Grand Theft Case Investigation Exonerates Falsely Accused Suspect


A young man was accused of stealing electronic chips worth $50,000 from his employer, a firm in Santa Clara, CA. Based on the police investigation, the DA was ready to charge this employee with Grand Theft. Fortunately for him, the owner of the firm retained us to do a thorough investigation of the theft. We discovered the real thief, another employee, and the young man was not prosecuted.

The Story:

An employee of an electronics firm in Santa Clara CA, had been accused of stealing a large number of electronic chips, worth in excess of $50,000 retail. The accused was one of several employees in the warehouse area, and a series of documents with his alleged signature on them, indicated that he was the last employee to have accounted for the chips, which were kept in containers in lots of 500 and subject to routine inventory.

When this employee was questioned by law enforcement, he became very antagonistic and refused to cooperate with the investigation, raising law enforcement’s suspicions. The case was referred to the DA for prosecution of this suspect, but prior to the DA charging suspect, the owner of the company retained us to conduct an internal investigation.

We first interviewed the suspected employee. He told us that he had been falsely accused in a previous job of stealing money and, although he was subsequently proved innocent, the experience left him with an ingrained hostility towards law enforcement. We then interviewed the other employees who had access to the chips in question and, based on those interviews, our focus began to narrow to one particular employee. When we ran standard background checks on the employees we had interviewed, we discovered that the one we had begun to suspect had recently been able to pay off a number of outstanding debts that had gone into collections.

We questioned the employee about this, and he explained that he had recently inherited money from a deceased uncle. Additional investigation, however, revealed that there was no such uncle. When this employee was subsequently confronted with his lie, he confessed to stealing the chips and to forging our client’ s name on the inventory sheets.

The employee who was falsely accused was once again proved innocent.

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