Finance

Businesses warned to watch for “unusual” behaviour, as former Macquarie Bank worker charged with $1.2 million fraud

Yolanda Redrup /

Fraud experts have warned businesses to keep an eye out for employees who start acting unusually, after a Macquarie Bank employee was charged with allegedly defrauding the company of $1.2 million over nine years.

Michael Roth, the former national leasing manager for Macquarie Banks, has been charged with 34 separate offences of falsifying documents to gain financial advantage, Fairfax reports.

SmartCompany contacted Macquarie Group for comment, but received no response prior to publication.

Warfield and Associates chief executive Brett Warfield told SmartCompany business people should be on the lookout for employees or executives acting suspiciously – which often happens at the outset of a fraud.

“The person could be very secretive, or very gregarious and outgoing, very explicit and always trying to make out something which is occurring when it’s not. Just generally being very boisterous and behaving in a way which is unusual for someone in his or her role,” he says.

Fairfax is reporting this morning Roth allegedly stole money from the bank by submitting false leasing documents for items including cars and medical equipment and then had the money transferred directly into his personal bank account.

Warfield says leasing finance is an area often affected by fraud.

In this case, Roth allegedly defrauded the company for almost a decade between 2003 and 2012. The alleged frauds were reportedly detected when some employees become suspicious and notified authorities.

Roth left the bank late last year and is due to face the Downing Centre Local Court on September 17.

Warfield says when a fraud involves a more senior person in an organisation it’s often more difficult to detect.

“But regardless of the level of the person, you need a system of review and checks and balances in place,” he says.

“The business needs to be making sure they see the payments and transactions and make sure they know who the money is going to and why,” he says.

“You can’t have hundred thousand dollar payments being made and not have them checked by the business owner or senior management.”

The case is just one of many employee fraud cases to emerge this year.

In June, a former TZ Limited bookkeeper was found guilty of making false entries worth $130,000 and in July it was revealed $17 million was misappropriated from Dual Australia from employee fraud.

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