It is a he. He is a middle-aged man, motivated by greed, usually works for the company for around four years and is a senior manager. He knows numbers because he more often works in finance. He works alone. He works against his company. He is the typical white-collar criminal.
This is the profile of a white-collar criminal, according to audit and advisory firm KPMG International’s survey, released on Tuesday. KPMG’s forensics department studied 360 crime profiles across three regions—Europe, India and West Asia, and South Africa.
The survey showed that white-collar criminals in India and West Asia caused more damage than those in Europe: 15% of the criminals studied caused more than €10 million (Rs56.5 crore) in financial loss in India and West Asia compared with 11% in Europe and 3% in South Africa. And each fraudulent act in India and West Asia caused the company a loss of €100,000, most of the time (27%).
Economic offences in India have been under-reported, according to a doctoral thesis by Sadanand Date, an Indian police service officer. The paper was approved by the University of Pune in 2000.
Date’s findings were carried in a newsletter by Indsearch, a management education institute in Pune, and showed that economic offences in the country have seen fewer convictions than other Indian Penal Code offences.
The KPMG survey also showed that fraudulent activity in India and West Asia is more evenly distributed across companies of different sizes than in Europe and South Africa. In Europe and South Africa, smaller companies were often the victims.
In India and West Asia, the entertainment industry and industrial markets are more riddled with crime than the government sector. Europe and South Africa present a different situation.
Deepankar Sanwalaka, executive director and head of KPMG Forensics in India, said CEOs could use the information in the study to institute checks for “employees who are in a position of authority.”
He added that companies should review the code of conduct for gray areas and continuously communicate with employees about the company’s policies. Sanwalaka’s department is involved in 40-50 investigations of white-collar crime every year.