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NOTE: This is long, please bare with me; it's very important. Ok, anyone that can give me some advice on this would be greatly appreciated and the sooner the better!!! I work in a district office for a large company that is all over the US. I am the only administrative person in this office besides the managers. We all have a wonderful working relationship with each other; including "off-the-job" relationships; get togethers at each others homes, kids' parties, etc. Couple of weeks ago, it was discovered by myself that someone had been "taking" money from a bank bag we had hidden in the bottom drawer of a locked file cabinet. My boss had requested this large amount of money for our office because we had a payroll problem that required reimbursing employees money due to them that was shorted on their checks. (The payroll clerk was laid off and payroll had been moved to a "central" administrative office - obviously this was a bad move because the person doing our payroll had messed it up horribly; I'm doing the payroll again at our office.) Anyway, he requested a very large amount so that we had this money on hand for anyone that had an error on their check and we could get it back to them immediately without the employee suffering any type of inconvenience. This was done back in the beginning of December and we handed out money in December, January and February before we were told to stop. The money that was left over was stored in the file cabinet and any adjustments to employees checks was on paper and filed in a folder and set aside. During this period, I was responsible for everything that was done in the office; more than just swamped. The reconcilation of this money and the adjustments was put on the "back burner" until I got what I thought was a little more important, caught up. This happened around the beginning of April. One afternoon, I pulled that money out and straightened it up to begin my reconcilation; for example, put all the $1's in $25 groups and then put four groups of $25 increments into money bands for $100 totals. By the time I got that done, the day was over so I put the money away. The days that followed this, I got tied up in other projects that had to be done "today" so I didn't get back to the reconcilation until the end of April. When I got back to finish the reconcilation, I pulled the money out again and noticed that what I had straighten up had been "messed up". The neat stacks of money I had put away less than a month before had bills hanging out of the bands I had put it in. And I knew I had more $100 bills than what was in there. At that time, I told another person that worked with me what I had suspected. We both counted the money, and said we would count in again in a couple of days to see if more was missing. It was also "straightened" back up again in neat piles. This other employee also alerted our boss, who was not at work that day, of what I discovered. We did this for about a week and stopped. It was not brought back up until about two weeks ago when I looked in the bag and noticed the bands on some of the money was ripped and the rubber bands were laying in the bottom of the band with no money in them. We counted the money again and found almost $1400 missing from what was in there a month and a half before. So needless to say, an investigation of this was started. It has been determined that a large sum of money has been "taken" from this money bag. I have been interviewed by my employers investigators and now have been interviewed twice by the local law enforcement's private detective. I'm not going to bore anyone with my personal background unless asked, but I did not take this money. My boss warned me that I would be heavily looked at because that money was basically in my control. I was prepared for that, but the detective brought my husband into this because he works at the same place I do, just for a different employer. They say because I keep my keys in my purse, that were to the cabinet this money was in, that he took it; which would be impossible because he has no need to get those keys and he has no way to be sneaky and put them back in my purse without my knowledge. But they say they have surveillance tapes and that I may not have taken the money, but I have knowledge of who did. During the interrogation, I noticed some discrepancies in what I was being told happened; I don't believe they have tapes; even though they showed me some - I think they are just "props". I've been told this investigation has been going on long before I discovered the money missing - don't believe that either. When I went in to the Sheriff's department for my first interview, I was read my rights and I opted not to have a lawyer present. They were going to give me a polygraph test, which I agreed to, but for some reason didn't give it to me. For my second interview, the detective met me at a local McDonald's; didn't seem very professional to me. I think that if they had something on my husband or myself, one or both of us would be in jail by now. I know neither one of us is involved, but the detective keeps telling me that I am the key to solving this and that he thinks I'm keeping information from him and protecting "the one that I love". I am really beginning to think twice about the people I work with for two reasons; how could they think we would have anything to do with this? or this is just part of the investigation? They keep telling me that they are going to put be through a polygraph along with bringing in my husband for an interview and polygraph. Neither has happened yet. Even though I opted not to have a lawyer or public defendant present during my first interview, can I or should I say, should I be contacting one now? I have been put through I lot a stress for the last two weeks because of this; is there anything I can do afterwards to bring up defamation of character charges against my employer? Can they bring charges up against myself or husband without any proof? We don't have any proof of any unexplained, large amounts of money coming into our home! I want to stay loyal to my employer because I love my job and really enjoy what I do, but I really feel violated due to all of this. What can I do and what are my options? I really need to have some information within the next few days before they call me in for a polygraph. I haven't hired a lawyer yet because I also feel that if I do, my employer and anyone else involved with this with think we are guilty. I just want to protect our rights without losing my job and going through a huge lawsuit afterwards. If anyone has any advice for me, please e-mail me at "[email protected]". I'm from Illinois; don't know if laws for this are different from state to state. Thank you in advance.



It should be obvious to you that you need to hire your own attorney (or use the Public Defender if you qualify) ASAP!!!

First, since you were apparently the primary (if not the only) employee charged with keeping that money safe, you are responsible for that money. So if any is missing, even if you didn't do it, you are responsible in the eyes of your employer. Of course, if a third party took the money without your knowledge and consent (as well as the employer's) then you are not guilty of any crime or wrongdoing as far as the law is concerned.

Next, you do yourself a great disservice by trying to analyze what evidence they have, what it means, etc. You should instead get an attorney to represent you.

Third, it is really ridiculous for you to think about being "loyal" to your employer at this time. Their is no loyalty when it comes to money, for about 98.7% of the people out there. Apparently including your employer. If he was really "loyal" to you then he would have taken over the guarding of the money, and dismissed the incident. Instead, you are being questioned by the authorities and are looking at theft charges.

What you have told us would indicate to me that if you are found innocent, there is nothing for which you could sue your employer. I hope this helps.

Mark B. Replogle

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