Undoubtedly, you’ve heard how important it is to train and educate employees on P-Card use first, before ever handing out P-Cards. But for some of those future P-Card users, one of the biggest lessons they’ll learn from your training won’t be how to use the card, but instead when and why they shouldn’t.
That lesson is one of consequences. There are consequences to all of our actions, of course — some are small and some are big. Commit P-Card fraud, and those consequences can be severe — and it goes beyond a firing. Employees might assume a loss of employment due to P-Card misuse, but what they might have trouble envisioning is the much-bigger picture — the loss of their freedom and life as they now know it. We are talking incarceration — serious jail time for P-Card fraud.
Take as just one example of such a consequence March 16, 2009. Michelle Harris, a former Georgia Tech employee, was sentenced that morning to 10 years in prison, followed by 10 years of probation, for her role of racketeering (a felony under Georgia law) involving illegal use of a P-Card to make personal purchases. From June 2003 until May 2007, Harris used the P-Card issued to her by Georgia Tech to buy such personal items as Sam’s Club gift cards, a diamond ring, and more than $4,000 in catering for a wedding reception.
Georgia’s Attorney General Thurbert Baker said at the time, “Ten years in prison is a clear message that violating the public trust will not be tolerated in Georgia.”
It’s that clear message — one that says that misuse goes beyond a breach in company policy to breaking the law — that could make an employee in your P-Card program think twice.
Baker went on to say, “This prosecution, as well as the other P-Card prosecutions brought by my office, signals that the days of public monies paying for corrupt employees spending sprees are over.”
Much like everyday society, knowledge of consequences might not deter all, but it deters some. Yet, this information could easily be overlooked when planning a P-Card training program, as focus shifts to adherence of specific policies and procedures, rather than what will happen if adherence is not met.
Consider in your own training program outlining the following for your future P-Card users:
- What actions your company takes with employees that misuse P-Cards (including probation, retribution, demotion, firing, and prosecution)
- The laws regarding P-Card fraud and theft in your state
- The penalties that have been issued when such laws have been broken
- Presentation of real court cases as hard examples of what has already happened to those who commit theft via a P-Card
Being able to address consequences in a P-Card training program is going to take more than a cookie-cutter approach. You’ll need to be able to customize your training to include such subject matter. Thanks to the Card Integrity customizable system of cardholder training, you can do just that: Make your training exactly what you need it to be, in order to be truly successful in preventing P-Card fraud and theft. Card Integrity designs course materials with your individual card program and specifications in mind.
To learn more about Card Integrity and how our cardholder training can help you educate your employees effectively, call us at 630-501-1507 or click HERE to contact us via our website today!