Common signs of employee and employer fraud in Virginia

Both employees and employers should be aware of the warning signs of potential white collar crimes in the workplace.

The relationship between employer and employee in Virginia is one that is mutually beneficial. That being said, there are instances in which either employee or employer might engage in white collar crimes such as bank fraud, embezzlement or computer crimes. No matter the crime, there are a few signs of which both employee and employer should be aware.

Employers control evidence access

While there are some business practices companies are allowed to keep secret, there are others that should be made available to either the public or certain industry regulatory entities. Employers who offer loose explanations or blatantly dodge questions about how they bring in money might have something to hide. The same is true of companies that do not allow audits or verification of their business claims.

Employees live beyond their financial means and company position

While there is no rule against employees having multiple sources of income, it is often suspicious when low-level employees suddenly start living more like the CEO of a Fortune 500 company without a solid explanation, driving expensive cars and wearing expensive clothes. While there are several reasons behind such opulence, one could be the person is purposefully misappropriating company funds.

Employers focus too much on the bottom line

It is not a crime for a business to want to be profitable, but that desire should not come at the cost of crossing a legal line. Companies that put a majority of their focus on making money and actually make those dividends time and time again without fail could be engaging in illegal acts to meet their goals. There could be a reasonable and lawful reason for the success, or it could be something that requires the intervention of a criminal defense lawyer.

Employees who have a change in personality

Employees who are usually in a good mood and suddenly shift to being guarded, uncommunicative or jumpy could be nervous about someone learning of their workplace violations. Much like how businesses that constantly succeed in achieving their financial goals time and time again are not necessarily engaged in anything criminal, the same is true of employees who exhibit changes in behavior. That being said, both instances are red flags that should be investigated.

Just because a Virginia employer is guilty of a white collar crime does not necessarily mean the employee was aware of it and was a willing participant, and the same is true of when it is an employee who commits the crime. In either situation, it is best to sit down with an attorney to figure out what to do next.