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American Greed: If something's amiss with your boss, don't be afraid to speak up

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners says a typical company loses 5 percent of its yearly revenue to fraud, and most of it is committed by the boss. What to do if you think your boss has his hands in the cookie jar? (NBC News)

He claimed to be a billionaire, a successful investor, movie producer and real estate developer, but Troy Stratos was nothing but a scam artist.

Stratos, profiled on the next "American Greed," bilked victims out of $40 million by stealing money he promised to invest and failing to compensate employees.

Experts say if you think something could be amiss with your boss, don't be afraid to speak up. Whistleblower laws generally protect you from retaliation if you honestly believe someone is breaking the law.

"They don't, under the law, have to actually prove the underlying violation. All they need is a reasonable good faith belief that it exists," explains employment attorney Tammy Marzigliano.

If you have suspicions, complain to compliance or legal at your company. You can also go directly to the authorities like the Securities and Exchange Commission, but don't break the law yourself by taking documents.

"They shouldn't try to go in and be investigators and try to gather information," Marzigliano warns. “They can be accused of theft."

Red flags include a balance sheet that's off, inflated expense reports and of course, missed paychecks.

You can hear more about Troy Stratos' story on an all-new "American Greed" Monday on CNBC.

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