Thursday, March 11, 2010

Less Than 3 Months In, 2010 A Banner Year For Major Embezzlement Cases In Michigan

Michigan is infamously having a banner year for major embezzlement cases. With less than two and a half months into the year, we have already chronicled 15 cases involving employee thefts of more than $100,000. For 2009, the total for the entire year was 21 cases. We believe that the more severe economic woes in Michigan may have driven some of this white collar crime. However, most of these cases have gone of for years - the average scheme duration nearing 5 years. Interestingly, five of the 2010 cases involve healthcare related businesses. The average perpetrator age is 44 and 12 of the 15 are females - consistent with our overall research on this topic. There are still more than 9 months left in the year, but Michigan appears to be running far ahead of all other states (California, Texas and New York each have 6 or fewer such cases thus far this year). Our research suggests that the three largest embezzlement cases in Michigan this year so far include:
  • Amanda Renee Burns, of Lansing, Michigan, charged two weeks ago with embezzling about $950,000 from the Rockford branch of Fifth Third Bank
  • Debra Ann Boynton, 44, of Troy, Michigan, sentenced in January for embezzling $640,000 from Standard Federal Bank (now Lasalle Bank Midwest)
  • Susan M. Burgher, 48, of Breckenridge, Michigan, pleaded guilty in January to one count of "embezzlement of more than $100,000" for stealing nearly $600,000 from Innovative Communications Inc.
Any Michiganders want to comment on this apparent trend?


Anonymous said...

I find this interesting! I currently reside in MI (lifer) and no one could argue that times are really tough here, however, instead of more people trying to get extra cash for the reason MI has the most cases so far, what about more companies are auditing their accounts line by line to see where they could cut or looking at the roles key employees play to see where they could be more efficient.

Chris Marquet said...

That is definitely a factor - in down times companies tend to keep closer tabs on the books and these frauds are more likely to be unearthed. However, that does not explain the disparity between Michigan and all the other states. Michigan economy is bad, but not so much worse than the rest of the country that would account for so many more cases of this type.