Monday, December 29, 2008

Year in review – Scots consumers end up worse off under MacAskill’s complaints quango as Law Society still calls the shots on crooked lawyers

2008 started off on a mixed note, with revelations of sleaze in the Justice Secretary’s appointments to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, which of course, Mr MacAskill carefully brushed aside with no explanation but you can read about the SLCC’s progress to date here

As January progressed, Scotland received a rare treat at the end of January with was probably the best announcement in years from the Law Society that it's notorious Chief Executive, Douglas Mill, would resign from his post, a rare event, which occurred not long after the posting of the video coverage of Mill’s confrontation with Cabinet Secretary John Swinney over memos which detailed a policy of intervention to protect crooked lawyers. You can view the career ending video of Douglas Mill HERE

Sadly however, the year did not turn out as the promised 'sea change' in dealing with complaints against the legal profession or cleaning up some of the Law Society of Scotland’s horrors the past.

In fact, as 2008 draws to a close, it looks increasingly like consumers & clients of Scottish solicitors have been sold a 'pig in a poke' with the 'independent' Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, which has so far chosen to focus on giving its members pensions benefits, private insurance deals, and a pledge to keep members faces anonymous for fear of the general public realising just how sits on the fat salaried quango's Commission, where members get over £300 just for showing up for a day's 'work' looking at complaints against crooked lawyers ...

Jane Irvine's SLCC also made the questionable declaration it would not investigate any complaint arising from legal work instructed before 1st October 2008, which conveniently for this new Complaints Commission, ensured literally thousands of complaints would be excluded from its books, while also allowing the Law Society of Scotland, to go on 'investigating' complaints against crooked lawyers (and stitching up investigations) for at least another five or more years !

Never fear of course, the shiny new Scottish Government, which sadly now is starting to sound much like any other administration, would protect consumers & those suffering injustice ? Wrong.

If anything, ordinary consumers are now less protected in Scotland than the rest of the UK, thanks to Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill's pledge to protect lawyers at seemingly any cost whatsoever from any idea of external independent regulation which might just prevent the levels of corruption in the legal profession & poor service which has recently brought down the global financial markets.

Looking at some of the cases I looked into over the past year, I find the likes of the following :

A solicitor at one of Edinburgh's so-called 'finest' legal firms, according to clients who enquired as to the slow progress of their cases, found their famous solicitor to be nothing more than a cocaine addict, and probably a drug dealer as one of his firm's ex-employees now allege.

This solicitor currently represents some 11 clients on major medical negligence cases, backed up by his legal firm which touts itself as an expert in the field of medical negligence but the partner is now so hooked on narcotics, he feels the need to 'inhale' in the presence of staff & clients.

Anyone feel like using his services for legal representation ? .. or his firm who seem to know all about ‘the problem’.

If that's not bad enough, just think what might happen to his client's cases if the 'other side' know of their solicitor's cocaine habit .... but maybe that might already been in play as it seems the average wait time of his 11 clients seems to be about 5 years before anything gets near a court .. with cases strangely collapsing or descending into stalemates lasting months or even years, despite all his claims to clients of 'win win win', which has of course generated huge legal fees for himself and his firm for years ...

Another solicitor from a legal firm in Glasgow apparently threatened a client saying over the telephone he “would have his brains blown out” if the client dared complain about a loan transaction which went wrong (in the lawyers favour of course).

Another solicitor who I was notified about, this time from the Scottish Borders, seems to spend a lot of his time fiddling opposing clients legal aid applications, and hatching out plots to take over deceased's clients properties in wills & estates his legal firm acts as executor to.

This particular solicitor, who is well known at the Scottish Legal Aid Board for submitting false allegations against opposing counsel's clients financial status, seems to have his name, the name of his firm, and a “holding company” he created, on several properties he 'acquired' from deceased clients his firm represented, in the Scottish Borders.

Several complaints exist against this particular solicitor, from families who have seen their bequeathments unexplainably disappear into his pockets .. and yes, the Law Society know all about it, but are as usual covering the whole thing up, at least, for now ...

