.
The fraud victim in this case wished to remain anonymous. They say, "In our case, there was money sitting there for the taking, and the one individual felt he could help himself to it."
Mayle says, "He claimed on expense reports that his expenses were job code related, when in fact, all those expenses went to fund the cost of his new home."
The problem is the company had no checks and balances.
Mayle says, "He was putting in his expense reports and also approving the expense reports."
The expenses hurt others.
The victim says, "I didn't come to work every day thinking someone who was a friend and business partner would be stealing from us and would put himself in a position of spending multiple years in jail and putting his three business partners and their families losing everything."
If you own a business, big or small, you're suggested to have an outside company come in every year to audit your books. To make sure all expenses are legitimate.
The company executive in this case was convicted of mail fraud.