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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.

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.

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