Joe manages Twin Rivers Tree Services, a company that provides tree trimming and tree removal services.
After a big storm in a nearby town, Joe sends a foreman and a crew to perform tree service work. There’s a lot of damage, and the crew is kept busy for three weeks. Shortly after the work ends in the town, the foreman quits, and Joe starts to notice that no customer payments are coming in.
The foreman was given a printed pad of invoices to fill out and hand to customers, so Joe is confident that customers were billed. He talks to the crew and then takes a crewmember back to the town to visit some customer job sites.
Joe knocks on some doors and the customers tell Joe that yes, the invoice has been paid. He asks a customer to show him the invoice. As it turns out, the name on the invoice is slightly different than his company name, and the address is also different.
The foreman created a company name and address that he controlled. Once he handed out all of the fictitious invoices, he quit the company.
In most cases, the dollars lost are never recovered. The individual who committed the fraud may be located, but the time and effort to recover the money through criminal penalties or a civil suit may take years.