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July 21st, 2016 | Sterling

Stat Check 2016: Occupational Fraud and Abuse

If you recently attended Bishops’ webinar in partnership with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), you were confronted with some sobering statistics on occupational fraud, including who commits it and how. The information presented was based on findings from the ACFE’s 2016 Report to the Nations, which comprised a global study of more than 2,400 fraud cases.

The ACFE’s findings indicated that the fraudster’s level of authority has a strong correlation with the size of the fraud and the amount of damages the victim organization incurs. Additionally, the research revealed that the accounting department is one of the top internal sources where fraud originates. This underscores the importance of thoroughly and carefully screening key hires within your organization, and rescreening those key employees on a regular and ongoing basis as well.

As recently covered in the news, the U.K.’s Ministry of Justice recently announced its 2015 data on white collar crime. These figures revealed that 9,401 white collar cases were prosecuted, up from 9,343 in 2014. Until last year, prosecutions for white collar offences had been falling year-over-year since 2011. With white collar crime on the uptick, more thorough background screening has never been more of a necessity, particularly for upper-level executives and other key employees with access to company money and resources. Going even further, a yearly re-screen can help reveal many of the warning signs of fraudulent employee behaviors, including living beyond one’s means, being named in litigation or other financially stressful situations.

By establishing a strong pre-hire screening program and re-screening schedule, HR professionals can aid in creating a corporate environment that demonstrates proactivity in preventing and identifying fraud. Fraudsters feel most at home within organizations where anti-fraud controls are loose at best or nonexistent at worst.

Download the presentation here, or click here to view the ACFE’s Report to the Nations in its entirety.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.