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Codes for Fraud Examination: The Ostrich

  1. Codes applicable to attorney professional conduct (e.g., ABA)
  2. Codes applicable to the practices of public accounting and consulting services (e.g., AICPA)
  3. Codes applicable to the client entity

But the variable Codes of concealment of the participants’ knowledge of the wrongfulness of the underlying transactions through words not reflective of the real deal (e.g., LIBOR scandal) are what makes fraud examination sexy. Euphemism, slang, and related linguistic techniques may be used to create conversations that directly avoid the recognition of doing harm to others (and violating law and regulation). Fraud costs are generated without specific line-item on the invoices and borne by others. The principle of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth proves unwieldy, yielding to the principle of economy of expression: Only that which aids our efforts is directly mentioned. The conversations’ focus is on mutual cooperation (cf. criminal conspiracy), a social structure barely above narcissism. The capacity and disposition of individuals to create make-believe dwarfs reality, for a time, especially where personal resistance may demand courage and the necessity of finding new employment in a world of overcapacity. Sometimes, fraud is committed because it’s the easiest thing to do at the time.

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