In November, Mariah Webinger, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor of Accountancy here at John Carroll University, spoke with Smart Business about dealing with employee fraud. “It is not enough to have a strong personal ethical code,” she said, “it needs to be communicated and enforced to become corporate culture.”

Webinger outlined her advice on what actions to take if an employee is suspected of fraud, saying first and foremost, don’t act in haste. “It is never a good idea to confront a suspected employee right away. You probably don’t have the evidence you need to prove either innocence or guilt. Confronting the employee puts them on guard and makes it even less likely you can get that evidence,” she says.

However, when it comes to major infractions such as embezzlement and fraud, there should be swift and definitive action. “Embezzlement or fraud should result in termination, regardless of size, since these violations are willful and never accidental,” she says. “Keeping a dishonest employee on the payroll sends a message to your other employees that fraud is acceptable as long as it is small or if you are a valuable employee.”

Webinger went on to advise readers on when to pursue legal action, and when to hire and what to look for in a forensic investigator.

To read the full article, click on this link. You can reach Mariah Webinger at (216) 397-4225 or

Date posted: November 12, 2013