Firms warned as ‘insider fraud’ soars

Business news from the Lancashire Evening Post
Business news from the Lancashire Evening Post
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Insider fraud crimes in companies across the North West have increased by a third in the past year, new figures have revealed.

Company bosses have been urged to exercise vigilance as the new findings were unveiled in KPMG’s Fraud Barometer research. The figures show the total value of fraud across the North West fell by 45 per cent in 2012, as larger cases seen in recent years made way for a greater number of smaller crimes committed by company insiders and low-level conmen.

The value of cases handled by North West courts fell from £81.9m in 2011 to £44.7m last year. But the number of cases increased from 26 to 35.

Embezzlement and mortgage fraud were the two most common types of fraud.

Martin Dougall, forensic partner at KPMG in the North West, said: “We are seeing individuals looking to feather their nests through ripping off North West employers, banks or the Government. As austerity measures really kick in this year, we expect to see an increase in this kind of fraud in the region as personal pressures mount for individuals.

Among the cases studied was a financial adviser who stole £500,000 from clients and his own Preston firm.