Employee Theft Is Major Problem in America

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois theft laws,Retail theft is a serious problem across the globe. In the United States alone, retail theft and other losses, known collectively as shrinkage, account for $42 billion dollars in losses each year, according to an annual study known as the Global Retail Theft Barometer.

Their busiest four months of the year for retailers – October through December – account for around half of America’s annual retail shrinkage. While shoplifting, damaged and lost goods, and other types of loss are all factored into overall shrinkage, American retailers are dealing with an issue that other countries of similar economic status are not experiencing. Employee theft is a very serious crime, and while the consequences of employee theft are severe, they do not seem to be discouraging employees from stealing. In fact, employee theft in America costs retailers nearly half of all of their reported lost revenue.

Globally, employee theft is responsible for around 28 percent of retail inventory losses. Shoplifters, globally, account for a much higher 39 percent of lost inventory. In America, employee theft account for 43 percent of lost revenue. Nearly half of all shrinkage in America is due to employee theft. Experts say that loss is about $18 billion annually, and the costs do not only affect the retailers themselves. Shoppers themselves pay the price for shrinkage. Each US household pays an average of $403 per year towards the costs of stolen, lost, or damaged merchandise.

Certain stores tend to experience employee theft more often than others. Discount stores report higher numbers of employee theft compared to supermarkets or home improvement stores.

Why are American’s stealing from their employers? The report says that reasons include “Ineffective pre-employment screening, less employee supervision, and easy sale of stolen merchandise.”

Employees in America are getting creative with their theft tactics. Rather than sticking a wad of cash from the register in their purse, or simply walking away with stolen goods, employees are trying subtler tactics. “Usually is happens during checkout, when an associate manipulates a transaction to benefit themselves or someone else,” says a retail loss-prevention expert. Employees may void transactions, enter refunds, or give discounts to themselves or others without permission. Employees have also been known to “cancel transactions, modify prices, or say someone used a coupon when they did not.”

Employee Theft Leads to Serious Consequences 

Regardless of the motivation behind the theft, employees caught stealing from their employer should expect harsh consequences. Often, because employees are trusted by their employers, those charged with employee theft are often punished more seriously than those caught simply shoplifting from a third party. The consequences for the crime of employee theft may vary, and in most cases depend on the value of the stolen property, the circumstances of the crime, and any existing criminal background. Common penalties include restitution, prison time, and a tarnished criminal record.

Being charged with retail theft is serious, and those facing serious charges need the help of a qualified Chicago area criminal defense attorney. Do not let a mistake impact you for the rest of your life. Hal M. Garfinkel and his team understand the seriousness of facing criminal charges, and will work to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. Call 312-270-0999 today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.

 

Sources:

http://fortune.com/2015/01/26/us-retail-worker-theft/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-1

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