What does an embezzler spend their money on? In the case of a New York man’s alleged fraud, just about everything, apparently.  A recent investigation reveals comptroller’s spending spree. Recent news articles report that Mark Cina, a comptroller at two companies in Poughkeepsie, New York, is accused of embezzling $2.5 million over six years (2009-2015). In case you are wondering if he stashed the money away somewhere for safe keeping, the answer would seem to be no, according to the feds.

Instead, he spent it gambling, paying his rent, dining out and plenty of other expenses. In fact, the Poughkeepsie Journal provides an extended list of alleged expenses in an article published Saturday, “Feds: Dutchess man embezzled millions, spent $457,000 at mini-mart.” Here’s the eye-opening laundry list:

  • $457,000 at a mini-mart
  • $180,000 at a gas station
  • $25,000 for rent
  • $125,000 for personal credit card bills
  • $599,000 in non-payroll checks, payable to Cina
  • $282,000 in checks payable to cash
  • $825,000 in cash withdrawals

As if that’s not enough, the Journal adds: “Cina also allegedly spent money at pharmacies, medical and dental facilities and a rental car company.” Cina is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Internal Revenue Service and Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

How can this happen? Aside from the staggering amount of the fraud, it’s important to know that employee embezzlement is not rare. Anyone with opportunity and access to an organisation’s funds could potentially steal – sometimes over and over again, for years. It’s often a matter of a trusted employee having too much control over the organisation’s finances, with no checks on that control and no proper fraud prevention measures in place.

At CRI Group, we know that fraudsters, cyber attacks, third-party risks, disrupted supply chains and other unforeseen, uncontrollable factors can pose serious harm to your business and cause major concern. Today, smart business owners and executives are asking hard questions, especially before conducting business on a global level:

  • How do we manage the risks to digital and physical assets?
  • Does the organisation have the appropriate controls and contingency plans in place to protect our business?
  • How quickly can we respond to a serious business crisis?
  • Can the organisation rely on our third-party business partners to maintain appropriate levels of control?

The team at CRI Group can help you road map these risks and have sufficient action plans in place to deal with unforeseen threats to your business. Some risk factors cannot be completely avoided. But with the proper response plans in place, we can help bolster your corporate security and resilience, ensuring that your company will overcome such challenges and protect your future success.

Don’t let your organisation become a cash cow for someone else’s gambling expenses, dinner tabs or rent payments. CRI Group’s experts are trained to work with your organisation to find vulnerabilities to fraud, and eliminate or mitigate your risk factors.

Following a thorough fraud risk assessment, we tailor a fraud prevention strategy that’s the perfect fit for your organisation to detect and prevent fraud and corruption. With the proper controls in place, you can avoid unforeseen crises like the one in Poughkeepsie, New York.


Who is CRI Group?

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.