If you're the owner of a small business, do you have enough protection against employee theft?
The employee of Frake's Engineering in Indianapolis was able to get away with hundreds of thousands of dollars because the business didn't have proper checks and balances in place.
"Brenda Helpling was a 20-year employee," said U.S. Postal Inspector Kenneth Miller. "She was the controller, so she controlled the finances and the bills for the company."
That was the problem. Helpling was the only person overseeing company finances, which made it easy for her to steal $400,000.
"She created fictitious accounts in order to pay her own bills and gambling expenses," said Miller.
The company realized there was a problem when Helpling went on vacation and another employee noticed discrepancies.
"Her back-up was looking at some of the payments and she looked at the bills and realized a lot of the bills weren't companies they did business with," said Miller.
The company went to Police who say Helpling's gambling problem helped them track her down.
"We followed the money trail and it led to Brenda Helpling, and her accounts and we also went to the casinos and looked at her credit card payments," said Miller.
Lincoln Police say businesses should always have checks and balances in place to prevent this type of crime.
"A lot of times when you have a smaller business, you have just one person that's responsible for payroll and accounts within the business and you need to have a way to check against that to make sure that person is being honest," said LPD Officer Erin Spilker. "And that let's them know too that they're being checked on and keeps them more honest as well."
Helpling was sentenced to more than 2 years in federal prison on mail fraud charges and was ordered to pay more than $400,000 in restitution.