Internal Fraud in Schools—A Growing Problem
Internal fraud is happening everywhere and internal fraud in schools is no exception. No matter how trustworthy you perceive your personnel—there is always the possibility of internal fraud in schools. For example:
- A former school district office employee pled guilty to embezzling more than $3.4 million from the district’s budget. Sadly, two days prior to sentencing, she committed suicide.
- According to court documents, allegedly this school’s Dining Services Director embezzled $334,778.31 from the school’s lunch fund over three years.
- The former chief financial officer of this school was indicted on charges of allegedly stealing more than $80,000 from the school.
Internal fraud in schools is preventable. Yes, you can reduce your risk:
1) Recognize the Threat: Those in charge must recognize that internal fraud in schools is a real possibility. The profile of an employee who commits these crimes generally holds a position of trust, has the greatest opportunities, is least suspected, and has little or no supervisory oversight.
2) Recruiting Process: The next step in minimizing internal fraud in schools begins at the point of hire. Conducting a complete background and credit history check reduces the risk.
3) Multiple Tasking: One of the most effective measures to prevent internal fraud in schools is to prevent—even the most trustworthy—employee from being able to affect every stage of a high-risk financial process.
4) Supervisory Oversight: Proper oversight is necessary to ensure that adequate internal controls are in place and enforced. Frequent work inquiries signal that the chance of detecting internal fraud in schools is great.
These “four steps” will deter internal fraud in schools. However, you are encouraged to read Business Fraud: From Trust to Betrayal to learn much more about ways to prevent internal fraud in schools.