Case Study: Employee Embezzlement Investigation, Pacific Seafood, July 2017
Pacific Seafood suspected that long-time employee Drew Jacobs may have fraudulently used company-issued credit cards for personal use.
Counsel for Pacific Seafood engaged Morones Analytics to conduct an independent fraud investigation of payments made by Drew Jacobs while employed by Pacific Seafood to substantiate the amount of losses incurred by the company, initially for the purpose of filing an insurance loss claim. Our investigation included reviewing credit card charges over a three-year period of time to determine whether a valid business purpose for the expenses could be substantiated. We also reviewed payments made by corporate checks that were authorized by Mr. Jacobs.
We compared documentation that Mr. Jacobs submitted with his expense reports to documentation obtained directly from vendors where available; reviewed emails to substantiate the existence of alleged meetings and business travel; and investigated other direct sources of information to attempt to determine the true nature of each of the credit card charges claimed as business expenses.
We found substantial evidence that for a significant quantity of the charges, documentary support such as receipts that were submitted with expense reports, and expense report explanations provided by Mr. Jacobs had been manipulated to obscure the true nature of the charges.
Our investigation uncovered both patterns and instances of Mr. Jacobs’ use of Pacific Seafood funds that appeared consistent with fraud or personal use and concluded that Mr. Jacobs made or authorized payments totaling at least $460,600 for which we found no valid business purpose. We identified an additional $435,900 that could potentially be at issue, but we were not able to obtain documentation within the scope of our assignment.
Pacific Seafood provided our findings to law enforcement, who were able to elicit a guilty plea from Mr. Jacobs on charges of wire fraud and filing false tax returns. Mr. Jacobs was sentenced to two years in prison and was ordered to pay $561,000 in restitution to Pacific Seafood.