Interestingly, there are two other firms of Borders solicitors who also seem to have done the exact same thing as their above colleague, with properties they ‘acquired’ from deceased clients in circumstances which are less than transparent … and while complaints have also been made to the Law Society, those who were to receive the properties as a legacy are facing the usual brick wall of silence as the legal profession closes ranks to protect the crooked …

Other 'leading lights' of Scotland's legal profession who have been brought to my attention this year include a solicitor who was found to have destroyed his client's file while a complaint had been made to the Law Society after evidence surfaced he had embezzled over £67,000 of clients funds (a remarkably common event, happens almost every day by the sounds of it) ... a female solicitor, yet another who works with one of Edinburgh's 'famous named' legal firms who is working as a prostitute in her spare time and who apparently claims a member of the j*******y as one of her clients, and then there's the fairly well known Scottish solicitor who runs a 'simulated rape & bondage club', which counts among its members many from the legal profession, teachers, and other professionals it would probably make you sick to read about.

How would you feel sitting in the same room as some of that lot ? Even worse probably, knowing that some of them are in fairly senior positions in our Justice system and other walks of life which one would think may be closed off to the likes of such ...

I couldn't possibly fail to mention the case of a solicitor who sent round several of his 'thuggish' clients to threaten another client who had decided to complain about him to the Law Society (also a remarkably common event) ... the Police apparently now involved in that one, and also a flood of emails & complaints regarding the raft of solicitors who are now sending out demands to clients for fictitious work allegedly done years ago, at their instruction, but which of course, there is no proof of, no success story to show for, and not even a court record of in many cases.

Anyone feel like approaching any of these ‘highly qualified professionals’ for legal services ? They are all still practicing despite complaints records as long as your arm … so the Law Society must know what its doing, allowing such people to practice law …

Do I have your attention ? Is your confidence rising or falling in the Scottish legal profession's ability to keep control of itself and 'standards' ?

Now do remember - this is the same profession which Kenny MacAskill is actively promoting to attract legal business to Scotland .... but that promotional exercise doesn't seem to have worked, so maybe, just maybe those prospective foreign clients have their heads screwed on the right way and know when to avoid a crooked lawyer, by not using a Scottish lawyer ... or a Scottish jurisdiction, where the client may end up at the dead end of the stick …

So as you see, this past year, 2008, has produced no promised sea change in complaints against lawyers, and no promised sea change in standards of legal service in Scotland, or access to justice, or help from the Scottish Government against professionally protected crooks who are fleecing the public and getting away with it.

All the while, the Law Society of Scotland can keep secret the identities of lawyers who have criminal records, lawyers who steal & embezzle from their clients, lawyers who are drugs users & dealers, lawyers who destroy or falsify files & information, lawyers who engage in just about any imaginable or unimaginable activity simply for financial gain ... and the public who approach them for legal services have no idea who or what these people are.

Scots are still forced into accepting what has become a draw of the 'crooked lawyer lottery' where prospective clients get to know less about their solicitor than what goes into a can of baked beans, ensuring Scottish consumers are left little protection, while the Scottish Government, which is currently engaged in piling on the multi million pound gifts to the legal profession’s new complaints ‘front’ organisation, the SLCC, says it will defend lawyers to the very end .. at least, so says Kenny MacAskill ...

Kenny MacAskill in a staggering quote from 2008 admits his mission is to protect lawyers, not the public !


What does 2009 hold for consumers of legal services in Scotland ?

Well, unless the Scottish Government get off their backsides and pull up the 'independent' Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, wipe it clean of Law Society influence, and maybe even .. start afresh .. the answer is not much really ... unless as some of you seem to be indicating, "clients stop getting sucked into the lawyer controlled complaints process" and start seeking alternatives to recover their lost funds, livelihoods, even lives, which have been decimated by very greedy and dishonest solicitors ....

Of course, the Scottish Government could surprise us all, bring in something like "Truth & Reconciliation" to the issue of historic complaints against the legal profession, and produce the clean slate which the LPLA (Scotland) Act 2007 was meant to give us in the first place ... but is that a step too far for politicians who are too deeply in bed with the legal profession ?

I hasten to add that not all lawyers are crooked, but why don’t the honest ones take the initiative and clean up their profession ?

The Law Society isn’t the powerful behemoth it once was … so why no action from within ? Is it just not profitable enough to clean up one’s own profession ? Is there nothing to be gained from giving the public a more trustworthy, competitive legal services market we can depend on ?

