Business fraud at a low in the East

EAST Anglia has one of the lowest rates of business fraud in the country, according to research by accountancy firm BDO Stoy Hayward.The region had only two reported cases of business fraud during the first half of 2007 totalling £350,000, the second lowest amount in the UK after Northern Ireland with £139,107.

EAST Anglia has one of the lowest rates of business fraud in the country, according to research by accountancy firm BDO Stoy Hayward.

The region had only two reported cases of business fraud during the first half of 2007 totalling £350,000, the second lowest amount in the UK after Northern Ireland with £139,107.

However, the compilers of the BDO Stoy Hayward FraudTrack report, warn that there is no room for complacency, with many cases of business fraud going unreported.

Across the UK as a whole there was 141 cases of business fraud reported during the first half of the year, only slightly up from 139 in the same period last year, but the value of the frauds grew by 42% from £379million to £538million.


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The main factor behind the increase was the growth of VAT “carousel” frauds - which involve reclaiming VAT on “imported” goods which do not actually exist - whose value grew to £468million during the first half of 2007, more last the total of £458million for the whole of last year.

The worst affected region by value was the Midlands, suffering losses of £311million - again driven by VAT fraud - while the worst hit region in terms of the number of reported cases of business fraud was London and the South East, with 47.

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Richard Shave, BDO Stoy Hayward's fraud expert in the eastern region, said: “Considering the growth of business in East Anglia these results are promising. However, businesses in East Anglia still need to be aware of the ever growing threat of fraud.

“When it comes to frauds against businesses, if you are discovered there is only a small chance of being prosecuted. When a fraud is discovered, all, but the very largest, are not a priority for the police given their limited resources.

“Businesses, not surprisingly, focus on getting the money back and protecting their reputations - so few of such cases, less than 15%, result in a prosecution. In this case, the worst a fraudster will face is losing their job and having to repay most of their ill-gotten gains.”

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