Taking Over Management and Ownership

Pure Water is a distributor of filtered bottled water. Pure Water is owned by Bill Little. The company was founded by Little’s father in 1967. After Little’s father passed away in 2001, Little took over management and ownership of the company. Many of the company’s 33 employees have worked for the company for many years, and Little considers the employees part of his family. This is especially true for Trudy Moore. Trudy is the sole front office employee of the Company. Trudy began working for Little’s father in 1983 as an office manager handling all office functions. Trudy spends her holidays with Little and his family. She takes care of his dog and waters his houseplants when he is out of town. He has complete trust and faith in her. As a result of this trust, he has delegated all of Pure Water’s financial and accounting functions to Trudy. She is the accounts receivable department, the accounts payable department, human resources department, controller, cashier, and office manager. She handles all money that comes in or goes out. She opens all mail and handles all correspondence with customers and vendors. She handles all complaints from customers and vendors. Trudy makes all bank deposits, writes all checks, signs all checks,
makes all bank transfers, and reconciles all bank accounts. Little is not a detail-oriented person.

Therefore, he considers himself exceptionally lucky to have an employee with Trudy’s dedication, loyalty, and ability to handle all of the details of running the business so that he can focus on more important things like his new Ranger bass boat. Trudy functions with no oversight. The Company uses an outside accounting firm to prepare their tax return. Trudy is the liaison with the accounting firm and provides all information to them. On the afternoon of Friday, July 1, 2016, the teller at Bank of Last Resort that typically handled Trudy’s business had taken off early for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The teller that helped Trudy did not know her or Pure Water very well, and
she noticed there were multiple transfers between banks. The teller made the deposit into Pure Water’s account at the Bank of Last Resort as instructed by Trudy. The deposit consisted of one check drawn on Old Bank in the amount of $25,000. However, as soon as Trudy left her branch, she called Karla Esque, the loan officer responsible for managing the Pure Water relationship, and expressed her concern that Pure Water was kiting checks. Esque looked at Pure Water’s transactions over the past month and observed that there were numerous large, even dollar deposits
of Pure Water checks drawn on another local bank, Old Bank, and there were corresponding checks drawn on Bank of Last Resort paid to Old Bank. Esque concluded that Pure Water appeared to be kiting checks. Esque called Little and asked him to come by her office and visit with her. Esque assumed that Pure Water was having financial difficulty, and Little had instructed Trudy to set up a kiting scheme to hide their liquidity issues.

When Esque described the situation to Little, he turned pale and appeared to be taken by surprise. He agreed that it appeared to be a kiting scheme. He said that he would get the outside accountants to take a look at all records over the long holiday weekend and get back with Esque first thing Tuesday morning. The accountant, Samuel Fitzgerald
(Fitz), began sorting through Pure Water’s bank records late Friday afternoon. Over the weekend, Fitz and his team were able to work through the past three years of bank records and identified over $1.5 million stolen by Trudy. At that point, Little asked Fitz to stop looking. He concluded that they had identified a significant embezzlement, and it was unlikely that even if more had been stolen, that it would be recoverable. As a result of the embezzlement, Little liquidated Pure Water. After liquidation, he was able to raise enough cash to cover all checks floating between Bank of Last Resort and Old Bank. All employees of Pure Water lost their jobs. No funds were recovered from Trudy. Little asked the prosecuting attorney to press criminal charges against Trudy. Trudy used the proceeds of the fraud to fund a lifestyle she would not have otherwise been able to afford. Trudy told investigators that she initially “borrowed” the money from Pure Water. She repaid the funds several times in the early days of her fraud. Ultimately, the dollar amounts became so large that it was impossible to repay the funds, and she concentrated on concealing the embezzlement.

Please write a paper that incorporates the answers to the following questions:

1. Discuss kiting schemes, including the common characteristics of kiting schemes?
2. Identify and discuss weaknesses in Pure Water’s systems that allowed Trudy to commit her fraud.
3. Identify and discuss ways Pure Water could have prevented or detected the embezzlement.
4. Discuss the Fraud Triangle. How do the concepts of the Fraud Triangle apply to this case?
Your response should be written as an essay/term paper. Please do not merely respond to the questions listed above.
Your paper should be prepared using the following guidelines:
1. Title page with your name, name of the case, and term.
2. Length: must be more than 1 page.
3. Paragraph: Double spaced.
4. Font: Times New Roman 12-point font.
5. Cite any sources using APA 7th publication manual


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