Hardly a day goes by without a warning or headline about scams. Employee frauds, push payment or errant suppliers short-changing customers – the level of activity is rising, despite the actions of authorities to stamp out the problem
There has been a recent focus on fraudulent activity committed against individuals. In its November 2022 report, Fighting Fraud: Breaking the Chain, the House of Lords Fraud Act 2006 and Digital Fraud Committee said that, in the previous 13-month period, 89% of fraud victims were individuals rather than organisations or businesses (Fraud Act 2006 and Digital Fraud Committee, 2022).
Despite this, Andrew Northage, a partner in the Regulatory & Compliance team at law firm Walker Morris, still considers fraud to be a significant threat in corporate environments. He cites the UK findings of PwC's Global Economic Crime Survey 2022 which ‘showed that 64% of businesses had experienced fraud, corruption or other economic/financial crime in the previous two years, up quite significantly from 56% in 2020’ (PwC, 2022).
The world of healthcare has not been exempt from this. In January 2012, the Mail Online wrote about a practice manager, Duncan Millar, who got into debt following the failure of his marriage and subsequently stole £58,000 from the NHS doctor's surgery where he worked. As the report details, Millar thought his salary was ‘insufficient’ and started stealing money by writing out cheques to himself. The theft started with small amounts from the surgery's funds in August 2009, but became an almost weekly occurrence until March 2012.
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