Monday, February 18, 2008

Is Fraud in Maine on the Upswing?

What is the one news story that seems to pop up in every copy of the Press Herald lately? Sure, there's the daily update of the presidential race. But more and more, it seems you are likely to spot a headline highlighting yet another case of fraud and embezzlement occurring in Maine. Here, for example, are some of the headlines from just last week's batch of papers:
  • Boat Supplier Says Employee Embezzled Nearly $400,000
  • Biddeford Woman Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud, Tax Evasion of $200,000
  • Woman Charged with Stealing Nearly $1,000,000 From Father's Company

These small cases of embezzlement amount to peanuts compared to the gigantic business scandals like Enron, WorldCom, and Rite-Aid. But these headlines (and the ones that came before them and the ones that will probably come after them) make me wonder, What's happening in this honest and trustworthy corner of the country we call Maine? Maybe my current class about fraud examination has made me more sensitive to these types of stories, but it does seem like fraud in Maine is on an upswing.

I guess we'll just have to wait for a comprehensive report in the Maine Sunday Telegram that no one will read before we'll get an answer to that question. What I do know, though, is that most Maine embezzlement cases occur within the companies that can afford internal crime the least: Maine's ubiquitous small businesses.

- Elisha J. Morgan

1 comment:

Marya said...

I've also noticed the upswing in these crimes. One of the questions that's occurred to me is how could nobody miss such large sums of money? It's fairly amazing, and sad.