Canadian charities and embezzlement - when the river runs dry, the jagged rocks are revealed

January 19, 2010 | By: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Mark Blumberg
Topics: News, Canadian Charity Law, Avoiding 'Charity' Scams

Recently a US Report on major embezzlements by Marquet International was released.  The report covers only one type of fraud namely embezzlement or the misappropriation of resources by an employee or agent of an organization for his or her own purposes.  What is interesting is first the high number of non-profits who suffer from embezzlements.  “Non-profit and religious organizations accounted for more than 11 percent of all the incidents, consistent with our 2008 findings.”

“Corporate fraud schemes tend to reveal themselves when organizations pay more attention to their finances. Other white collar crimes, such as investment frauds, simply collapse on
themselves in economic downturns.”

“Looking at the two years’ data on major embezzlements in the US, we believe we can
reasonably come to the following conclusions:
? Women are more likely to embezzle than men.
? Men embezzle significantly more than women.
? Perpetrators typically begin their embezzlement schemes in their early 40s.
? By a significant margin, embezzlers are most likely to be individuals who hold financial positions within organizations.
? The two broad industry categories that have the highest risk for a major embezzlement are Financial Services and Government Agencies/Municipalities.
? The Financial Services industry suffers the greatest losses from major embezzlements.
? On average, major embezzlement schemes last about 4½ years.
? California and Florida are consistently the states that experience the greatest losses from major embezzlements.
? The vast majority of major embezzlements are caused by sole perpetrators
? Gambling is a clear motivating factor in driving some major embezzlements.
? Fewer than 10 percent of embezzlers have a criminal record – less than expected, but enough to suggest that pre-employment screening has merit.”

Here is a copy of the report entitled Report On Major Embezzlements 2009

Mark Blumberg is a lawyer at Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto, Ontario.  To find out more about legal services that Blumbergs provides to Canadian charities and non-profits please visit or  Mark can be contacted at or at 416-361-1982.

This article is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice. You should not act or abstain from acting based upon such information without first consulting a legal professional.

Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?


Charity Lawyer Mark Blumberg

Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.
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