Why People Slip Up

As we have said already, this book is based around the Fraud Smart cycle, which covers five key aspects of helping non-specialists get to grips with fraud at work. This is repeated in Figure 14.1.

Figure 14.1 The Fraud Smart cycle.


This chapter sits within the fourth part of the Fraud Smart cycle, Recognizing Red Flags, and covers some of the reasons people get involved in fraudulent behaviour. This is a complex subject: many universities run three-year degrees in criminology that examine the reasons behind misbehaviour from people who appear to be sensible and trustworthy. In this chapter we only take a very brief look at the world of the fraudster.


Most organizations maintain a positive culture where their worforce is given loads of responsibilities and is empowered to make decisions at a local level wherever possible. However, the reality of corporate life is that some people, some of the time, can slip up. Where these same people have authority over corporate resources or simply have access rights and we fail to recognize this sad fact, much could go wrong.

We can consider how problems can arise by looking at three brief illustrative case studies taken from the UK and the USA, the first involving a hapless fraudster who blamed his ‘dominating wife’ for his bad behaviour:


A husband stole £205 000 to fund his shopaholic wife’s ...

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