Money, Money, Money, does it make us a better person? Does it get us through tough times? Does it help us to help others? Money can be a blessing and it can be a curse. And when someone has money and someone doesn’t, then the scale of justice seems a little tilted, doesn’t it?
Mark was a prominent CEO of a rather large company. He was kind and generous to all his employees. He remembered his manager’s birthdays, anniversaries, their children’s names and even attended various celebrations among his staff. He was a leader in his community, donated to various charities and well liked among his peers. He was a stellar guy to everyone except his soon-to-be ex-wife.
The gifts and life style he afforded her wasn’t enough. She didn’t care for his generosity to anyone except his immediate family (herself and their children). She didn’t like that he kept his parents in a good life style, or that his sister was the VP of his company or his brother was head of marketing.
Mark lived to give, to be an honest and have integrity. He believed in karma, what he gave he would receive back in positive ways. His wife, she believed only she should benefit from his hard work and any deviation from that was not to be tolerated.
She insisted that her brother have a place in his company. He had just graduated from college with a degree in Human Resources and that he should, since he was family, be a part of the Mark’s company.
Mark, being the good guy that he was, agreed to give her brother, John, the opportunity to put his newly found degree to good use.
John had worked for Mark for over a year and everything seemed to be going smoothly. Even his wife was tolerable and somewhat happy at times. She began to attend company functions and even engaged in conversations with what she considered “the low standards” of some employees. John had purchased a house, gotten married and his wife was expecting their first child. He drove a new car and dressed immaculately. He attended meetings regularly and appeared to be a vested employee. John and his sister would meet often for dinner without their spouses and when she returned home Mark would ask how it went and she would always reply, “Well, you know, just family stuff.” John had just celebrated his 3rd year with the company when he began to miss meetings, he wasn’t as social as he had been and he appeared tired and unengaged at times. It was at this time, Mark’s wife; John’s sister began to travel alone, or stated she was alone. Her passport had been stamped more times in the last year than it had in previous years. Something was not right between the two and although Mark didn’t see the change in his wife, he did notice how John was slowly becoming withdrawn and not engaged with his job.
Mark’s wife traveled more than she was home and this started to be an issue between them. When she was home, they argued more than talked, she was short tempered and complained about everything. Mark did notice when she was home she took many private calls, would walk away when her phone rang and he could hear laughter and giggles when she spoke. As kind as he was, he grew suspicious of her, her travels and her private conversations. Mark did not have anyone he could discuss his situation with, so he came to and spilled his whole story. Through our conversation with Mark, we found the part of his story about John a little suspicious as well. We asked Mark if he noticed anything unusual about John’s actions, to which he did. We asked if John had a company phone, and he did, we also suggested we conduct digital forensics and a computer forensic investigation upon John’s computer.
The next day, our Forensic computer specialist traveled to Mark’s Company and used data extraction software on both John’s cellular phone and computer. This was done to secure any evidence obtained if information would become necessary for court. Cellular forensics was used on John’s company phone.
Mark could tell that John became white during the process and left work for the day. As a matter of fact, John didn’t report to work for the remainder of the week. Mark knew something was up, he was suspecting that John may be stealing from his company, but what we learned put that thought to ease.
John was doing wrong, but he was not benefiting himself, he had been for the last year assisting his sister with hiding her marital infidelity, and had been an accomplice in hidden money, overseas accounts and hidden bank accounts for his sister. He had put her on payroll without Marks authorization and paying her hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. He had set up direct deposits to an account in the US that had been used to wire money to an overseas account. He had refused to meet his sister for dinner anymore after he learned she was having an extramarital affair. His own sister was a cheating spouse and he could do nothing about it. After we conducted an asset investigation it was determined there really wasn’t an employee embezzlement case, it was more blackmail than anything else. John assisted his sister in hiding the fact she was romantically involved with someone else and that he had been paying her a high salary without authorization from Mark. It was also learned that Mark’s wife was withdrawing money from their joint account as well.
Mark did forgive John, although he was literally stealing from company employees, he could not excuse his wife of putting her own brother and his company in such jeopardy. Due to our Business Asset Search Investigator, Mark was able to recover the funds his wife had taken from their accounts, he paid the company back from the ghost employee, his wife, filed for divorce and all turned out well. John was able to keep his job
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