Fraud pays (if you don't get caught)

Opinion

Fraud pays (if you don't get caught)

The man on the shop floor is sometimes pilloried as lazy good-for-nothing who'll steal when the moment arises. Yes, sometimes this is true. But what most people are missing is that it's quite often the bosses who are committing the biggest and most audacious thefts and frauds. It's just that they only come to light when a firm goes down, if an auditor strikes lucky or if someone blows the whistle.

According to KPMG in their report 'Who is the typical fraudster?', board members of divisions, subsidiaries or corporates commit around 20 per cent of frauds. Further, CEO or MD office holders saw their contribution to the fraud statistics rise from 11 to 26 per cent between 2007 and 2011.

To get the stats, KPMG looked at some 348 cases in 69 countries where many of the cases haven't been made public.

Typically, the fraudsters are male, aged 36 to 45 and commit fraud against their employer. They also tend to work in the finance function or a similar role, sometimes for 10 years or more.

In other words, it's the quite, nose-to-the grindstone employee who you need to watch out for.

This was first published in July 2011

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