Women over 45 more likely to commit fraud, embezzlement

To combat fraud and embezzlement in your organization, be aware: women over the age of 45 are most likely to such acts. This includes everything from taking office supplies to stealing checks, according to one presenter at this week's Healthcare Financial Management Association conference.

Their reasons for committing these crimes include a need for money, revenge against employers they consider unfair and the thrill of meeting the criminal challenge, according to J. Verne Singleton, CEO of the Eating Disorder Center of Denver. Some triggers for such behavior include performance-based awards, which may stir jealousy, and acute financial needs.

Providers who are victimized by these crimes often have non-existent or ineffective internal controls, a decentralized organizational structure in which execs don't know enough about operations, and a weak disciplinary structure.

To avoid fraud, implement internal controls and strict accounting measures, change computer passwords and locks, have employees sign requisitions, enforce vacations and rotate employees through various duties, Singleton says.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this Healthcare Finance News piece