As a fraud examiner, we consider the Fraud Triangle:-
In 2008 a Harvard Business School professor, Eugene Soltes examined this question and in 2016 published a book on the subject.
He found that middle management and employees further down the corporate ladder might commit fraud because they found a ready source of cash to ease their economic problems.
What puzzled Soltes is why well-paid business people committed fraud and he interviewed close to 50 imprisoned white-collared criminals including Bernie Madoff.
What he deduced was that they failed to see the personal and professional consequences of their actions and they never deeply felt that their decisions were harmful to themselves and others. These individuals never had to get close physically or psychologically to their victims and he believes this made it easy for them to wander into the “gray zone” between right and wrong.
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