Assignment: Fraud at Furniture World
You have been reading about current fraud cases in the news to keep up-to-date on the latest fraud schemes. Read the following case summary and then answer the questions that follow.
Case summary: An employee of Furniture World, a retail outlet based in North Carolina, has been charged with theft for allegedly embezzling over $250,000 from the company. Elizabeth Pine, 52, is scheduled to make her initial court appearance on Wednesday. According to Police Detective Dick Berry, Pine was Furniture World’s payroll clerk and was a trusted employee for over 15 years. Pine’s fraudulent activities, which included arranging payments for fictitious employees, had taken place over the last 16 months. The payments were electronically deposited into bank accounts controlled by Pine, Berry reported. Berry said the fraud was discovered when the company accountant had trouble reconciling the company’s accounts. An internal audit revealed several names on the payroll that did not have valid Social Security numbers. The company subsequently contacted police for help in the investigation. Berry also reported that Pine was recently divorced, has three children to support, and has several credit cards with high balances. Berry added that Pine has resigned from the company and intends to pay the money back.
- How did the three components of the Fraud Triangle enable the fraud to occur?
- Using Dr. Steve Albrecht’s fraud risk factors, which factors allowed this fraud to occur?
- Based on your chapter reading, how would theorists Hollinger and Clark assess this fraud case?
- What did the business do correctly in this situation?
- What could have been done to prevent this fraud?