Washington, DC

By Attorney Amato Sanita, barred in the state of Pennsylvania. Amato manages one of the most active criminal defense practices in the commonwealth, and he concentrates his practice on adult and juvenile crime.

Embezzlers are not like other criminals: most work in an office setting, often have no prior history of committing crimes and surprisingly, today most are female.

According to PinkCollarCrime.com, a website focused on women and fraud and embezzlement issues, since 1990 embezzlers who are men have increased merely 4 percent while women who embezzle have grown by more than 40 percent during the same time. In the workplace, hold key positions, including the office manager, accountant or bookkeeper.

A review of recent Oregon cases shows that women embezzlers were caught taking $6,000 to over $1 million from businesses, charities and educational institutions. While most of the women did not go to prison, they did get probation and had to repay back monies owed.

According to Portland Oregon-based forensic psychologist Dr. Linda Grounds, who has reviewed the history of 40 females charged with embezzlement, the women had no prior criminal history, except for two DUI arrests.

Most had faced neglect or abuse as children and many experienced anxiety, depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Reasons for women embezzling range from gambling addictions to maintaining a nicer lifestyle but mostly to provide basics for their family. The women were most often motivated by desperate financial straits.

From the male perspective, criminologist Dr. Darrell Steffensmeier of Penn State explains that men embezzle more often because of debts that could be caused by gambling, affairs, alcohol or drug addiction or a business investment gone bad.

Other notable differences are that women usually take less money when they embezzle, and when women are caught, they generally immediately confess and repent.

Some Key Takeaways To Watch Out For In the Workplace:

  • Employees acting cagy.
  • Employees with a standard of living beyond their salary.
  • Employees who will not take vacation.
  • Employees with possibly expensive problems (medical, financial or family related).
  • Abnormalities with accounting.
  • If something seems improper, look into it further and do not take explanations at face value.

Attorney Amato Sanita commented, “Most people assume that white-collar crimes are committed by men, but even though they may have different reasons for doing so, women are just as likely to engage in these activities as men are.”


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