'White Collar' Crime Soaring

Birmingham Evening Mail (England), August 1, 2001 | Go to article overview

'White Collar' Crime Soaring


Byline: Chris Morley Industrial Correspondent

THE number of employees committing 'white collar' crime against their companies soared by a massive 60 per cent in the first six months of the year, a new survey revealed.

And successful prosecution of corporate crime also rose from January to June with the courts dealing with a 37 per cent increase in fraud cases compared to the same period last year, according to business adviser KPMG.

Of 44 cases heard by UK criminal courts, a sizeable chunk - seven - were in the West Midlands with the sums involved totalling more than pounds 4 million.

The figures came from KPMG's fraud barometer which detailed regional examples from a pounds 150,000 wholesaling rip-off to pounds 1.14 million from deceitfully obtaining money orders.

The barometer claimed that the while more managers had their 'fingers in the till', the number of less senior employees committing crime against their company was rising.

Employees committing fraud rose from ten per cent last year to 16 per cent in the latest period while management cases dropped slightly from 32 per cent to 30 per cent.

Meanwhile, scams attributed to outsiders accounted for 27 per cent of incidents, against 17 per cent in 2000.

David Alexander, Birmingham-based fraud investigations partner with KPMG, said: 'A new type of fraudster is emerging in the form of an employee or third party, not involved in banking or finance, who commits low value crime.

'Although management is still more likely than anyone else to commit fraud, the continuing decline in cases perpetrated by this group suggests that companies are getting better at detecting and preventing this type of fraud. …

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