Research carried out as part of BDO LLP’s annual FraudTrack report shows that the value of fraud in the East Midlands jumped 11.7% from £16.9m in 2017 to £18.9m in 2018.
Accountants and business advisers BDO discovered that despite the number of fraud cases in the region decreasing by 17%, from 35 cases in 2017 to 29 in 2018, the value of reported cases in the East Midlands rose from less than 1% of all UK reported fraud by volume in 2017 to over 2.5% in 2018.
One high value case in the region involved a man who had fraudulently gained £7m of investor’s money through a bogus green energy scheme. Another case concerned a man charged with six counts of fraud and three counts of stolen cash from defrauding the singer, VV Brown, out of £3.4m using her bank account.
The total value of fraud UK-wide more than halved in 2018. Following a record 15-year high in 2017, reported fraud fell from £2.1bn to £746.3m. This is the lowest level of fraud since 2014 when the value fell to £720.3m, however experts at BDO warn the true value of fraud could be as high as £37.5bn.
Sat Plaha, Partner and National Head of Regional Forensic Services at BDO commented: “While both the volume and value of fraud in the East Midlands are well below regional averages, our experience suggests that as few as one in 50 cases of fraud in the UK are likely to be reported so the figures only shine a spotlight on the visible part of a much wider problem.
“Fraud needs to be at the forefront of people’s minds across the region – not just in a corporate context but also personally. The largest cases of fraud in the East Midlands in 2018 all targeted individuals. As resources for tackling fraud come under increasing pressure from all sides, there is a need for extra vigilance and increased due diligence to identify those looking to break the law for personal gain.”