What if my boss created a fraudulent paycheck?

M asked 1 year ago
I was going through my past paystubs online just as a reference and I noticed two check stubs with extreme amounts of money that weren’t paid to me. Also, my pay rate was incorrect and the hours that were logged were highly impossible for someone to work in a two week period. What can I do about my employer?
1 Answer
Riia O’Donnell replied 1 year ago
This is a very serious charge against your employer and a big problem for you - tax-wise - if they are cashing checks in your name and attributed to your taxable income. I'm not sure how you found out, but my suggestion is that you hold your cards close to the vest with your employer as you contact the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division location nearest you to file a complaint.

If the employer is using your tax information (social security number) to divert funds from the company, a W-2 form issued to you at the end of the year could also be fraudulent - reflecting only the amount you were actually paid - rather than the amount issued to you and taken by someone else. That could trigger an audit of your taxes that might lead you to back taxes, penalties and fines.

Even if the employer didn't write the checks as payroll - possibly denoting them as reimbursements or expenses - you could still be in jeopardy. Quickly find the nearest DOL W&H location near you to file a complaint. Here's information on how to contact them.
And best of luck to you!
Ben replied 1 year ago
Rushing to an accusation of fraud? Fraud implies some intent to deceive. Reporting the deception to you on your pay stub would be a very incompetent fraud at that. What you do know is you have erroneous amounts appearing in your online report. Why can't you just call this to your employer's attention? Could be an error with the online html report formatting (e.g. comma delimited data with extra comma would off-set numbers into wrong fields). Could be someone is stealing from them (e.g. the bookkeeper) and hiding it in your numbers.  All you know at this time is the online report is wrong. It it not an official IRS form (e.g. Form W2), so go talk with the employer. It may surprise you that they are human and make mistakes, and if treated with respect (not accusations) they will respect you back, and fix the problem. Make a premature conclusion of evil guilt, only later to find it was an honest error/data problem, and you can expect what respect you currently enjoy may be diminished.
Riia O’Donnell replied 1 year ago
Ben - I'm not sure why "check stubs with extreme amounts of money that weren’t paid to me" wouldn't be a serious charge against the employer. Fraud is a felony - and possibly using an employee's SSN to facilitate it is quite serious.