Briefly summarize the studies of Donald R. Cressey in the area of occupational fraud and abuse.
Donald Cressey was a professor in criminology that focused his research on white collar crimes. When he was getting his Ph.D. in criminology, his dissertation had a focus on embezzlers and their crimes. After studying the cases of about 200 inmates, he formed a hypothesis that states: “Trusted person become trusted violators when they conceive of themselves as having a financial problem which is non-sharable, are aware this problem can be secretly resolved by violation of the position of financial trust, and are able to apply to their own conduct in that situation verbalization which enable them to adjust as users of the entrusted funds or property”.
This hypothesis still holds true today and has become better known as the fraud triangle, with the three corners being: perceived non-sharable financial need, perceived opportunity and rationalization. Non-sharable need or pressure; can be the needing of money to pay bills or a person living outside of their means. Opportunity, the person committing the crime has to be in a position where they have access to money or something of value, therefore creating the opportunity to take and hide their crime. Rationalization, the person committing the crime will need to create a reason that justifies the taking of money or property.
During Donald Cressey studies he found that all three points of the triangle needed to happen before the person would commit a crime. Although there are many reasons for someone the commit a white collar crime, the pressure aspect of the triangle would be different for each person. Where one person might steal to cover his gambling losses of $500, another person would not steal until he lost $5,000. Once the pressure is there, then the person had to be in a trusted position, therefore creating the opportunity to...