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A.B.C.'s of Behavioral Forensics. Applying Psychology to Financial Fraud Prevention and Detection

  • ID: 2328105
  • Book
  • November 2013
  • 304 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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A.B.C.′s OF BEHAVIORAL FORENSICS

In today′s environment, highly educated, experienced, and well–paid professionals seem willing to risk everything and commit foolish even criminal acts. "Good" people do "bad" things! How do we understand the human actions that are behind every fraud? Fraud requires accounting professionals to "think like a crook to catch a crook."

A.B.C.′s of Behavioral Forensics turns business fraud on its head, focusing less on the how of fraud, and more on the why, with a no–nonsense examination of fraud as a result of human behavior. Written by an author team imparting diverse yet specialized perspectives to the understanding of fraud in all its complexity, A.B.C.′s of Behavioral Forensics provides striking insights on the psychology of white–collar crime with practical tools to help you detect and prevent fraud.

In this book, you′ll discover the behavioral red flags to look for in your workplace, and understand why leaders should care about organizational culture. Topics include:

  • The relevance of behavioral approaches
  • The fraud triangle and beyond
  • The bad apple, bad bushel, and bad crop (A.B.C.) theory
  • How the basics of human behavior tie into fraud
  • Understanding the "balance sheet basics" of the mind
  • The mind of the predatory fraudster a la "Step into my parlor . . ."
  • When honesty reverses course and stays there
  • Helping senior executives stay on the right side of the line "good ethics is good business"
  • Developing psychological awareness and recognizing behavioral/integrity risks surrounding financial fraud suspicions

White–collar criminals know you well, but do you know them and how they operate? If you thought you knew everything there was to know about financial fraud, white–collar crime, and the psychology of fraud, think again. Learn how to get into the mind of the fraudster with A.B.C.′s of Behavioral Forensics.

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Foreword xv

Preface xvii

Acknowledgments xxiii

Introduction 1

The Human Factor 2

Trust Violation and Its Consequences 4

This Book s Approach: The A.B.C. s of Behavioral Forensics 4

An Interdisciplinary Approach 6

Part I When Fraud Is Committed 9

Chapter 1 Fraud Is Everywhere 13

The Pervasiveness of Fraud 14

On Making (Up) the Numbers 16

A Slippery Slope 19

From Slippery Slope to Broken Windows 21

Fraud Is a Human Act 23

Conclusion 24

Chapter 2 The Sins of Quantification and Other Mind–Set Impediments 27

The Danger of Numbers 29

Data Analysis Is Not Enough 31

Hard Numbers versus Reality 33

Conclusion 37

Chapter 3 Beyond the Fraud Triangle: Toward an Outline of A.B.C. Theory 41

The Relevance of Behavioral Approaches 41

Understanding White–Collar Crime 43

The Fraud Triangle and Other Theories of Causation 45

A.B.C. Theory: A New Fraud Taxonomy 49

Conclusion 53

Part II The Foundations of Behavioral Forensics: Why Good People Do Bad Things 55

Chapter 4 Beyond the Fraud Triangle and into the Mind: The Building Blocks of Behavioral Forensics Understanding How the Basics of Human Behavior Tie into Fraud 59

Deception Is a Natural Phenomenon 59

The Mind and the Fraud Triangle 60

Emotions: The Power behind Psychological Defenses 67

Affect s Two Ties to Fraud: Motivation and Communication 73

Conclusion 76

Chapter 5 Said the Spider to the Fly . . . : The Predator–Prey Dance Putting Behavioral Science Fundamentals into Motion 81

Emotions, Unconscious, Defenses Oh My! 82

Relationships: Where Fraud Is Set in Motion 82

The Relationship as an End in Itself: Bernie Madoff 87

Lance Armstrong and His Accomplices 91

Where Is the Humility? 93

The Power of Shame 94

Good to Evil: How a Hardwired Emotion Is Ignored and Manipulated 99

When Shame Is Maladaptive at Work 104

False Pride: With the Threat of Shame Comes Hubris 107

The Predator Bullies the Professionals 108

The Role of Mental Illness 111

Conclusion 116

Chapter 6 The Accidental Fraudster (Bad Apple): When the Apple Turns and Honesty Reverses Course 121

Committing the Crime 121

Beyond Greed 122

Exploiting a Weakness: A Motivational

Theory of the Accidental Fraudster (Bad Apple) 123

New Insights in Behavioral Forensics 127

Disregarding Risk: The Thrill of Being Close to, but Not in, Danger 133

Why Now? Understanding Life–Span Issues in Fraud Reversals 137

Lessons from Executives and Managers on the Couch 139

Conclusion 139

Chapter 7 The Bad Bushel and Beyond: Seeing the Larger Context of the C–Suite 143

Luck and Effort Distinguish Senior Executives 144

Life as an Executive: Excitement, Vigilance, and Caution 147

Trouble in the C–Suite: Overwhelmed, Overpaid, and Overconfident Narcissism and Beyond 148

The Individual and the Group: Bad Bushels Arise 153

The Science of Persuasion 158

Conclusion 161

Part III A Call to Action 165

Chapter 8 Managing the Ecology of Fraud: What You Can Do on Monday Morning 171

The Financial Markets: The Moral Foundations of Capitalism 172

Helping Senior Executives to Stay on the Right Side of the Line 176

Piercing the Rationalizations 177

Emotional Manipulation 179

On Lies and Misrepresentation 181

The Operational Fraud Triangle 183

What You Can Do Monday Morning 185

Recognizing Tipping Points (of the Mind) 188

Conclusion 191

Chapter 9 The Future of Behavioral Forensics: Developing Psychological Awareness to Complement Financial Fraud Suspicions 195

Fraud: A Global Scourge 196

Fraud Is Not a Problem with an Easy Answer 197

A Psychological Autopsy of Fraud 207

The Future of Behavioral Forensics 209

Afterword 213

Appendix A The Psychology and Sociology of Fraud: Integrating the Behavioral Sciences Component into Fraud
and Forensic Accounting Curricula 217

Appendix B Chapter Supplements 231

Bibliography 247

About the Authors 255

Index 261

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Sridhar Ramamoorti
David E. Morrison III
Joseph W. Koletar
Kelly R. Pope
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