business fraud and stolen moneyFor a business owner, employee theft is a reality that must be faced. Sometimes the theft is discovered, but the culprit is unknown. However, in those circumstances where you have strong evidence of who stole from you, it is possible to recover your stolen assets. The following are three steps you can take.

Use a Forensic Accountant

If the assets that were stolen took the form of embezzlement of company funds, then you will want to know the exact amount that is missing. A forensic accountant is one with expertise in finding out how much money was taken. Their main job is to analyze financial evidence in legal cases, and may be able to help in an embezzlement situation.

However, when it comes to actually locating these missing assets, you need to hire an asset search investigator. This is a service that several private investigation firms offer, including our own. Once we have information on the employee that you believe is responsible for the theft, we can investigate to determine if there is a connection between the missing funds and your employee.

Reporting the Theft to the Police

If you have evidence of theft and evidence of who is guilty, you should report this to the police immediately. It may lead to an arrest. This, in turn, can lead to a conviction. The problem may be that your former employee will refuse to explain what happened to the money, or they will claim it has been spent.

We can conduct an investigation to find out what your former employee did with the money, and in some cases, we may be able to recover it. It is common for a person to attempt to hide the money even when they are being prosecuted. The district attorney may be able to prosecute a suspect without finding the assets, as long as the evidence of theft is solid. This will not help you, but our firm can offer assistance to recover your stolen assets.

Hiring a Private Investigator Right Away

If the amount of money or the value of the assets is known, you may want to skip hiring a forensic accountant altogether. This is especially true of small and medium sized business owners, who are likely to have a suspect in mind. Often, it is someone who recently quit or was fired, and the assets went missing at this time. With the information you provide us, we can do an asset search to locate your stolen money or tangible assets. Sometimes the threat of going to the police will result in the return of your stolen property, but in the event your former employee does not want to cooperate, at least you will have some evidence to go to the police with.

There are many possibilities when recovering your assets. How this is done will depend upon the nature of the missing assets as well as their total value. The important thing to keep in mind is that the police will attempt to apprehend the perpetrator, and the criminal courts focus on the successful prosecution of the crime. Recovering your stolen property will be secondary. Your best chance of finding your stolen property is by hiring an asset search investigator.



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Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is a private investigator and founder of Tristar Investigation, California’s premiere detective agency. Bruce is also a media commentator for the investigation industry, featured in the New York Times, CNN, History Channel, MSNBC, Los Angeles Times and many more. You can find him on Google+ LinkedIn and YouTube.