Perhaps consumers should ask themselves the following :

Do you want to use a Scottish lawyer ? Do you really NEED to use a Scottish lawyer ? Financially, how hurt are you going to end up when inevitably, your lawyer turns against you simply to fleece you for money on a case they will say you will win, but you know will probably take years and result in nothing other than demands for large sums of money you could better do to keep for yourself & your family’s needs, especially in what promises to be a recession the UK has not seen for many decades.

If you want to change the way you are treated in 2009, its time to choose a different path away from the likes of crooked professionals who so easily will take your money, your livelihoods, your home, even, your lives away simply to make more money for themselves ...

And finally, as if to remind us all that lawyers are not all they crack themselves up to be .. here is a short tale from the pages of the Scotsman in a stark reminder to us all … trying to recover damages from lawyers in Scotland, no matter who you are, is more difficult than pulling hen’s teeth …

The Scotsman reports :

Marquess sues estate lawyers for £700,000

Published Date: 24 December 2008
By JOHN ROBERTSON
Law Correspondent

AN ARISTOCRAT is suing lawyers for £700,000 after he was landed with a huge tax bill to prevent the break-up of one of his estates.

Alexander Gordon, the 7th Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair, claims negligence by Edinburgh-based Turcan Connell led to him having to form a "rescue plan" to stop some of his wealth passing to relatives he did not want to benefit.

The Court of Session yesterday heard the "Aberdeen Gordons", who have held land in Aberdeenshire for more than 500 years, owned the Haddo and Tarves estates.

In 1984, the current marquess, also known as Lord Aberdeen, consulted with his then solicitors, not Turcan Connell, about the best way of passing the Tarves estate to his children without incurring tax.

A trust was set up but Lord Aberdeen had only one child at the time, Lord Haddo, and it was decided the best course was to include other child relatives, those of his sister, Lady Emma, and of his adopted cousin, Andrew Gordon.

By the 1990s, Lord Aberdeen had four children. He made it clear to his lawyer, the court heard, that Haddo was to go to his eldest son, and Tarves was to pass to one or more of his other three children.

"He had made it plain that it should only be if none of his immediate family survived him that any of his sister's children should receive the Tarves estate, and on no account should any of his adopted cousin's children receive it," the court heard.

Turcan Connell became his solicitors in 1997 and reviewed the trust, and Lord Aberdeen confirmed that his wishes remained the same.

There came a deadline under the rules of the trust when beneficiaries had to be nominated but, according to Lord Aberdeen, it was realised the date had passed and an urgent meeting was called in 2006.

"Robert Turcan explained he had made a mistake and apologised for it ... each of the (nine) children had or shortly would have an interest in an equal share in the assets of the Tarves Estate Trust," the pleadings in the damages action said.

"This would result in the break-up of a substantial part of the ancestral landholding associated with the Gordon family for hundreds of years."

A "salvage operation" was formed under which the Tarves estate was advanced to Lord Haddo. But the move also triggered liability for capital gains tax. The full extent had yet to be assessed, the court was told, but Lord Aberdeen said an interim payment of £500,000 had been made.

Lord Haddo took a bank loan to fund the payment, and Lord Aberdeen guaranteed the loan. As well as interest, there would be substantial professional fees to pay.

In her judgment, Lady Smith said: "(The marquess) offers to prove that no ordinarily competent solicitor would have failed to advise him timeously of the need for the trustees to exercise their discretion in favour of one or more of his children if the break-up of the Tarves estate was to be avoided.

"(Turcan Connell] deny that, in the circumstances of the case, they had a duty to tender the advice that he avers they were under a duty to give."

Lady Smith said the test for dismissing the case at this stage was whether the marquess's claim would necessarily fail. He insisted the mistake by Turcan Connell amounted to negligence.

"I recognise his case is not without difficulties (but) I cannot be satisfied that the action will necessarily fail," she said.

No date was fixed for another hearing.

PROFILE

THE Most Hon Alexander George Gordon, 53, was educated at Harrow and pursued a career as a property developer in London before becoming the 7th Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair six years ago.

He married Joanna Clodagh Houldsworth in 1981 and the couple have four children, George, Earl of Haddo, 25, Lord Sam, 23, Lady Anna, 20 and Lord Charles, 18.

He made headlines in 2004 with plans for tank-driving courses at the family's Haddo Estate at Methlick.

However, the current marquess would have to come up with something much more outlandish to rival the "colourful" tag given to his father, Alastair Ninian John Gordon, who died, aged 82, in 2002.

