Australian Institute of Criminology

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Profiling serious fraud offenders

Crime facts info no. 52

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, June 2003

Serious Fraud in Australia and New Zealand is a report presenting the results of a study by the Australian Institute of Criminology and PricewaterhouseCoopers of serious fraud cases that went to court in Australia and New Zealand in 1998 and 1999. There were 155 completed files identified from police and prosecution agencies throughout Australia and New Zealand involving serious fraud offences (generally involving sums in excess of $100,000). The general profile of the 183 persons convicted of serious fraud offences was that they tended to be in their mid-40s and male. A large proportion of offenders were born in either Australia (43 per cent) or New Zealand (23 per cent) and had completed secondary education (55 per cent) or had some professional qualification (41 per cent). Serious fraud offenders were more likely to be a director of a company or involved in accounting duties within an organisation and to have relatively stable employment. Serious fraud offenders were also more likely to have no prior criminal record (56 per cent), act alone in the commission of the offence (84 per cent) and be motivated by greed (40 per cent) or gambling (23 per cent).

Characteristics of serious fraud offenders

chart

Source

  • Australian Institute of Criminology & PricewaterhouseCoopers 2003, Serious Fraud in Australia and New Zealand, Research and Public Policy Series, no. 48, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.