Marquet International Ltd. called 2010 “a banner year for employee theft” in the U.S., and said its annual study of nearly 500 large embezzlement cases showed that 64 percent involved women defendants, an increase for the third straight year, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. It seems, says R. A. ‘Andy’ Wilson, a certified fraud examiner who also teaches a course on fraud examination at the University of Memphis, “that more women are moving into positions of responsible charge and have more opportunities in front of them.”
Marquet, an independent security consulting firm, found a 17 percent increase in major embezzlement cases over the previous year — each averaging just under $1 million — and cited a slow economy and unemployment as key factors. While women embezzle more often than men, Marquet reported, men, who hold more senior-level management positions, steal in significantly larger amounts. Some other findings: the average embezzling scheme lasted nearly five years; the average age when the embezzling began was 43; most embezzlers were motivated by a desire for a more lavish lifestyle than by financial woes; only 4 percent had a prior criminal history.