An artist and art critic, he listed his recreations as "wine, women and song", and not long before his death, he wrote a magazine article, The Good Whore Guide, in which he charted his adventures as a "sex-starved subaltern" during and after the Second World War.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

christ almighty ! I'm chuffed I don't live in Scotland !

Anonymous said...

all I know is that someone is lying to me. that there was an award of money for my mothers wrongful death and also for my car accident and they all lied and embezzeled it. anyone who was involved with the case or the medical malpractice, or the car accident knew about the money and basically preyed on me to get it. this is what I suspect because why would they take so much time and energy to do soemthing if there weren't money in it for them. escpecially and addict or someone else. I have gone to the fbi and others and now it is in their hands.

Anonymous said...

Peter.I stand in awe of your ability to expose these bastards for the lying duplicitous scum they are.

All the very best to you for next year and keep up the good work !

Anonymous said...

yes I heard about a cocaine dealing solicitor too who is trying to escape the Law Society using the people at Law Care to come up with some excuses
i would have thought the best place for him and his kind and the one you write about today is jail

Anonymous said...

MacAskill can f*ck off.I'm not voting SNP again until his lawyer arse is out of Justice.

Happy New Year Mr Cherbi said...

Happy New Year when it comes Mr Cherbi ... and to all those readers currently suffering injustice under MacAskill, Salmond and their Scottish Nasty / Nazi Party "Government".

As I said in my previous post :

May good health, prosper, luck, fortune and justice be bestowed upon you and yours (and ALL your readers currently suffering injustice in Scotland and beyond) during 2009. You deserve it.

Lang may yer lumb reek, wi aither folks coal.

http://petercherbi.blogspot.com/2008/12/complaints-commission-unfit-for-purpose.html?showComment=1230076620000#c6577743529885442603

in yer face Kenny said...

So if I read this correctly there is a lawyer who uses & deals cocaine (big surprise) another lawyer is sleeping around for money and more lawyers are thieving people's property.Surely all in a days work as a result of that good Law Society training ? hahahaha

Anonymous said...

well peter, I can tell you where and how the wrongful death money and our mums estate went, how they laundered it and through whom the benefits have been going and their connection to the whole thing. it has taken me awhile to figure things out but I think I know the whole darn tail of where it went and how the property, money, wrongful death award were laundered both here and foreign and how the hole thing went through bank accounts long ago. the only people that benefited from the money are still living well, crying broke when they laudered the moeny already and long ago. you can pack a lot of avoocado in boxes along with money on cargo ships now can't you. fruit and veggies with money that had been laundered. my mtoehr thought she was doing right but it goes way back. then they all split the money behind our back as long as they got heir share. now they will claim they don't know you, ignore you, or just plain describe you as being in a prison run by the mafia and there is nothing they can do. when it was all divided amoung their ties along time ago and now getting anywhere is like pulling teeth. they were all in this together for the benefit of themselves.

Anonymous said...

I want to know how they go to bed each night knowing that the property was held in a trust and they only cared about themselves. now they act like I have been tucked away unreachable or something when we know that my family has known all along where I was and that as long as I wasn't around just like what htye did to my mother then it was ok to step on me. They all claimed to be broke when you know and I know it is a lie. I hope the fbi or some other agency will get them. I have no money to fight them on this. but I know how they laudered the money both here and domestically and how they stepped on me and others to help themselves.

Anonymous said...

An interesting review Mr Cherbi but I suspect we all guess that Scotland's finest lawyers are Scotland's finest scum to put it bluntly.
I hope you were resposible for a few of the tabloid stories on this bunch, past and more to come I trust !

Happy New Year when it comes oh speaker of the truth !

Anonymous said...

Fuck!
We should send the army out after these bastards and hunt them down!

Anonymous said...

What a rotten shit ridden country you must have over there laddie.No wonder Donald Trump has put off his little project and who the hell in their right mind would come to shit ridden jockland to be done in by all those lousy lawyers!

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has suffered at the hands of any Scottish Solicitor must write a submission - a single sheet of A4 paper is all it takes -listing why they support the Bill Alexander Petition to widen access to third party legal representation in Scotland.

This has to be submitted by January 5th and anyone with a fax or email can do it.

Anonymous said...

I think I know someone who might be affected by one of those bent lawyers in the Borders
He lives in Galashiels and his grannys shop is now owned by the lawyer who was supposed to be her executor and they havent seen a penny it all went to the lawyer in Kelso
Will tell him about your blog

Anonymous said...

