Latest News

Sales staff are the best fraudsters

Reported fraud could top £5bn within a couple of years with managers uncovering more theft as they clamp down on costs and cash flow in the recession. The startling amount lost by businesses and the public sector to larger frauds last year is up 76% on 2008 levels. The figures have been collected by BDO, the accountancy firm, which has one of the largest fraud investigation teams. The average value of each fraud is now said to be over £5m compared to £1.8m in 2003. BDO said the cost of management fraud was up 48% and the best sales staff often turned out to be the "best fraudsters". In the financial sector, fraud was up 70% to £1.34bn, but BDO estimates 90% of larger frauds in the sector are not reported. According to the survey, most fraudsters are aged 20-39 and the vast majority – nearly £1.8bn – are in London and the south-east. Few perpetrators have mitigating circumstances: 81% of frauds are carried out to fund a more lavish lifestyle. About 9% are linked to alcohol, gambling or drugs problems and 5% to debt. Only 1% of frauds are explained by "need" for extra cash and 2% are prompted by health issues or depression. It really pays to set up regular post employment staff checks.

England & Wales Cricket Board partner Allen Stanford

The disclosure that Allen Stanford, the Texan billionaire, a brash 58-year-old financier was charged by the US Securities and Exchange commission on 17th February 2009 with an alleged $9 billion fraud, based on false promises involving a multi-billion dollar investment scheme, will have shocked many people. Last summer, on a day the ECB will never be allowed to forget, Stanford arrived at Lord's in a helicopter to announce details of his Super Series, an annual winner-takes-all match staged in Antigua, worth $100 million over five years. This man admitted to knowing nothing about cricket just as Giles Clarke, founder of Majestic Wine and the ECB chairman obviously knew very little about Stanford. Meanwhile hundreds of people have now lined up to withdraw money from banks in Antigua and Caracas affiliated with the Texan billionaire. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has accused Stanford of operating a fraud centered on the sale of certificates of deposit from his Antiguan affiliate, Stanford International Bank Ltd (SIB). A simple Know Your Customer check was all that would have been necessary to determine whether it would be wise to do business with a person with his reputation, already well known to the SEC.

2009 - 34 year old fraudster's second childhood

Some great identity theft stories come from America, for example at a High School in Wisconsin, Wendy Brown had the miniskirt, the pom-poms and the pool party lifestyle. As far as her teachers were concerned, she was an all-American cheerleader. There was only one small problem: she was 20 years too old to be in high school In fact, the 34-year-old fraudster, was old enough to have a teenage daughter of her own. The real person lived in another state, and it was her identity that the mother stole to fool the education authorities in the town of Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. Perhaps too embarrassed to question her mature looks and figure, the teachers at Ashwaubenon High School let Brown take part in classes, join the cheerleading squad and attend social events. Her scheme flopped when she failed to turn up to school one day last August. Truancy officers investigated and were astonished to find that the "cheerleader" was being held in jail, pending unrelated fraud charges. Last week Brown was committed to three years in a psychiatric unit after a court found her not guilty of identity theft because of "mental impairment". She was also ordered to spend three years on probation for the unrelated fraud, which involved her stealing $759 (£520) from a prospective tenant of an apartment from which she had been evicted.

Case Studies

A debt ridden Public School Teacher stole £35,000....
PJ, 36 years, a debt ridden Public School Teacher stole £35000. He organised overseas school trips and collected the monies himself. He was known to be seriously in debt many years before he faced the ignominy of being arrested in the Headmaster's study. County Court Judgments over several years mounted up to more than £30000.

Other Case Studies
case study