Forensic investigation case study: Employee theft

Forensic investigation case study: Employee theft

Learn how a manufacturer recovered stolen property and improved anti-fraud controls by working with our forensic and legal consulting teams.


A producer of components for automotive and industrial parts.


The company needed help investigating the theft of company equipment by a long-standing employee with significant influence and authority.


Using a combination of forensic accounting, digital forensics, and legal consulting services, Crowe specialists performed an on-site investigation to uncover the extent of the employee’s theft. Our team interviewed management and employees on-site, performed forensic accounting procedures, imaged electronic devices used by the employee under investigation, and reviewed the employee’s emails.


Through their investigation, Crowe forensic and legal consulting specialists found that the employee stole equipment and parts from the company. The team worked with the client to recover many of those items from the employee’s property and from other third parties.

To help strengthen anti-fraud controls and reduce the likelihood of theft in the future, Crowe specialists also provided internal control recommendations, which the client deployed in its accounting organization.

Forensic investigation case study: Employee theft

Challenge details

An employee took equipment off-site, and a geolocation tag for the equipment pinged at that employee’s home. When confronted about the missing equipment, the employee left the location and did not return. The company placed the employee on administrative leave, reported the equipment as stolen to the local police department, and engaged Crowe to begin an investigation into the employee’s theft.

Solution snapshot

Crowe forensic accounting specialists conducted an investigation that included interviewing key accounting personnel, analyzing financial records, estimating losses, and identifying internal control recommendations.

Crowe digital forensic specialists imaged all of the suspected employee’s electronic devices, including external drives and a laptop, to find files of interest.

The Crowe legal consulting team applied artificial intelligence capabilities to the employee’s email file to process and carve out 10 years of data that wasn’t significant to the case – saving the client money and time on this review. From there, the team ran key terms against all documents in the data set, which further narrowed the focus of relevant information for review.

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Our team helps businesses with a combination of the right technology, the right people, and the right processes.


  • In line with our One Crowe philosophy, the team was able to provide the client with an end-to-end solution leveraging forensic accounting, digital forensics, and legal consulting specialists.
  • We provided the client with internal control recommendations to help prevent future theft and strengthen anti-fraud controls.
  • Some of the company’s stolen property was recovered, due in large part to the collaboration of all parties.
  • Using our technology-enabled approach, we were able to save the client both time and money throughout the process.
  • We also assisted law enforcement in the collection of evidence to pursue criminal charges against the employee.

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Jeremy Epstein Headshot
Jeremy Epstein
Partner, Forensics Consulting
Caitlin Kolb Poirier
Caitlin Kolb Poirier
Managing Director, Advisory