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Business

Workplace Theft on the Rise

German employees stole millions more from their employers in 2002 than previously, a study by the credit insurance firm Euler Hermeshas revealed. In some 960,000 cases of workplace theft, which included incidents of theft, embezzlement, and fraud, in 2002, damages to companies was estimated at €7 billion ($8.8 billion) -- up from €3.8 billion in 2001. The most frequent offense was workplace theft, which accounted for 59 percent of the 960,000 cases. Most offenders stuck to relatively small amounts, perhaps hoping to escape their employer's notice: In more than half of the cases, the amount stolen was under €5,000. In one- fifth of the incidents, however, individual employees had stole goods or funds totalling more than €50,000, the study showed.