Because of our involvement in fraud prevention we make it a point to keep up with the latest news by periodically searching the web for news stories. It seems like the pace of fraud occurrence is quickening.
Here are two recent stories of church embezzlement:
- Church employee charged with embezzlement
- Firefighter and church deacon accused of embezzlement
PSK is not involved in any of these situations so I have no idea about anyone’s guilt, innocence or the ultimate outcome of the cases. But, I am sure of one thing; no church or ministry wants to make these types of headlines.
To avoid this kind of publicity we have been urging, almost pleading with churches to take this situation seriously. A “clear and present danger” exists and every church should immediately perform an analysis of their current management structures to determine their vulnerabilities to fraud.
This article (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30088148/) reminded me of a fraud prevention principle – Most church embezzlements are probably not committed by crooks. Sinister looking guys usually don’t hang around churches with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths looking for the right opportunity to jump. Instead, I think more financial attacks on churches are committed by people who are basically good but, for one reason or another, find themselves in bad circumstances such as addictions (gambling being the most frequent), business reversals, and health issues.
Unfortunately, many churches operate under the belief that you have to be a crook to be a church embezzler, and convince themselves that since “We have no crooks here we have nothing to worry about.” What they forget is this: they do have hurting people. Probably more than they realize. In fact, every church has plenty of wounded members and employees with all sorts of “issues”. And unfortunately, many of their wounds can be eliminated, or at least, soothed with money.
I don’t know if the need for plastic surgery and Botox constitutes an “issue”. But it did for this particular priest. And his church is $85,000 the poorer for it…
PSK LLP has provided this article as a resource to help churches prevent fraud.
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