Many Stolen Returns

A local Goodwill-like store had a “no questions asked” return policy, whereby customers could return unwanted or faulty merchandise without a sales receipt. The policy was popular among customers and helped the store gain considerable word-of-mouth advertising. The store’s bookkeeper, a long-time employee, took advantage of the policy by systematically altering the books to show “dummy” returns and paying herself cash, always being careful not to exceed actual returns by more than three to five percent. When the bookkeeper died unexpectedly, the fraud was discovered by the new bookkeeper. Total Cost: $100,000.