Does size matter?

“However, due to the large amount of money taken, school officials decided to take the matter to police.” In this case, the amount was approximately $90,000 for a Montessori center . What is your or your client’s pain tolerance? Should there be an absolute number?

I have seen thefts as small as $1000 being reported to law enforcement. I have seen thefts in the high six figures not being reported to law enforcement. In my experience, a lot of factors are part of the equation but sometimes all the factors combined don’t mean anything if it will be a “black eye” for the organization. Does the perpetrator know what they can get away with before it being prosecuted? Doubtful. But they do know the inner workings of their organization and that can go a long way. Maybe the organization is a non-profit and they don’t want the bad publicity for fear of driving away current and potential donors. Maybe the organization would be embarrassed by the high-level executive they hired with a lot of fanfare but not much due diligence. They certainly don’t want the Wall Street Journal to write an article about their C-Suite executive who used his budget for his pet projects. And, after all, it’s not “material” to report.

But what does this say to the other employees? Their workplace is disrupted. They seem the system as unfair. They now know what they may be able to get away with. What will they think when their bonus or raise is non-existent?

I’m hesitant to use the broken windows theory in corporate crime because it has been shown to not be effective. When I can truly believe all offenses, big and small, are treated the same way then maybe I will be a proponent. I love the idea of broken windows but I also have seen very disparate treatment of offenses. What does this have to do with #pinkcollarcrime? I believe many women are in the lower to mid-level positions and are more likely to be prosecuted for theft than the higher level men who it would be embarrassing for the word to get out.  It has been shown that owner/executive positions steal on average 4 times the amount managers steal and 11 times the amount employees steal. (ACFE Report to the Nations )

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Does size matter? Why does size matter? Is $10,000 to a non-profit the same as $1 million to a business? What is your experience?