Even after losing Société Générale €3.9 billion, rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel couldn't help but pour salt on the wound. "The fact alone that I didn't take any days off in 2007 should have alerted my supervisors," he told French financial investigators. "It's one of the elementary rules of internal control." But it turns out that catching crooks by observing their behaviour alone is easier said than done.
In some cases, confirms Alex Plavsic, head of fraud investigations at KPMG, employees who arrive particularly early, leave later than others or do not take time off, do so to conceal misdeeds. Unusual time management, however, isn't the only behavioural red flag companies need to look out for, Plavsic adds. One woman pretended to have cancer to get colleagues to treat her sympathetically and distract them from her fraudulent activities. As time went on, and she failed to display any symptoms of the illness, her employer found that everything from her supposed infirmity to the references on her CV were made up. And that she embezzled more than €1m....MORE