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Keywords: fraud, embezzlement, accounts payable, accounts payable manager, purchase to pay, procure to pay, accounts payable fraud
Anna Bowsher | News | 28 December 2012
Earlier this month, 46 year old Claire Balducci pleaded guilty to embezzling $1.1m from her former employee, Greenwich Bank and Trust, a private investment firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut.
As Office Manager, Balducci had access to six of the company’s bank accounts. Court documents reveal that the crimes took place between 2008 and 2011, when Balducci wrote several cheques to herself and third party vendor accounts, which she then cashed in a false bank account she had set up.
Balducci additionally opened a JP Morgan Chase credit card account under the name of the Managing Partner of the firm and authorised herself as co-user of the account. She then used the credit card to purchase personal items.
After entering a guilty plea, Balducci was released on a $250,000 bond under home confinement under electronic monitoring. She is due to be sentenced on 6th March 2013, when she may face up to 20 years in prison.
For Greenwich Bank and Trust, not only will they struggle to recover the money, but they are being sued by Nutmeg Investment Partners, one of their clients.
Fraud of any kind can have an extremely negative impact on businesses, especially invoice and cheque fraud which are more common than is comfortable. While there are no foolproof methods of preventing it, processes such as e-invoicing and purchase-to-pay can help to provide a more transparent overview of transactions, thus limiting the attempted occurances of fraud in the future.
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