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4 types of payroll fraud

Like most people, you look forward to your paycheck. Seeing your hard work reflected in monetary compensation often makes your time at the office or other workplace worth your effort. Of course, also like many people, you may wish that you earned a bit more on that paycheck each week.

Your idea of gaining more income may be to work extra hours or take other legitimate steps toward helping yourself earn a few extra bucks here and there. However, some individuals may become suspicious that some type of criminal activity involving payroll fraud has taken place. If so, you may stand accused of one of several types of acts that fall into this category.

Ghost employee

One type of payroll fraud involves having a "ghost" employee. This type of fraud means that a payroll staff member has created a fake employee to which he or she has attributed compensation or has continued issuing pay to an employee who has recently left the company. The person would then change the payment record in order to have the money deposited to a personal account.

Unauthorized hours

The paying of unauthorized hours is one of the most common types of payroll fraud. This act involves having someone adding time to time sheets in order to earn an extra hour or two here and there, which can quickly add up over time. This type of fraud is similar to buddy punching, which involves having another employee punch in a time card for a worker who has taken the day off or arrives late to work so he or she will still receive pay for those hours.

Pay rate alteration

Pay rate alteration involves having the payroll clerk increase a worker's hourly pay in the payroll system. This would allow a worker to essentially obtain a raise that he or she did not earn. The employee may conspire with the payroll clerk for equal benefit or possibly coerce the clerk through threats or other means.

Defending against charges

You may find yourself shocked that someone has accused you of such actions. Still, if charges for any type of payroll fraud have been brought against you, you face a serious legal predicament. As a result, you may want to take the time to understand your possible options for creating a meaningful defense against the allegations in hopes of maintaining your innocence.

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