What is Asset Misappropriation Fraud?

Fraud CrimesWhen you are in a situation where money is flowing in front of your eyes or through your fingers every day, it can be hard to avoid the temptation to slide some into your pocket. Well, that is illegal and considered stealing. If you are caught, not only are you likely to be terminated, but you are likely to be charged with a fraud crime.

What is the Most Common Type of Fraud?

The most common type of fraud takes place in a white collar setting and it is called asset misappropriation fraud. Asset misappropriation is simply explained as when an employee that has access to the financials of a company stealing assets, usually money, from said company. There are a variety of techniques that are used to commit this crime. Some of the more common methods are:

Authorized Maker

The authorized maker of a company is the person who has the power to create and sign checks. In this scenario, the authorized maker will create a check payable to him/herself. Then, the authorized maker adjusts the name of the payee in the accounting records to make the check look like it was made out to a normal expense. If you believe that a person in your firm is committing this type of fraud, you can assign another individual to review all bank statements and look for irregularities.

Forged Checks

If you have ever forged your parent’s signature on a field trip slip or a test you did poorly on, you know what this type of fraud entails. Forged checks fraud is when an individual acquires a company check, makes themselves the payee, and forges the authorization signature.

Altered Checks

Altered check fraud is similar to forged check fraud. The difference is that the person committing the crime is not forging the authorizers signature, but instead altering the payee’s name on an already signed check.

Cash Larceny

Cash larceny is when a person steals cash after it has been recorded in the records. This generally happens when the cash is on its way from the business to the bank to be deposited. This type of fraud is easy to identify if you follow your business’ bank statements as the deposit will be less than your records indicate.

Non-Cash Misappropriation

Non-cash misappropriation is just that. This crime involves a person taking company materials or other assets and using them for their personal use or selling them for their personal gain. This type of fraud is most common in a store that sells merchandise, like the retail sector.


When a person is skimming form your business it means that they are taking a portion of company funds before they are recorded. For example, an employee working the cash register decides to pocket the cash instead of ringing the products into the system and charging the customer for it.

What Happens if You are Caught?

If you are caught using one of these techniques to commit fraud, your position will likely be terminated and your employer may even press charges. If you have been accused of allegedly committing this type of fraud, you should contact a fraud defense attorney right away. The longer you wait, the worse your situation can become.