The first step to a new life is to accept responsibility for your actions. Every choice has a consequence and after ten years of admitted fraud, William J. Trier, II has made a life changing choice – he plead guilty to an embezzlement scheme that lasted for ten years.
Now, as a white collar crime speaker, I must admit that it is generally unheard of for a white collar crime to last for that period of time. More times than not they fall apart before a decade passes.
Trier worked at Crane Co., a vending machine manufacturing company in Barnwell County, as the director of logistics in the shipping department. From 1997 through October 2007, Trier embezzled funds from Crane by creating phony invoices from two fictitious freight transport companies and submitting them to Crane for
payment. He used his position to approve the payment of the fraudulent invoices, and received company payments mailed to a Post Office box he had opened as the mailing address for the phantom companies. Over a ten year period, Trier collected approximately $5,200,000.00 using the false invoice scam.
The maximum penalty Trier faces is twenty years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. Trier must also make full restitution and has agreed to forfeit millions of dollars in assets towards restitution.
Wow…$5.2 million over ten years. This case is a classic example of lack of effective internal control. The ability to create an invoice and approve said invoice enabled Trier to effect this fraud. White collar crime consists of three parts: (1) need; (2) opportunity and (3) rationalization. While I can’t speak to Trier’s need, the opportunity was created thru simple lack of controls. Crane could have at any time thwarted the fraud with effective auditing and control mechanisms in place. As to “rationalization” – who knows, other than the longer a white collar criminal gets by with the crime, the greater the chance the white collar criminal thinks that the action is actually O.K. If I don’t get caught, I won’t get caught is the idea.
Every choice has a consequence. As a white collar crime and business ethics speaker, I speak from first hand experience about the truth about consequences. Reality is – no one escapes the consequences of their choices. While Trier may have enjoyed his good for a time and avoided the consequences – he did not avoid the consequences all together. Prison is no fun and Trier is facing many years plus substantial restitution for his conviction. Likely he will serve time and that will prove to be a dramatic change from his prior activities. You do reap what you sow.
If anyone reading has any background on Trier – feel free to comment as I study the behaviors and backgrounds of those convicted of white collar crime.
White Collar Crime Speaker – Chuck Gallagher – signing off…