The U.S. economy loses an estimated $7.4 billion each day (or 50 million hours) due to improperly filled out timesheets, and too often employees attempt to embezzle money from or otherwise cheat their employers. While many timesheet errors are honest mistakes, many are intentional forms of fraud. And when a government employee steals funds, they’re stealing directly from taxpayers.
According to The Citizen, that’s exactly what Laura Cail, 48, of Troy, has been charged with.
Cail is currently a senior attorney at the state Workers’ Compensation Board, but at the time she was a senior attorney with the New York state Office of Children and Family Services. During her time there, she allegedly stole $12,668 by filing false attendance records at the state Office of Children and Family Services. The Citizen reports that state investigators believe she stated that she was at work when she was absent or that she arrived on time when she actually was late.
“This defendant flouted her commitment to state taxpayers and the public she was hired to serve, allegedly treating her employment as a ‘come as you please’ job,” said Catherine Leahy Scott, New York State Inspector General. “Her alleged actions undermine the integrity of the vast majority of the state workforce, and I remain fully committed to vigorously pursuing any government employee who violates the public trust.”
Falsifying timesheets can result in termination of employment, civil liability, and also criminal charges. Inception Technologies reports that organizations are moving towards state-of-the-art timekeeping software to prevent situations like this. This software can verify where an employee is when the clock in or clock out, alerting supervisors to potential fraud.
Cail was charged with 36 counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and third-degree grand larceny, both of which are felony charges. Investigators allege that she submitted false timekeeping records in 36 out of 39 pay periods between June of 2015 and October of last year. In total, they believe she collected $12,668 in extra income.
Cail has since been released and is scheduled to appear in court on January 17, 2018.