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Harrison Lockington A Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
754 685 Words (3 Pages) James A Erskine, Sylvia Smellie Ivey Publishing : 9B03C019
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

This is to inform you that Steven Ross, account manager at our firm has just confessed that he has been embezzling funds from the firm’s account. He has been handling marketing, social activities, human resources, and payroll system along with other non-legal activities of the firm. Up till now, he has managed to embezzle approximately $300,000 in 3 years by issuing double checks in the name of employees and keeping one of them for himself. He has been exploiting loopholes in our payroll system. Now that, Tom Welch has noticed that his personal account has not been rectified since a long time, he is coming to visit him. Under this pressure, he confessed to me that he has been stealing money from the firm as he would have been caught either way.  

Harrison Lockington A Case Analysis

On an immediate basis, we have to decide what to do about Steven Ross’s job. Secondly, I have to decide whether to communicate this information in my bi-monthly staff meeting or not. Thirdly, we have to check whether any of the firm’s clients have been affected by this appalling act of Steven Ross. After this, we have to get to the basic problem, which has lead Ross to embezzle such a large amount from the firm’s account without even getting caught over such a long duration. I have taken the liberty to put these problems in a quick-glance box:


Issues Summary






  • Effect on Client Base

  • Communicate the problem in the meeting


  • Covering loopholes

  • Steven Ross’s Job


Clearly, Steven Ross’s act has been encouraged by our firm’s poor control system and weak ethical culture prevalent in the system. Strongly implemented and prudently devised control system would have caught Steven Ross’s fraud immediately, and strong ethical culture would have stopped him the moment he got the idea of embezzling funds. Our internal audit team should have known about this fraud as it is their job to do so. Moreover, Steven Ross had a clean record before the merger; these practices begun after the merger when Tom Welch became his supervisor. For fixing the immediate and basic issues, we have several options available.

The first option to communicate this scandal to the staff and let them know is that such unethical practices are not tolerated in the company, which is why we are firing Steven Ross and blacklisting him. Moreover, the client can be compensated for whatever loss they have incurred (if any) due to his practices. After this, we can initiate a program that inculcates and promotes ethical culture and behaviour in the company. Moreover, the internal audit team should be penalized for not catching Steven Ross on the very first illegal transaction.

The second option is to let Steven Ross keep his job and let this whole matter slip under the rug. We can then initiate a program in which we can strengthen our audit and control department. A team of ethicist should be hired along with a change management team who would help us in inculcating a strong ethical culture.

We will have to choose between these two options by keeping the long-term strategic position of the company along with the short term plans. In my view, the first option would be beneficial as it will lay a strong foundation for an ethical culture in the organization; although it would be troublesome to get the money back from Steven Ross as he was forced to confess his crimes due unavailability of funds to rectify his personal account.

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