Vermont is known for maple syrup, fall foliage, covered bridges and now . . . embezzlement?
As strange as it sounds, Vermont topped the list of states with the highest risk of loss due to embezzlement in 2011, according to new research from Marquet International Ltd.
The 2011 Marquet Report On Embezzlement, examined 473 major employee theft cases active in the US last year and found that:
Vermont had the highest risk for loss due to embezzlement. The states next on the list were: Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Montana, Virginia, Iowa and Idaho.
Overall, the number of major embezzlements dropped slightly, down 2 percent from 2010.
Non-profits, including religious organizations, experienced the most embezzlement cases of all industry categories, second only to financial institutions.
The average loss was about $750,000, and the average scheme lasted nearly five years.
The most common embezzlement schemes in 2011 involved the forgery or unauthorized issuance of company checks.
Nearly three-quarters of the incidents were committed by employees who held finance and accounting positions.
Almost two-thirds of all incidents involved female perpetrators. However, by reviewing data from the past four years, Marquet concluded that men embezzle significantly more than women per scheme.
Marquet's annual study of major embezzlement cases in the US gives us some intriguing insights into the costs and prevalence of employee theft.
"Employee theft is not going away any time soon," concluded Christopher T. Marquet, CEO of Marquet International. "Banks and financial organizations perhaps because that is where the money is and nonprofits, including religious organizations probably due to their weak business controls environment are most often the victims of this type of white collar crime."