The Profile of a Fraudster

Forensic Due Diligence

Forensic & Litigation Consulting

March 2, 2020

Owl Wolf

Have you ever wondered about the profile of a corporate fraudster and if there are ever any common traits or patterns? Are they generally older or younger, male or female, new employees or long-established ones?

I recalled a survey from a few years ago that identified certain attributes of fraudsters. So I dug a bit deeper and came across the 2018 ACFE Report to the Nations1. It included some interesting facts and figures about the profile of fraudsters.

Go large at the top – there is a strong correlation between fraudsters’ level of authority and the size of the fraud committed. Senior executives accounted for only 19% of fraud but the average loss was significantly more at $850,000. This stands to reason if you are prepared to take such a big risk in a senior role, you may as well make it worth your while.

Men are the main culprits – men take bigger risks and accounted for 69% of fraud cases with an average loss of $156,000, while females accounted for 31% of cases with a smaller average loss of $89,000.

This could be indicative of the ongoing gender inequality issues in many corporate firms or it may say a lot about the different attitudes to risk and honesty between men and women. That is not to say, however, that women do not commit sizable frauds as well. Take the Joyti De-Laurey case of 2004 for example, when she was convicted to seven years in prison for stealing £4.4 million from her former employer.

Footnotes:

1: ACFE releases 2018 Report to the Nations: https://www.acfe.com/article.aspx?id=4295001895


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