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What is computer embezzlement?

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2017 | Criminal Defense

As mentioned in the previous articles, embezzlement is one of the most common types of white collar crime. Embezzlement could be as simple as a cashier shortchanging customers here and there in the hope that no one catches on.

Embezzlement could also involve the complex manipulation of computers through what investigators and corporate financial security experts refer to as “computer embezzlement.”

5 examples of computer embezzlement

Computer programmers and computer operators are constantly discovering new ways to commit embezzlement through the manipulation of computer databases and digital networks. Here are five examples of computer embezzlement that employees have used frequently in the past:

Salami and trapdoor techniques: This may involve taking a very small amount of money off every transaction that gets processed. The small amount of money never gets noticed as it’s being transferred into another bank account belonging to the person committing the crime.

  • Logic bombs: Logic bombs involve computer commands that engage at specific times periodically. They might shift money, erase information or shut down a computer system at predetermined intervals.
  • Data diddling: This involves the manipulation of the way a computer program operates to deactivate the control mechanisms used to detect embezzlement.
  • Skimming: Computer operators might skim a customer’s account information from a database in order to make an unapproved resale or to use the information for other criminal purposes.
  • Trojan horses: This could be a computer virus that inserts hidden commands in existing computer programs that results in the program performing unauthorized functions. Those functions might involve the siphoning of funds into another bank account.

Were you accused of computer embezzlement?

Computer embezzlement is commonly committed by employees working as data processors. These individuals might act alone, or get help from co-conspirators. Just the same, it’s very possible for an employee to face embezzlement accusations inappropriately. Maybe embezzlement happened, but the accused employee was not involved.

Those who commit computer fraud can be very adept at making it appear that an innocent person committed the crime in order to cover their tracks. If you’re facing accusations of embezzlement, be sure to know your legal rights and take the time to carefully organize your criminal defense.

Photo of Attorney Phillip A. Geigle