UK-based fraud continued to rocket in 2007 according to market watcher KPMG Forensic’s annual Fraud Barometer.
A total of £1bn of fraud came to court in the UK in 2007, the highest value since 1995 and the second highest in the 20 year history of the Barometer. The number of cases coming to court fell to 197 from 277 in 2006, but this remains a higher number than seen in any year prior to 2005.
Hitesh Patel, partner at KPMG Forensic, said: “Levels of fraud continue to remain disturbingly high. Organised gangs have been more active than ever, with a proliferation in VAT frauds, ID thefts and other forms of white collar crime, to the tune of a huge £889m or nearly 90 per cent of fraud by value. The sophistication of organised fraud in the UK is certainly extremely concerning.
“More fraud cases have been coming to court in recent years than previously, but one fears that this is just the tip of the iceberg. 2007 saw a respite in prosecutions for frauds against banks and other corporates, but now that the economy looks set to slow, we could see more people attempting frauds to ease their financial burdens. As companies tighten their belts in the harsher conditions and take a closer look at their operations and related expenditure, it is highly possible that a greater number of frauds may be detected.”
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