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contexts dictate the type of agency
required, but often, if there are poten-
tial state and federal violations, there
may be strategies based on the vic-
tim's location. Other referral consider-
ations include the amount of the loss,
the time period in which the loss oc-
curred, and the timing of the discovery
of the loss. Statute of limitation restric-
tions may drive the strategy decisions,
both criminally and civilly.
The central issue to remember is that
the criminal process does not guaran-
tee restitution to the victim. The main
function of law enforcement is to en-
force laws and make arrests, not re-
cover stolen funds. In many cases,
restitution plays a major role in the
sentencing of the individual, but the
sentencing does not guarantee that
the perpetrator will make full restitu-
tion, even if ordered. Additionally, even
if the perpetrator wants to make resti-
tution to avoid jail time, he or she may
not have the means to do so.
Parallel Tracks
The good news is that deciding to pur-
sue civil or criminal remedies is not
limited to an either/or situation. Ac-
tions can be initiated simultaneously
a strategy referred to as "parallel
tracks." In many instances, when a
case is referred for criminal consider-
ation, the victim initiates a civil case
at the same time. If the victim has no
means of recovery, through restitution
or through insurance proceeds, the ar-
rest simply provides a consequence to
the individual.
Insurance Coverage
Insurance is often the only way a victim
organization can recover funds. Apart
from civil and criminal proceedings,
an insurance claim arguably provides
the best avenue for the victim organi-
zation to recover losses. However, the
amount a victim can recover is limited,
and the claim landscape is changing
based on the sheer volume of claims.
First, in order to make a claim, a vic-
tim organization must have incurred
a quantifiable loss and also possess
coverage for that loss. All too often,
the victim assumes that coverage ex-
ists, only to learn that the perpetrator
stopped paying the policy premiums.
The insurance policy may also identify
specific individuals who are not cov-
ered in the event of a theft.
Second, a victim organization can only
recover losses up to the coverage
amount. Time and again, as seen in
the earlier examples, the victim main-
tained coverage, but at a level far less
than the amount stolen or embezzled.
Organizations must review their cover-
age amounts for employee theft and
embezzlement (and all other risks) to
ensure coverage can minimize the im-
pact of a significant loss. Management
needs to regularly review the organiza-
tion's coverage amounts, and practi-
tioners should remind their clients to
annually review and address coverage
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