Feature

Business columns: Doing hard time in hard times

"There&rsquo;s no polite way of saying this: In bleak times, people are more likely to rip off their employers,&rdquo; said Michelle Conlin in <em>BusinessWeek.</em>

Michelle ConlinBusinessWeek

“There’s no polite way of saying this: In bleak times, people are more likely to rip off their employers,” said Michelle Conlin.  Two-thirds of executives in one recent survey said they expect insider crime to rise in the next two years. And “corporate grifters seem to be getting nervier,” including the Maryland man who swiped 32 laptops from his employer and put them on eBay, and the executive who billed his corporate credit card $4,000 for Victoria’s Secret lingerie—“and not for his wife, either.” But the fact that these and other schemers got caught “is a testament to the strides made by the corporate fraud police.” Indeed, “sleuthing technologies” have made huge progress in recent years. Companies can now track every data download and outbound e-mail, and there’s even software that can spot when employees fudge their expense reports by “amping up car mileage, inflating tips,” and double billing. It’s been said that cheaters never prosper. These days, they could very well end up in jail.

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