You might have heard a little bit about how embezzlement seems to be on the rise everywhere in our country. It's a form of white-collar crime that tends to increase in frequency during tough economic times and interestingly enough is committed more often by women, because women tend to dominate labor fields where employees have access to money that is not theirs.
This trend has come home to roost in Athens. Recently, a woman who worked for the University Gerogia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government pleaded guilty to one count of theft and one count of racketeering for swiping almost $220,000.
The woman stole this money by fabricating receipts that made it look like she or another employee had purchased office supplies and then submitted reimbursement receipts to the University. She did these an estimated 500 times between 2005 and 2009.
The woman has been ordered to pay restitution to the University and will be placed on house arrest for a year. The Georgia Department of Law said she was placed under house arrest, rather than taken to prison, because of her physical condition. It did not specify what her physical condition was such that she could not go to prison.
So far, we are not aware of any explanation the woman gave to rationalize her theft. Stealing is wrong no matter what, but oftentimes people who embezzle do so because they are facing drastic financial circumstances, such as the pending loss of a home to foreclosure or mounting medical bills.
Source: The Athens Red and Black, "Former UGA employee pleads guilty for embezzling more than $200,000," May 17, 2012