Most of the times when a workplace is robbed it is not a good thing. But in the case of the Columbus Credit Union in Providence, RI, it appears a holdup on Sept. 18 led to the uncovering of a much larger embezzlement scheme being perpetrated by a supervisor at the credit union. On that day, a woman entered the premises to make threats with a fake bomb, walking away with roughly $10,000. When local police began to investigate the crime, and mentioned a plan to audit the credit union, 27-year old supervisor Crystal Ferreira apparently knew what that report might turn up.
She confessed on the spot to having stolen more than $437,000 from the credit union, as was reported by the Providence Journal. Last month she pled guilty to one count of embezzlement. She faces 30 years of jail time in federal prison, to be followed by up to five years of supervised release. And in addition, she could face a fine of up to $1 million.
Ferreira has not been quoted in the local press. But in speaking to the local NBC outlet, East Providence police detective Eric Rodrigues couldn't help but take notice of the peculiar discovery. "It's not typical when you're investigating a bank robbery that an employee actually admits to stealing more than the robber," he was quoted as saying, as was covered by EastBayRi.com.
How did she do it? According to a report by the local Patch, Ferreira took the money out of the credit union's vault and replaced it with money from the credit union's ATM. She started in bundles of $10,000 but soon began stealing larger amounts by failing to enter delivered money into the credit union's processing system.
She initially claimed that two men had threatened to kill her, her co-workers and families unless she stole the money. But she eventually took back the claim, according to the Providence Journal.
Female embezzlers. As peculiar as the circumstances surrounding the revelation of Ferreira's scheme are, what's less shocking is that a woman was behind the embezzlement. As AOL Jobs has reported, last year's annual report on workplace embezzlement from Marquet International found that two out of three alleged embezzlers from 2012 were women.
Why? As Chris Marquet, CEO of Marquet International, previously told AOL Jobs, it's simply because women are more likely to occupy positions that have access to the pursestrings. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 90 percent of bookkeepers in the country were women in 2010, the last year for which information is available.