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We have discussed some of the serious costs of white collar crime before in this blog. Costs of fraud and corruption include not only the economic or financial costs, but also the social costs, including increased cynicism, or lack of trust, in our basic social institutions. But have you ever also considered that white collar crime can also, in some cases, cost jobs? Consider the following case.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Peter DeSantis, of Engineered Architectural Systems in Alpharetta, Georgia, explained yesterday that he had to lay off employees during this recession due to recent thefts allegedly committed by a former employee. According to the news report, the former employee, Karalee Sciukas, was indicted this past month by a Forsyth County grand jury for allegedly stealing about $250,000.00, over several years, while employed as comptroller with the architectural company. According to the report, she allegedly wrote checks to herself and to other businesses which she reportedly controlled, and which were allegedly disguised as vendor payments.
Of course, Ms. Sciukas is presumed innocent and is entitled to her day in court. And the facts of that particular case are not the point of this post, anyway. The point is that white collar crime can have many serious costs and consequences, including lay-offs of employees during a bad economy.
As a former federal prosecutor, (and currently, as an Augusta, GA criminal defense lawyer), I have seen the devastating losses caused by fraud and corruption. I believe we can all agree that job losses are a serious problem and a serious cost of white collar crime.