Previous research has called for examination of differences in the fraud profile between “predator” fraudsters (repeat offenders) and “situational” fraudsters (first-time offenders). Using data from nearly 2,800 fraud cases included in the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners' Report to the Nations database, we identify unique characteristics of predator frauds. In the primary analysis, we find that predator fraudsters are less likely to be in leadership positions, are less educated, and tend to target smaller companies, while appearing less likely to target public companies. Predator frauds are shorter, but more costly overall, and there is some evidence that predator frauds are more likely to involve asset misappropriation or corruption. We also present exploratory analyses of “possible predators,” first-time offenders who strike the organization early in their tenure. Overall, the data suggest that predators and situational fraudsters are fundamentally different on several dimensions. Based on the results, we discuss implications related to fraud prevention and detection, as well as directions for future research.

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