Ethics & Governance
Such a nice guy
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Individuals like Melissa Caddick, Melinda Scott and Bernie Madoff, when first exposed, initially elicit expressions of shocked disbelief; quickly replaced by outrage, overreaction and their categorisation as outliers.

However, fraud is surprisingly common and most fraudsters are friendly, seemingly generous and quite approachable.

Despite the evidence, people are often surprised to learn one of their employees, or one of their colleagues, had misappropriated funds to recoup a trading position, fund a gambling addiction, pay for living expenses, purchase luxuries they could not otherwise afford or, commonly, just because they could.

Financial advice is a credence good [a product for which the quality cannot be gauged by consumers, even after buying it]. Advisers, providing their clients with care and consideration, are explicitly trusted by those who rely on, and are vulnerable to, their adviser's ethics and good judgment. Trustworthiness is assumed, and trust easily granted, but, like most professions, there are some that abuse that trust.

The psychology of fraud

Although many instances of fraud never make it to court, many judges have offered compelling assessments of fraudsters' motivation, characteristics, behaviour, investment choices and morality.

Following are excerpts from just a small number of recent cases the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) has run successfully.