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Deconstructing the origins of Cressey’s Fraud Triangle

Deconstructing the origins of Cressey’s Fraud Triangle Cressey’s Fraud Triangle has been referenced in 8,584 studies and academic papers [1] and is a stalwart of training courses for accounting and audit practitioners and fraud investigators. The Fraud Triangle has endured for three decades in the academic and practitioner worlds. This study aims to explore the origins of Cressey’s Fraud Triangle and challenge its practical value to a fraud investigator.Design/methodology/approachThis study has developed from analysis of a targeted literature review carried out as part of a wider study into occupational fraud and corruption.FindingsCressey’s name is intrinsically linked to the Fraud Triangle, although he never used the expression during his lifetime. Two of the three motivational factors identified by Cressey (1953) were developed from the earlier work of Svend Riemer (1941), who it is suggested should have equal billing with Donald Cressey for the concepts that led to the creation of the Fraud Triangle.Practical implicationsThe paper illustrates the limitations of Cressey’s Fraud Triangle for practitioners.Originality/valueMany academics and researchers have either misunderstood Cressey’s role in the development of the Fraud Triangle or been unaware of its true origins. Although the pioneering work of Riemer is referenced in a 2014 study on the Fraud Triangle by Alexander Schuchter and Michael Levi, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first to identify the influence of Riemer on Cressey’s thinking and the development of the Fraud Triangle. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Financial Crime Emerald Publishing

Deconstructing the origins of Cressey’s Fraud Triangle

Journal of Financial Crime , Volume 28 (3): 10 – Aug 5, 2021

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References (23)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1359-0790
eISSN
1359-0790
DOI
10.1108/jfc-10-2020-0204
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Cressey’s Fraud Triangle has been referenced in 8,584 studies and academic papers [1] and is a stalwart of training courses for accounting and audit practitioners and fraud investigators. The Fraud Triangle has endured for three decades in the academic and practitioner worlds. This study aims to explore the origins of Cressey’s Fraud Triangle and challenge its practical value to a fraud investigator.Design/methodology/approachThis study has developed from analysis of a targeted literature review carried out as part of a wider study into occupational fraud and corruption.FindingsCressey’s name is intrinsically linked to the Fraud Triangle, although he never used the expression during his lifetime. Two of the three motivational factors identified by Cressey (1953) were developed from the earlier work of Svend Riemer (1941), who it is suggested should have equal billing with Donald Cressey for the concepts that led to the creation of the Fraud Triangle.Practical implicationsThe paper illustrates the limitations of Cressey’s Fraud Triangle for practitioners.Originality/valueMany academics and researchers have either misunderstood Cressey’s role in the development of the Fraud Triangle or been unaware of its true origins. Although the pioneering work of Riemer is referenced in a 2014 study on the Fraud Triangle by Alexander Schuchter and Michael Levi, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first to identify the influence of Riemer on Cressey’s thinking and the development of the Fraud Triangle.

Journal

Journal of Financial CrimeEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 5, 2021

Keywords: Criminology; White collar crime; Fraud; Occupational fraud; Fraud Triangle; Cressey; Embezzlement; Sutherland

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