UK Government agencies lose £527 million in 2010/2011 to fraudsters

[Benedikt Hoffman, Financial Fraud News Contributor]

International Association for Asset Recovery:  The UK government is proving to be a soft touch for fraudsters as it lost taxpayer‘s money to fraudsters to the tune of some £527 million in the period 2010/2011 according to KPMG‘s Government Fraud Barometer published this May.

According to the report, in the past year, there was a 142 percent uplift in fraud incidents against government agencies.

Whereas, the high level of fraud incidents against government agencies had decreased in 2007/2008 as a result of the government’s focus on value added tax (VAT) cheats which led to a high number of prosecutions in that year, but the focus on tax skimming by fraudsters has returned with a vengence according to recent trends.

Around 114 tax fraudsters were prosecuted in the past year in cases representing around £527 million in thefts (up from £277m in 2008/09).

According to Jeremy Outen, UK Head of Fraud at KPMG: “Financial criminals are now becoming more businesslike and methodical ….The current generation of organized crime is targeting fraud – making payment systems, such as banking, tax and benefits vulnerable to attack…..Traditionally, criminals have relied upon physical acts, such as robbery – they can now commit a fraud and achieve the same returns for much less risk. This is fuelling the audacity and ambition of professional criminals, driving up the size of a fraud…..In addition, technology and large scale processing (such as online or call centers) have made large scale frauds easier to accomplish.”

Read more….

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