Gertrude, the payroll clerk, intentionally overpays state withholding taxes by $25,000. She then amends her own W–2 so that it includes the excess payment (the $25,000 is added to her state withholding total). Once Gertrude files her personal state tax return, she receives an extra $25,000. In effect, she is using the state government as a funnel for theft.
In this business, Gertrude processes payroll, files all related payroll tax reporting information, makes payroll withholding payments and records payroll entries in the general ledger—not uncommon in a smaller organization. Also, no second person reviews the W-2s before mailing.
One person is performing all payroll functions, so her actions are not visible to anyone else. Also, no second person–in addition to Gertrude–is reviewing the W-2s before filing.
Have someone outside the payroll department review and mail the W-2s. (If the W-2s are returned to the payroll clerk, she could change them.)
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