BOSTON — White-collar embezzlement cases spiked to 528 cases across all industries in 2012, according to the 2012 Marquet Report on Embezzlement
This was the highest total of active cases in the United States that
Marquet International, an internal investigations firm, has seen since
releasing its first report five years ago.
Automotive is one of the 33 industries the firm tracks, and according
to the report’s author Christopher T. Marquet, the instances include
embezzlement among dealers, manufacturers and suppliers related to the
industry at large. In 2012, Marquet studied 18 automotive-related
embezzlement cases, which ranks ninth across all of the industries
The 18 active cases in 2012 jumped from only 10 cases in 2011, but
the average loss dropped from $1.43 million in 2011 to $904,000 in 2012.
“The uptick [in number of cases] for 2012 may be the result of the
fact that many of the embezzlement cases included in this report began
immediately after the economic collapse in late 2008, just three to four
years ago,” the report states.
One of the largest dealership embezzlement cases in recent years was
Patricia K. Smith’s, a woman who was sentenced to federal prison for
embezzling $10.2 million from Baierl Acura in Wexford, Pa. Her case was
filed in 2011, so it was included in last year’s report with automotive
and was a contributing factor in the higher average loss.
In 2012, automotive’s gross losses related to embezzlement cases totaled $16.275 million, up from $14.3 million.
Although automotive did not originally appear in Marquet’s 2008
report as one of the top industries for embezzlement, it has made the
list every year since 2009.
— Stephanie Forshee