EXCLUSIVE : SALMOND SAYS ALL CROOKS SHOULD PULL TOGETHER ! http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7803712.stm

Anonymous said...

I read about the Gordon v Turcan Connell case in the Scotsman.I'm sure there are a few dodgy dealings going on there but I assume the Law Society will be doing all it can to keep it from the courts or some fiddle of sorts will result to make it go away.

Anonymous said...

I liked the part about cocaine addicted lawyers.Edinburgh is full of them Mr Cherbi and as for the one who runs the "simulated rape & bondage club" I think he and his members should be locked away in hell forever.Incidentally if there are teachers and persons who work with children in that arrangement I think the likes of the Sun and the Daily Record should sink their journalistic teeth into them so the rest of us know who to avoid.
Good work as always.What would we do without you?

Anonymous said...

What an odious bunch of people these lawyer are.I hope they all go bankrupt and their clients take back what is rightfully theirs by any means possible

Anonymous said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/7804694.stm
How about that for an injustice ? Someone like that allowed back in to the community just because his bloody lawyers were there to say he didnt mean to do it !

Anonymous said...

If the Law Society knows its members are drugs dealers and criminals of other varieties then it should be shut down completely.
Happy New Year for you Peter when it comes!

Anonymous said...

what a swell guy you are Peter for taking on the lawyers and writing about it all
im sure you probably help a lot of people but if i were you id be thinking about moving to a better place!

Anonymous said...

Peter if you can I really need a lawyer to take hold of a case our own lawyers have just dropped after we found out their firm represented our landlord!
If you get this comment please could you reply quickly just telling us a name or firm we can go to before 5Jan
All the very best to you and all the good things you do.
G.Bryson.

Anonymous said...

Nice topic for a Monday morning Mr Cherbi.Make sure you don't let up on the Law Society in 2009 for all our sakes !

btw good tabloid stuff of the solicitor cum prostitute who is sleeping with a member ? of the "j*******y"

Anonymous said...

Good dig about Turcan Connell and there's a lot more to the Tarves story than the hootsmon reported

Anonymous said...

I just received a letter from the law society telling me they were not going to investigate my complaint because my lawyer has shut down his firm and now the money for our house purchase is stuck with him and law society say they are powerless

Anonymous said...

I just received a letter from the law society telling me they were not going to investigate my complaint because my lawyer has shut down his firm and now the money for our house purchase is stuck with him and law society say they are powerless

Anonymous said...

I think that your work is very thoroughly researched and very well written. I hope things change but they probably won't. they want to ruin my life and they have been successful at this in the past but I believe that change does happen if you can reach the hearts of people. I was set up in order so they could hide the lies they had told and one day the truth will come out

Anonymous said...

let me also say that if you look at the records you will find a wrongful death action or something and they covered the money and other things up then framed me because they knew about the money. being either. I got convicted by the people who knew about the money and framed by others so I would never get a dime.

Anonymous said...

they keep saying I will know who they really were and what they really did but that hasn't happened yet although I have my ideas and I pretty much know. I can't prove it yet

Anonymous said...

I sympathise with people who feel let down by their legal agents but I dont see any improvement on the horizon until the Government is forced to change things for the better.
Keep up the good work Mr Cherbi.

Anonymous said...

You need also to go to southern california law review and check their substantive law review process. where they can bind you to other people and take your state financial aid cash assistance money to pay debt to people who had ripped you off in the first place. with out any hearing to prove their claim or notice they can attach your financial aid. you know that is a lie. that they would have to get an order from a federal judge to do so and notify you but here in new york they do whatever they want to and don't tell you a thing. not that their claims are true, and when they see they are a debtor is will suprise them right. maybe I should go around attaching monies and saying I am right. carrie

Anonymous said...

ye gods Peter ! I think you should be put in charge of cleaning up those damned lawyers !

Anonymous said...

here is an article I found. it gave me great insight into the matter abou who was stealing and why......carrie

Why do Trusted Employees Steal?

By: Greg Taylor / Vice President
Corporate Audit Partners

What makes an employee embezzle funds from an employer? Why are some employees overcome by the temptation to steal and others are not? Every time an employee is caught misappropriating assets, employers ask these same questions. “How could John or Jane steal from our company? I went to his wedding. We went on fishing trips together. I loaned her my car for a week.”

