Statistics on embezzlement

Marcia Doyle Headshot
Updated Aug 6, 2013

In 2011, the construction industry saw 16 embezzlement cases with a gross loss $13.9 million and an average loss $871,438, says Marquet International. But keep in mind this is just part of the picture: Marquet only examines current cases under prosecution involving the theft of $100,000 and above. Here’s a sampling of their statistics for all industries:

  • Average loss: $750,000
  • 72 percent of incidents committed by those who held finance/bookkeeping and accounting positions
  • Average scheme lasted nearly 5 years
  • Most common embezzlement scheme involved the issuance of forged or unauthorized company checks.
  • Of the cases where the motivation was known, nearly 22 percent of perpetrators had gambling issues
  • Only 5 percent had prior criminal history
  • The average embezzler stole $15,189 per month from employers
  • 64 percent were female, but male perpetrators on average embezzled about 25 percent more.
  • 90 percent of the cases involved individual perpetrators
  • Average age at the beginning of the theft: just under 43.
  • Average prison sentence: 4 1/3 years.
  • Longest duration of a 2011 scheme: 30 years

Source: 2011 Marquet Report on Embezzlement, examining 473 cases involving nearly $355 million in employee theft, published January 17, 2012