Motives of Fraudsters – The Business Perspective

Many of the professionals that I have worked with in business or who have attended my courses are not aware of the specific conclusions coming out of the fraud research. However, both of these groups are generally very clear about what they consider to be the main cause of the problem. They feel strongly that pure, naked greed is the number one motive of internal fraud.

Bernard is a classic example of someone who holds this view. He is a very experienced businessman, an accountant by training but for many years now, following a management buyout, he has been the major shareholder and the Managing Director of a successful medium-sized manufacturing business in London. This was Bernard's reply when I asked him what he thought were the main causes of fraud:

I think the main reason for fraud, always, is cash, it is money and I don't think it's changed. I think the methods of fraud have changed. I think people do different things in the way of getting money out of companies and out of businesses but basically, as the recent events with the Members of Parliament show, it is pure greed. People fiddle wherever they can, if they think they can get away with it money- wise they will. They might do it with time of course, people steal time. I know it's not fraud as such, but they are stealing, it's theft under any other guise. I don't think it's changed that much over the years. I think people are basically greedy and if they see a way to ...

Get Managing Fraud Risk: A Practical Guide for Directors and Managers now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.