Employee theft costs businesses in Minnesota billions of dollars a year and may require the assistance of a forensic accountant for help in finding the employees who committed the act. Businesses do everything they can to prevent loss and keep theft at a minimum, but oftentimes they are looking so closely at their customers that they don’t notice their employees are the ones stealing from them. Here a closer look at what constitutes employee theft and the penalties a thieving employee may face.
Types Of Employee Theft in Minnesota
There are numerous forms of employee theft. In fact, thieves are getting so clever that there’s no way we could list all the types of employee theft, but here are a couple of the more common ways:
- Voiding receipts – A customer buys a few items and pays in cash. The clerk gives change but then voids the transaction, and they pocket the money.
- Not scanning items – This occurs more frequently at places were the items are prices at even amounts. For example, if you buy seven items at the dollar store, and the clerk just says $7, they may pocket the money since it was never rang up in the system.
- Taking items out of the back room.
- Marking working items as defective or broken, then taking them when they are thrown out or buying them for a greatly reduced rate.
- Taking money directly out of the cash register.
- Incorrectly pricing items then buying them for a reduced rate.
- Taking money from client accounts or using client funds for non-work purposes.
- Pretending you’re taking merchandise out to a customer to help load it only to steal it.
Obviously there are hundreds of different ways you can steal from a company, and while the above examples mainly focus on retail employee theft, these are just a handful of examples.
Penalties For Retail Theft
The penalties for retail theft depend on the value of merchandise or property that has been stolen. Here’s a quick look at the penalties for retail theft based on the value of the stolen items.
$0 to $500 – You can face up to 90 days in jail and fines up to $1,000, or both.
$500 to $1,000 – Up to one year in prison and fines up to $3,000, or both.
$1,000 to $5,000, or was a Schedule III, IV, or V drug – Up to five years in prison and fines up to $10,000, or both.
Above $5,000 or the stolen property is a trade secret, explosive or Schedule I or II controlled substance – Up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $20,000, or both. These penalties would also apply if you have a previous theft conviction (between $500 and $1,000) within the last five years, stole from a corpse, stole from a government office, stole from a disaster or abandoned building, stole public funds or stole a motor vehicle.
Above $35,000 – You can face up to 20 years in prison and fine of up to $100,000, or both.
Twin Cities Retail Theft Attorney
If you’ve been charged with an employee theft crime, even if it’s just a misdemeanor, contact a criminal law attorney in your area, as a conviction can carry lifelong consequences.