Boardroom fraud

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Company bosses are committing more and more frauds, according to accountants and business advisers KPMG.

The firm’s new report “Who is the typical fraudster?” found that fraud by board members had almost doubled globally in the last four years from just over one in ten frauds to just under one in five.

Richard Powell, who leads KPMG’s northern forensic team, said: “Our research has shown that corporate fraudsters are typically male, 36 to 45 years old and often commit fraud against their own employer. It has also revealed the extent to which the temptation to commit fraud has infiltrated both the board and executive management across the globe.”

KPMG found that a higher proportion of the frauds committed in the UK involved people who had been with their employers for more than 10 years.

The firm says long-serving and more senior employees are often better able to override controls and are less likely to be suspected because they have accumulated a good deal of trust.

More than a third of frauds are discovered thanks to whistleblowers, one in five are spotted during a management review and a tenth as a result of queries from third parties like banks, tax authorities and regulators.

Frauds are typically simple, but often involve complex means of concealment.