No Mississippi worker wants to stand accused of a serious crime. Unfortunately, you may have recently come under investigation at your place of employment because suspicion of missing funds has circulated the workplace. Perhaps your position in accounting or other factors have placed you in the hot seat.
At the first sign of investigators considering you a suspect, gaining information on the exact crime they believe has occurred is essential. If authorities are investigating asset misappropriation — in other words, theft from the company — you could be at risk of serious criminal consequences if officials believe they have evidence that you played a part in such actions.
How does misappropriation occur?
Though asset misappropriation refers to the theft of company funds or other assets, various activities could lead to the misappropriation. Some crimes associated with this issue include the following:
- Misuse of assets, such as using company assets for personal endeavors
- Billing fraud
- Payroll fraud
- Expense reimbursement fraud
Fraud in its various capacities can quickly lead to companies losing significant amounts of money and other assets. This is why investigations into such matters tend to happen quickly and thoroughly. It is also why the punishment for such crime can be severe.
Why are you a suspect?
As mentioned, working in the accounting or billing department could cause you to come under suspicion simply because this department handles tasks associated with company funds. However, anyone at any level could attempt to misappropriate funds. Some other reasons you may come under suspicion include:
- Never taking vacation
- Always handling tasks yourself rather than allowing help
- Having close relationships with vendors or suppliers
- Having expensive personal property but not having a high salary
Investigators consider these details red flags because it could mean that a person refuses vacation days or help because he or she does not want another person to catch on to the misappropriation or that a close relationship with vendors means the person is skimming product directly from vendors. Of course, these supposed red flags could exist simply because you are a hard worker, manage the money you make well and enjoy having personal connections with those you work with.
What can you do?
Whether or not you are facing formal charges for asset misappropriation, being under investigation is enough incentive to explore your legal options. By knowing how to protect yourself from the outset, you may have a better chance of avoiding false accusations or creating a meaningful defense in the event that charges do come against you.