Employees have stolen money from employers from the beginning of time. During the early 1900’s the psychologists of the day, Freud, Skinner, Sutherland, and later Cressey, studied employee defalcation and embezzlement, theorizing on crime causation. In the 1940’s Cressey, one of Sutherland’s star students was working on his PhD formed his dissertation around the causation of embezzlement. His work was published as “Other People’s Money: A Study in the Social Psychology of Embezzlement”. Cressey coined the phrase “trust violators” in his research papers and books as a term for embezzlers. He summarized his final theories as follows:

“Trusted persons become trust violators when they conceive of themselves as having a financial problem which is non-sharable, are aware this problem can be secretly resolved by violation of the position of financial trust, and are able to apply to their own conduct in that situation, verbalization which enables them to adjust there conceptions of themselves as trusted persons with their conceptions of themselves as users of the entrusted funds or property.”

In non-technical terms, Cressey was saying embezzlers have some type of perceived financial problem they feel has to be dealt with secretly and they have the means, motive, and rationalization to fix the problem by embezzling.

What are non-sharable financial problems? They are problems that are unique and overwhelming to the embezzler. These types of problems can be categorized as the four “D’s”. They are Debts and gambling, Divorce or infidelity, Drugs or alcohol abuse, or Disgruntlement or anger related to their job or status at the company. While many employees within every company have similar problems such as divorce or debts, most employees resolve these problems without resorting to embezzling.

The process of embezzlement can be thought of as a three-legged chair. Those three factors, non-sharable problem, perceived opportunity, and rationalization must exist before embezzlement can occur.

Taking an example of theft through expense-report abuse, an employee enters a twenty dollars lunch on the expense report when no meal was actually purchased.

The first you can perceive from this act is a financial problem. Perhaps the employee needs the extra twenty dollars to cover a personal expense such as part of a car payment. The second is rationalization. “The employee reasons, “They aren’t paying me enough money. I know so-and-so did it too. I had to wait an extra hour on a plane last week and I should be compensated for my time. I missed my son’s ball game to go on this sales call.” The third leg of the chair is opportunity. The employee knows that the $20.00 is not going to be audited because the company policy of requiring expense receipts starts at $25.00. This is the opportunity; no one will check. If this employee adds an extra $20.00 to their expense report three times each week, for each of the thirty weeks of travel per year, they would supplement their salary by $1,800.00.

How do you, as an employer, prevent embezzlement? At least one leg of the three-legged fraud chair must be cut off.

The first step must be an open door policy. Employees must be made to feel that they can come to the employer with financial problems without feeling they are being judged. Similarly, there needs to be an internal process for employees to air their grievances.

The second step is preventing rationalization. Honesty and ethics flow down from the top of any company. If the executives of the company are cooking the books, making shady deals, or abusing the internal processes and controls, these actions tell other employees that it is okay to steal. A company in mid-America was recently indicted on fraud and embezzlement charges. In a brief to the courts, the attorney general said that fraud and embezzlement were seen as the normal course of business at the company. Not one, not two, but three large cases of defalcation were identified at the company.

An invaluable component of preventing rationalization is adding an employee tip line. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, anonymous employee tip lines are the number one identifier of embezzlement and fraud within a company. Tips contribute to over 40% of fraud and embezzlement detection. Internal audits and accidents are a distant second and third in detecting defalcation. The setting up of a tip line also signifies that the employer does not tolerate dishonesty and is actively seeking to prevent it.

Lastly, but most importantly is preventing the opportunity. The “opportunity” component of the three-legged chair is the most important and the easiest to control. An employee may have the non-shareable problem and rationalize the theft, but is prevented to commit fraud by the lack of opportunity. Employees must not be given the opportunity to embezzle.

Internal controls should be set up at all risk points in the financial process such as segregation of duties, forcing vacations, modifying process flows, cross training and the auditing of transactions. The perception of auditing is almost as important as the auditing itself. Once an employee believes that transactions are being audited on a regular basis, he or she is less likely to commit fraud. Alone, changing the T&E receipt requirement from $25 to $15 without auditing would be deterrent. However, modifying the reimbursement receipt policy, along with auditing the policy can be invaluable in preventing most embezzlement and abuse.


(1) Donald R. Cressey, Other People’s Money (Montclair: Patterson Smith, 1973) p. 30.