“2013 was a gangbuster year for embezzlement in the United States, exceeding even 2012’s previous record pace,” says Christopher T. Marquet, author of The 2013 Marquet Report on Embezzlement, released in December 2014. “What is remarkable is depth, magnitude and frequency of employee theft in the U.S. economy. Vermont topped the list of highest embezzlement risk states in the nation for the third time in six years.”

Vermont was promptly followed as a high-risk state for embezzlement by the District of Columbia, West Virginia, Montana, South Dakota, Virginia, Idaho, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri. Credit Unions especially continue at record levels of embezzlement, the report ntoes.

The number of U.S. embezzlement cases increased five percent over 2012 – 554 major cases (those with more than $100,000 in reported losses) were active in the U.S. in 2013.

            The Marquet report draws the following conclusions:

  • Major embezzlement schemes typically span a five-year period.
  • Embezzlers are most likely to hold financial positions with enterprises.
  • The top three sectors experiencing major embezzlements are, respectively, the financial services industry, government entities and non-profits, including religious organizations.
  • The most common embezzlement scheme is the forgery or unauthorized issuance of company checks.
  • Be on the lookout: Perpetrators typically begin embezzlement schemes in their early 40s. While women are more likely to embezzle on a large scale, men embezzle significantly more money. Only about five percent of major embezzlers have a prior criminal history.