Fighting systemic theft through expert interviewing
Following a theft from inside a resident’s apartment in a high-rise condominium building, the manager of the building searched a computer shared by the maintenance staff and discovered that someone had accessed an eBay account from the computer. The eBay account appeared to primarily sell industrial equipment, such as garbage disposal units, regularly used to maintain the building. It quickly became clear that someone had been stealing supplies owned by the building and selling them online. The condo’s Board of Directors hired our firm to investigate.
While the police, who were investigating the apartment theft, were searching for a former employee who was videotaped stealing from the residence, the condo management (and residents) wondered if the thefts were isolated to the one employee or whether other maintenance staff knew about or participated in them.
Our reports contained meticulous details of the information provided by the various witnesses, and we recommended ways that they could improve their internal controls to prevent similar thefts from happening in the future.
We interviewed management and front desk staff concerning how supplies were ordered and how they were allocated to maintenance projects in the various condos. Once our investigators understood how the building’s control systems worked (and where they likely failed), we interviewed the other personnel about the various thefts.
When we interviewed one maintenance employee he provided inconsistent answers, but he denied taking part in the thefts. However, confronted about the fact that he could not have helped but notice certain equipment missing, he admitted that he knew his coworker had been stealing for some time but had decided not to say anything to management about it.
Our reports contained meticulous details of the information provided by the various witnesses, and we recommended ways that they could improve their internal controls to prevent similar thefts from happening in the future. The building’s residents could rest easier knowing that their Board had commissioned a thorough investigation of the problem and that they had responded appropriately.