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Senior managers are increasingly committing fraud as ‘red flag’ warning signs are “missed and ignored”, research from KPMG has revealed. Company bosses were the culprits of nearly a fifth of workplace frauds (18 per cent) compared to 11 per cent in 2007, according to analysis of 348 white collar crimes between January 2008 and December 2010 across 69 countries. Criminal activity among managing directors and chief executives had increased much more sharply to 26 per cent over the four year period from 2007 to 2011, the research showed. Richard Powell, KPMG’s EMA forensic investigations network lead, said previous research has shown that corporate fraudsters are typically male and aged between 36 and 45 years old, with 41 per cent falling into this category. The report ‘Who is the typical fraudster?’ found that often fraudsters will work in finance (32 per cent), and have more than 10 years experience. Over half (53 per cent) work either in a senior management role or a board role. These crimes together accounted for just over 50 per cent of the 348 cases examined. “In the UK, the survey showed an even higher proportion of fraudsters who had worked for their employer for more than 10 years (57 per cent), with 50 per cent in senior management or board roles,” Powell added.

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