Looking At The Fraud Triangle & Beyond Occupational fraud continues to wreak havoc on businesses, with annual business losses reported to exceed 5% of revenues. Fraud experts have long suggested that the presence of three conditions, known as the “fraud triangle,” greatly increases the likelihood that an organization will be defrauded. The classic fraud triangle, as conceived by criminologist Donald Cressey, consists of Pressure, Rationalization and Opportunity. The following provides a short description of each. Pressure A perpetrator experiences some type of pressure that motivates the fraud. Pressure can come from within the organization – for example, pressure to meet aggressive earnings or revenue growth targets. Alternatively, the pressure could be personal, such as the need to maintain a high standard of living or pay off debt from credit cards, medical bills or gambling. Rationalization Perpetrators often mentally justify their fraudulent conduct. They might tell themselves that they’ll pay back the money before anyone misses it, or reason that: They’re underpaid and deserve the stolen funds, Their employers can afford the financial loss, They’ll lose everything (or someone) if they don’t commit fraud, “Everybody” does it, or No other solution or help is available for their problems. Most employees who commit fraud are first-time offenders who don’t view themselves as criminals but as honest people caught up by circumstances beyond their control. By rationalizing, perpetrators overcome ethical barriers that generally guide their conduct. Opportunity Without opportunity, even motivated and rationalizing would-be perpetrators can’t commit fraud. Occupational thieves exploit perceived opportunities […]
Monthly Archives: September 2018
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