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Financial fraud hits 23-year high

High-tech scams and tax fraud cost UK economy £1.37bn, says KPMG

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High-end financial fraud hit a record 23-year high during the course of 2010, management accountancy and consultancy firm KPMG reports.

KPMG's latest annual Fraud Barometer report records 314 incidents of fraud with a combined total of £1.4bn, up 16 per cent on 2009. This is the highest level recorded in the 23-year history of KPMG's Fraud Barometer.

Tax fraud, money laundering and cases involving high technology all rose last year while mortgage fraud fell, the Daily Telegraph reports. The barometer only looks at incidents with losses of over £100,000 that became the subject of High Court cases. The true level of fraud is undoubtedly much higher.

Professional crooks were blamed for roughly half (51 per cent or £709m) of the reported losses. Allegedly corrupt insiders were fingered for the remainder of the figure, with the 61 cases blamed on senior managers responsible for a disproportionate £419m in losses.

Government departments have now overtaken financial services firms as the main victims of high-end scams. ® ®

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