When White-Collar Crime Turns Red, Part 1

By Frank S. Perri, J.D., MBA, CFE, CPA; and Terrance G. Lichtenwald, Ph.D.

The traditional image of the non-violent fraudster is altered by researchers who have identified a small breed of white-collar criminals who are ruthless, brutal, and cunning. Their study shows why CFEs should be part of the investigation process.

During the 2004 Christmas season, Mary Ann Clibbery, 69, was bludgeoned to death with a hammer. Less than a year later, a jury found her business partner, George Hansen, 65, guilty of her murder.

In the year prior to the murder, Hansen had misappropriated more than $50,000 from the business; his pilfering escalated steadily throughout those 12 months. Witnesses interviewed after the murder said Clibbery had told them she suspected Hansen was taking money from the business and that she began to fear for her safety. Throughout 2004, the victim had told friends and associates there were several life-threatening incidences that made her suspect her partner was trying to kill her as she became aware of the financial irregularities.

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