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Solving Employee Theft: New Insights, New Tactics

***** Solving Employee Theft: New Insights, New Tactics. By James W. Bassett; published by BookSurge Publishing, (Web); 330 pages; $15.99.

Employee theft is a factor in 33 percent of U.S. business bankruptcies, and every day small businesses fail because internal theft is not addressed, according to James W. Bassett. In Solving Employee Theft, he discusses numerous employee-theft scenarios, analyzes the pros and cons of how they were handled, and pitches his own products and services to fight the problem.

When a suspected theft is discovered, Basset says management should narrow the field of suspects using his own “specific loss questionnaire,” (SLQ) which is for sale on his Web site. The form is to be completed in writing by all employees who had access to specific amounts of money, merchandise, or property stolen from their employer. The client then mails the SLQs to Bassett, who analyzes them and ranks the “reasonable suspects.” All of this is a prelude to the employer asking the “most probable” suspect to take a polygraph test.

Despite the book’s title, Bassett delves into the issue of polygraph testing in relative detail. Yet the book lacks information on many of the laws that may be applicable in situations that Bassett references. While one book couldn’t adequately address the relevant laws of every state, basic information on federal employment law would have been useful. Bassett provides the Web addresses of sites where readers can locate a qualified polygraph examiner.

Bassett’s services appear to rely on the same processes employed for years by law enforcement officers in conducting criminal investigations. He presents some entertaining employee theft scenarios and insight on polygraph examinations that may be of use to entry-level loss prevention personnel, but those accountable for preventing employee theft in their organization may benefit from more focused texts on the subject.

Reviewer: Marianna Perry, M.S., CPP, is the director of the National Crime Prevention Institute at the University of Louisville and a member of the ASIS International Commercial Real Estate Council and the ASIS International Crime/Loss Prevention Council.