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Friday, 27 July, 2001, 08:51 GMT 09:51 UK
Sharp rise in company fraud
Man with bundles of money
Some staff stoop to temptation
The amount of money taken from Scotland's companies by fraudulent employees has risen sharply, according to a report.

A study by accountants KPMG suggested that more money has been taken in the first six months of this year than in the whole of last year.

The research also indicated that the money was stolen less by senior managers and more by staff lower down the chain.

KPMG said there has been a rising number of fraud cases in Scotland over the past 10 years

Any employees whose lifestyle seems to be out of line with his reported earnings would be an immediate cause for concern.

Robin Crawford of KPMG
This year it has already dealt with four major fraud cases totalling more than 4m.

KPMG's forensic accounting team said this is in contrast to the picture for the UK as a whole - where the value of reported fraud has remained static compared to the same time last year.

Company bosses have usually made up the highest percentage of those accused, but that trend seems to be falling.

Instead the value of fraud committed by employees has dramatically increased.

KPMG said that in most cases trusted and long-serving employees have committed fraud.

Financial controls

Robin Crawford, head of Forensic Accounting Services at KPMG, said: "We have seen a trend over the last year or so towards employees committing fraud rather than senior management."

However, he pointed out that the average value of cases in Scotland has tended to be lower than in the UK as a whole.

This, he said, could be due to UK figures including the south east of England, where there would be more opportunity for large scale fraud.

Mr Crawford urged companies to ensure "rigorous" financial controls.

He said that they should pay regard to the "lifestyles" of employees and "any employees whose lifestyle seems to be out of line with his reported earnings would be an immediate cause for concern".

Robin Crawford from KPMG
"There is a trend in Scotland towards larger cases."
See also:

27 Jun 01 | Business
Fraud eats into company profits
18 Jun 01 | Scotland
Shell staff fraud inquiry
06 Dec 00 | Scotland
Jail for 4.6m VAT fraudster
19 Nov 99 | Europe
EU fraud: a billion dollar bill
16 Nov 99 | The Economy
EU fraud costs millions
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