Monday, December 22, 2008

The Embezzler

How bad can the business of selling books really be when an independent bookstore in North Carolina fails to notice that a "trusted employee" has walked away with $348,975?

I'm just kidding - I know these are tough times for booksellers - but this kind of thing always amazes me and makes me wonder how some people can be so blind to what is going on around them.

According to the News & Observer,

A former bookkeeper with Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh was arrested over the weekend and charged with embezzling $348,975 from the popular independent bookstore.

Anna Susan Kosak, 43, of Raleigh is charged with taking the money over several years, according to court records. Quail Ridge General Manager Sarah Goddin said Sunday that Kosak was employed as the store's bookkeeper twice, from 1998 to 2001 and again from 2004 until September. Goddin said Kosak's departure in September was not related to the embezzlement charge.

Goddin said the missing money went undetected because it disappeared over a long period of time. Quail Ridge does about $3.4 million in sales a year, according to Nancy Olsen, who owns the 24-year-old store with her husband, Jim.

"We're shocked," Nancy Olsen said Sunday.
Well, duh. Pay attention, guys.

(Admittedly, I'm an accountant by training and experience but I refuse to believe that this woman could not have been stopped early on in her serial thieving. It's not that easy to pull off something like this - much easier to stop and detect than to accomplish, in fact.)


  1. It always amazes me that embezzelers don't get caught. Do these people not balance their books at all?

  2. Carrie, this kind of thing shocks me every time I see it. Some business owners apparently don't want to take the time to watch out for themselves, preferring instead to place way too much trust in a "valued" employee who will do it for them. Stupid, stupid, stupid.