Swiss public institutions hit hard by white-collar crime
Swiss courts last year dealt with 52 major economic crime cases, which amounted to 355 million francs ($ 384 million) in losses, consulting firm KPMG said Thursday. Public institutions have been particularly targeted by fraudsters.
This content was published on April 15, 2021 – 15:43
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The total number of documented cases increased by four compared to 2019 – well below the record high (91) in 2015. Financial losses were also well below the 1.4 billion francs recorded in 2016.
The fraudsters mainly targeted public institutions (20) and the average loss suffered per case was CHF 6.8 million, KPMG said in a report. declarationExternal link Thursday.
“Crimes affecting public institutions mainly relate to cases of insurance and social security fraud,” said Anne van Heerden, head of KPMG’s forensic department. “In 2020, we also saw cases of money laundering, unfair management and tax evasion quite frequently compared to other offenses.”
The consulting firm said most of the cases recorded last year were committed by professional fraudsters (19 cases). But there has been a sharp increase in offenses committed by individuals. Three major cases in particular were responsible for 130 million francs in losses, KPMG said.
The most frequent offenses were tax evasion, followed by unfair management and embezzlement.
The French-speaking region of Lake Geneva was the most affected by white-collar crime in 2020 (19 cases and more than a third of the losses). It was followed by Zurich and eastern Switzerland, which each reported eight cases.
In its statement, the consultancy added that since “experience shows that many cases are never even reported, the actual white-collar crime figures are likely to be several times higher.”
This information was published in the annual “KPMG Forensic Fraud Barometer”, which covers all Swiss court cases heard in public and reported in the media during the year. Data was compiled from over 5,000 relevant journal articles in 2020.