ACFE Report Provides Insights on Occupational Fraud in Central and South America


Corruption, Billing Schemes Most Common Among Fraud Cases in Survey


24 June 2010 - AUSTIN, Texas--The median fraud loss for organisations in Central and South America and the Caribbean is about $186,000 USD, according to a survey of Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs) who investigated cases between January 2008 and December 2009. The study found corruption and billing schemes were the leading types of fraud reported in Central/South American cases and others throughout the world.

The U.S.-based Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) published the results of the survey in its highly-anticipated 2010 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud & Abuse. For the first time, the Report includes global data among the 1,843 cases of fraud that were studied.

Information from CFEs in 106 nations was compiled to develop the benchmarking statistics on occupational fraud losses, detection methods and perpetrators. Since 2002, the biannual Report has evolved and been modified to continue to draw more meaningful information from the experiences of CFEs and the frauds they encounter.

Key findings from the 84-page Report include:

• Fraud schemes among Central/South American organisations are costly. Worldwide, the median loss caused by the occupational fraud cases in the ACFE study was $160,000 USD – yet for the 70 Central/South American cases studied, the median loss was higher at $186,000 USD.

• Most fraud perpetrators are management level or higher. Fifty percent of perpetrators in the Central/South American cases in the study were managers, and 17.2 percent were owners/executives.

• Fraud committed from the top of an organisation is the most damaging. While the study found that the median loss from fraud was $31,000 USD for low-level employees and $250,000 USD for managers, fraud committed by owners/executives caused a significantly higher median loss of about $1.2 million USD.

• There is a significant gender gap among Central/South American fraud cases. Nearly 81 percent of the Central/South American frauds in the study were perpetrated by males. By contrast, less than 60 percent of North American cases were perpetrated by males.

• More frauds are detected by tip than by other means. In a trend reflected worldwide, the impact of anonymous fraud hotlines is clear, as 44.3 percent of the Central/South American frauds in the study were detected by tip, followed by management review (14.3 percent) and external audit (12.9 percent).

The Report also details findings such as how organisations were affected based upon industry, how the implementation of anti-fraud controls affected exposure to fraud, additional breakdowns of fraud statistics by geographical region and the most common behavioural traits observed among fraud perpetrators.

The 2010 Report to the Nations is available for download online at the ACFE’s web site: The Report is in PDF format.

The first Report to the Nation was published by the ACFE in 1996. The ACFE has published subsequent editions in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and now 2010. Over that time, the Report has come to be regarded as the most authoritative statistical resource available on occupational fraud.

About the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
The ACFE is the world's largest anti-fraud organisation and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education. Together with more than 50,000 members, the ACFE is reducing business fraud world-wide and inspiring public confidence in the integrity and objectivity within the profession. For more information, visit

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