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En Español : 919-747-3276
Arabic : 252-654-4852
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Who is most likely to embezzle?

People tend to have stereotypes in mind of the kinds of people who commit crimes, and these assumptions change depending on the type of crime. For example, most people probably imagine that an embezzler is a white, male corporate leader in his middle years. It makes sense, as this demographic receives the most media coverage over scandals.

This can create a false sense of security for those engaging (intentionally or unintentionally) in illegal financial behaviors. However, statistics show that the typical embezzler does not usually fit the above description.

Traits of the average embezzler

Hiscox, an insurance company, puts out an annual report about white-collar crimes. The results for 2017 show that at 51 percent, females just barely embezzle more than men, busting the myth that financial fraud in the workplace is predominantly a male thing. The median age of perpetrators was 48.

The numbers were slightly higher or lower depending on the size of the business and its industry. For example, for nonprofits, men were more commonly responsible and tended to be in their senior years.

In retail, employees were the embezzlers almost 65 percent of the time. For the other most-affected industries, managers were more likely to be the culprits. The numbers were about equal with health care, but managers took more money than employees did.

Other statistics

Embezzlement is most likely to occur in businesses that employ under 100 workers, not in large corporations. Naturally, financial services experienced the most embezzlement, as well as the highest single and overall losses. Government organizations came in second for the number of cases but had a low loss. The most common forms of embezzlement were funds theft and check fraud. Billing came in third but brought the highest loss.

Businesses are also becoming aware of these facts, which can lead to false accusations if an employer misreads the warnings signs of embezzlement or assigns blame to the wrong person. Those facing charges need a strong defense to keep their records clear or the consequences few.

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