Profile: SFO director Rosalind Wright

Recently even she was a victim of fraud herself, having had a debit card cloned and used by an opportunist.

Wright only found out about the fraud after vigilant staff at her bank phoned her after noticing irregular movements in her account.

No one, it seems, is immune.

In its own small way that incident added to the estimated #13.8bn UK fraud last year.

Despite the success of the SFO in bringing a record number of cases to trial last year, 24 (their average is usually 14), fraud remains a persistent problem in the UK.

Partly this is to do with the level of funding for those tackling fraud, where there consistently seems to be complaints of underfunding, and partly the responsibility of those who have been easily duped Wright has complained in the past.

And it has fallen to Wright to be one of those to persistently lead the fight against fraud over the past two decades.

Prior to taking up her post as director at the SFO in April 1997, she was between 1983 and 1987 head of the Director of Public Prosecution’s Fraud Investigation Group where her constituency covered the City of London.

Her brief there was to prepare and prosecute all major fraud cases.

After the DPP she was executive director in charge of investor protection policy at the Securities and Futures Authority.

Despite making this year’s Accountancy Age list of the 50 most influential accountants, Wright’s background is in law.

She was called to the Bar in 1964, practised as a barrister for the next five years and is a member of the Middle Temple.

From there, Wright moved to the DPP, becoming a legal assistant, unwittingly setting in chain the move towards a career in combating fraud.

In fact, fraud seems to be everywhere in her life as Wright is also the chairman of the Association to Combat Fraud in Europe.

Her work has also been recognised by the outside world.

In the 2001 New Year’s Honours list Wright was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath among a string of civil servant libraries including Sir Richard Wilson, permanent secretary to the Cabinet.

Married with three children, all daughters, Wright lives in London.

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