There have been a number of fraud and embezzlement cases in our area that have caused much harm to individuals, organizations and businesses.

Last month, a woman was convicted of embezzlement from the Front Royal chapter of Veterans of Foreign Wars – as well as setting the building on fire. Her actions were devastating to post members.

In August 2014, the former director of the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging was sentenced to six years probation, a fine, community service and house confinement after she was found guilty of embezzling from the agency. That plunged the SAAA into a financial crisis and had a great impact on its employees and the senior citizens it served.

Other cases the Northern Virginia Daily has covered include a bookkeeper writing checks off of her employer's account, a hotel manager embezzling from her employer, and not one but two Parent Teacher Organization officers – just a few years apart – dipping into their organization's funds.

The latest financial scandal swirling around the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority is like an enormous spider web that's going to take quite a while to untangle.

When you look back on the adjudicated cases, you can see how, when and sometimes why the embezzlement started, and it's easy – with hindsight – to conclude what was missing that made it easy for the theft to occur. Any organization, business or government agency is vulnerable to embezzlement if financial transactions are not monitored closely. It all boils down to good record keeping, checks and balances, and who's minding the money minder.