A Ford Mustang, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, sports memorabilia including signed football helmets and baseballs signed by Joe Dimaggio and Pete Rose were all seized by law enforcement after they foiled a scheme to embezzle $400,000 from an insurance company.
“Brian Behl worked for an insurance company as an adjustor and part of that job meant that he would take somebody`s insurance claim and either approve it or deny it and arrange for payments to be made,” says Dan Taylor, US Postal Inspector.
Behl worked for the company for many years and was permitted to approve any claims under $10,000. He used his position to steal for himself. ”What he did was set up a fake salvage company which was nothing more than a P.O. Box in a small post office,” says Taylor.
He filed several false claims for the fake company and arranged to have checks cut to this fake business set-up.
“This scheme went undetected for nearly two years. During that time, he arranged for more than 40 checks to be issued to this salvage company,” says Taylor.
This created losses of more than $400,000. ”This wasn`t just about somebody taking money from a rich company that could afford it. There was a human toll as well,” says Taylor.
In particular Behl`s supervisor.
“He felt ‘betrayed’ and to this day is still pretty upset about how the trust had been violated and ultimately put him under suspicion because this was allowed to happen under his watch,” says Taylor.
Postal inspectors say companies of all sizes need to follow some guidelines. Including a separation of duties and most importantly…
“Make sure to have periodic audits of the books – just to make sure somebody isn`t hiding something from you,” says Taylor. Behl pleaded guilty to mail fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $1 million dollars.