Value of fraud cases more than doubles

The value of fraud cases reaching court in the UK has more than doubled in
the first half of 2005 to £250m, according to KPMG.

According to the KPMG Fraud Barometer, a measure of fraud cases over
£100,000 published on July 25, the number of fraud cases in court increased by
10 from 78 in 2004 to 88 so far this year. The report said this indicates that
police and investigators are prosecuting more high-value fraud.

More than two-thirds of fraud, (£191m), was committed by professional
criminals and involved lifestyle and identity theft. This type of fraud is
reportedly on the increase and is becoming increasingly sophisticated – with
some fraudsters faking qualifications to get well-paid, high-flying jobs.

Fraud within organisations also remains high, with £38m committed by managers
and employers. Management fraud costs companies an average of £2m, with more
senior staff able to over-ride business controls. Long-serving male executives
were most likely to commit fraud and over 40% of cases last year involved
finance staff.

The government remained the biggest victim of fraud in the first half of
2005, being involved in one in four cases. About £177m was lost from government
coffers in a range of cases including a financier who defrauded 18 hospitals in
a £4.5m scam.

London and the southeast remain the country fraud hotspots, accounting for
78% of cases.

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