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Senior staff most corrupt

Long-serving senior managers and executive directors are more likely to defraud their companies than newer, more junior members of staff, according to fraud specialists.

Link: Scrutinise staff to protect against fraud

Mid-tier firm BDO Stoy Hayward said this week that, of the frauds it has investigated, 75% are perpetrated by senior managers and directors who have been with the company for some time. This flies in the face of conventional thinking that it is new employees who perpetrate fraud.

The findings mirror recent survey results which show the culprit in most fraud cases tends to be a manager or an executive director.

Andrew Durant, head of the fraud investigation unit at BDO, said: ‘This is not surprising as managers and executives have the authority and opportunity to perpetrate fraud.’

He added the main motivating factor for fraud is pressure. ‘When there is opportunity, fraudsters often take it.’

Hugh Matthew-Jones of PKF said that his experience of fraud cases had demonstrated a similar pattern. And he added that he was worried that many companies still don’t have adequate controls or the proper support for whistleblowers. ‘Because many fraudsters are people in senior positions, people don’t want to put themselves in jeopardy, despite legislation that stops them from losing their jobs if they blow the whistle,’ he said.

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