Page last updated at 00:47 GMT, Monday, 25 January 2010

Survey shows drop in fraud value

Calculator and money
Computerisation and globalisation have made fraud easier, KPMG said

Fraud cases worth more than £20m went before the Scottish courts last year, down by £4m on the previous year, according to new figures.

Accountants KPMG Forensic said its "fraud barometer" showed there were 18 cases brought to court in Scotland last year, with a total value of £20.7m.

In 2008 KPMG Forensic figures showed 15 cases were heard at courts in Scotland, with a value of £24.7m.

A record £1.3bn worth of fraud cases came to court last year in the UK.

The fraud barometer includes cases heard in the UK's courts where charges are in excess of £100,000.

Business fraud

Ken Milliken, head of forensic at KPMG in Scotland, said: "Instances of fraud being committed in Scotland and brought before the Scottish justice system remain high.

"In the last couple of years, the Scottish government has announced investment in the prevention and detection of business crime and several recommendations have been made to help improve the fight against business fraud in Scotland.

"Nevertheless, there are still opportunities for authorities, and businesses, to be working more closely together and sharing information in an effort to tackle business crime."

Mr Milliken said a boom in technology had caused fraud cases to rise.

He said: "Computerisation and globalisation have made fraud easier, quicker to carry out across international boundaries and easier to conceal.

"Organised criminals in particular have taken advantage of this. Identity theft is a continual problem, alongside more 'traditional' frauds including insider trading and price-fixing cartels."

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