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January 27, 2023

Ernst & Young Study Finds That Fraudsters Aren’t So Creative with Code Words Over Email

If you and some cohorts are fed up with walking the straight and narrow, be advised that a recent study by Ernst & Young discovered something that may help assist you in making your future fraudulent endeavor a wild success:  

Phrases such as “nobody will find out”, “cover up” and “off the books” are among those most likely to litter the in-boxes of corporate rogues according to fraud investigators deploying increasingly popular linguistic software. Expressions such as “special fees” and “friendly payments” abound for those embroiled in bribery cases, while rogue employees feeling the heat are likeliest to write that they “want no part of this” as well as the somewhat misguided “don’t leave a trail”.
 
More than 3,000 such words and phrases used in email conversations among employees engaged in corporate wrongdoing have been identified through specialist anti-fraud technology, according to research by Ernst & Young based on evidence from corporate investigations in conjunction with the FBI. “The language, which is a mix of accounting phrases, personal motivations and attempts to conceal, are very revealing,” said Rashmi Joshi, Ernst & Young’s director of fraud investigation and disputes services. 

Sam Antar didn't have email in the 80s, but something tells me he could still advise you to not write things in an email that are clearly indicative of a crime. 

Bad language can catch financial rogues [FT via DB]

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