Case in Point

The case of the disappearing printer ink

Despite futurists’ predictions, we don’t live in a paperless business world. Printer ink and toner are still an expensive necessity. Fraudsters depend on ink costing organizations more than caviar. Here’s how to prevent this asset misappropriation and possibly save millions.

Scores of people get taken to the cleaners in Las Vegas. It’s just that the one who ends up in the red usually isn’t the local government. But that happened to be the case when a municipal purchasing analyst managed to steal $6,715,531 in toner and ink cartridges from her employer within eight years. That’s an average of $746,170 in toner and ink per year!

The Las Vegas Valley Water District hired Jennifer J. McCain-Bray in 2001 and in late 2007 promoted her to be its purchasing analyst. She worked with department vendors and ordered supplies but also began stealing what eventually would amount to thousands of toner and ink cartridges. (See the U.S. Department of Justice release, Jan. 29, 2019.)

McCain-Bray’s fraud was simple. She’d order unneeded cartridges and then ship them under a fake vendor name using the water district’s shipping system to a company in New Jersey that purchased and sold toner and ink online. Her fake vendor enabled McCain-Bray to misuse the water district’s shipping system, so it even paid postage on the stolen cartridges.

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