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To Catch a Thief

Employee fraud hits growing businesses hardest. Here's what you can do to make sure there's not a thief among you.

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This story appears in the September 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Like most business owners would be, Eric Ersher and David Elias, co-founders of the Southfield, Michigan, soup franchise Zoup! Fresh Soup Co., were caught off guard when they learned that a trusted employee had been stealing from them. The general manager of their second store, which opened in 1998, had made off with $50,000 over a period of 10 months before Ersher, 43, and Elias, 41, caught up with her. "We were shocked to find out what she'd been doing for so long," says Ersher. "It was not a good day."

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