On October 27, 2020, the Alberta Foster and Kinship Association (AFKA) reported to police that they discovered their accountant had been transferring funds from one of AFKA’s accounts into her personal accounts over the last ten months.
When a financial audit was taking place at AFKA, the employee, Brenda RABIE did not come in for her shift; this led to the organization discovering the fraudulent activity.
EPS’ investigations found the money was e-transferred into multiple accounts registered and controlled by RABIE, with a total loss amount of $209,000.00. The offences occurred between November 08, 2019 and October 26, 2020.
On October 7, 2021, Brenda RABIE (43), was charged with Theft Over $5000 and Fraud Over $5000.
“AFKA has been fully cooperative throughout this investigation, and we truly feel for them, as that’s the last thing you ever want to discover about an employee,” Constable Shawn Joseph expressed. “We suggest organizations segregate their accounting functions and use a system of checks and balances to ensure no one person has control over multiple significant parts of a financial transaction. A piece of that includes technology; install computer security measures and understand these computer systems and software, and how they might be used to divert money or inventory. Restrict access to computer terminals and records, periodically change entry codes, and check regularly to ensure that security procedures are in effect.”
Businesses should also consider implementing these additional measures to protect themselves and their employees:
- Know your employees and supervise them closely; be alert to key indicators of potential theft such as:
- Sudden, apparent devotion to work and working late
- Lifestyles are well above salary levels
- Strong objections to procedural changes related to financial, inventory or supply matters
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Moonlighting with materials available at the business.
- Evidence of compulsive gambling, persistent borrowing or bad check writing.
- Perform background checks on potential hires. Checking references is one important step. But for employees entrusted with handling your money or financial records, a police information check is better.
- Add human resources and accounting procedures like mandatory vacations, require multiple signing authorities, use purchase orders, track your business checks, control cash receipts, and conduct regular informal audits.
- Use an external auditor, with shorter reporting intervals.
- Manage your inventory and use security systems.
- Provide a way for employees to report suspected theft or fraud by co-workers.