Public finance for public administration northwestern university may 27th 2014
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Public Finance for Public Administration, Northwestern University May 27th, 2014. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF FRAUD Daven Morrison MD Morrison Associates, Ltd. Asst. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Chicago Medical School Subject Matter Expert , Institute of Fraud Prevention.

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Public Finance for Public Administration, Northwestern UniversityMay 27th, 2014


Daven Morrison MD

Morrison Associates, Ltd.Asst. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry,

Chicago Medical SchoolSubject Matter Expert,

Institute of Fraud Prevention

What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.


an epic poem

Walter Scott, 1808

“As a fraudster, I succeeded for almost two decades because I understood how to exploit the psychological and emotional weaknessesof my victims. This book teaches auditors and antifraud professionals about fraud psychology, the “soft underbelly of fraud” —the emotional manipulation, big and small lies, and other behavioral cues that fraudsters employ to successfully execute their crimes. I call it the art of spinning, and the authors have described it as the predator-prey dance. Without such an understanding of the behavioral dynamics of fraud, victims will always be doomed to lose (lots of money) and fraudsters will always have the upper hand.”

—Sam E. Antar

Former Crazy Eddie CFO, former CPA,

and a convicted felon

Alan Greenspan: What Went Wrong

  • I've always considered myself more of a mathematician than a psychologist. It all fell apart, in the sense that not a single major forecaster of note or institution caught it.

  • The Federal Reserve has got the most elaborate econometric model, which incorporates all the newfangled models of how the world works—and it missed it completely.

    • “What Went Wrong”

    • Alexandra Wolfe

    • WSJ, Oct 18, 2013



White Collar Crime

Caveat Emptor

Recent Cases of Fraud in the News

  • NY Times: Fraud in Army Recruiting Bonus Program May Cost Nearly $100 Million

  • Chicago Tribune: Republican Party wing creates 18 fake websites for Democrats

  • WSJ: Ex-SAC Trader Found Guilty

  • My inbox: Dewey-Leboef Law Firm

  • Chicago Drivers use old stubs to fake parking payments

  • Rita Crundwell

  • Jesse Jackson

  • Retailers’ Theft Interviews: Fraudulent confessions


  • Raj Rajaraptnam

A.B.C.of Fraud

Advances are made by answering questions. Discoveries are made by questioning answers. Bernard Haisch; Director, Calphysics Institute

Questions for Today

Questioning Answers

ABCs of Fraud:Book

A.B.C.’s of Behavioral Forensics

I: When Fraud Is Committed

  • Ch 1 Fraud Is Everywhere

  • Ch 2 The Sins of Quantification

  • Ch 3 Beyond the Fraud Triangle . . .

    II: The Foundations:

  • Ch 4 . . . into the Mind

  • Ch 5 “Said the Spider to the Fly”

  • Ch 6 The Accidental Fraudster

  • Ch 7 The Bad Bushel and Beyond

III A Call to Action

  • Ch 8 The Ecology of Fraud: What You Can Do on Monday Morning

  • Ch 9 The Future of Behavioral Forensics

A.B.C.s of Fraud: Other Resources

  • Original Paper:

  • Blog

Fraud: Ideas from “A.B.C.” Text:Highlights of Bringing Freud to Fraud



  • A Human Act

  • Driven by emotions

  • Natural

  • Expensive

  • Likely reflects a “change of mind”

    • A.B.C.’s of Behavioral Forensics

  • Mental Illness

  • One size fits all

  • Not a “shameless” act

  • Easily profiled

  • A “solo” act

Recent Cases of Fraud in the News

  • NY Times: Fraud in Army Recruiting Bonus Program May Cost Nearly $100 Million

  • Chicago Tribune: Republican Party wing creates 18 fake websites for Democrats

  • WSJ: Ex-SAC Trader Found Guilty

  • My inbox: Dewey-Leboef Law Firm

  • Chicago Drivers use old stubs to fake parking payments

  • Rita Crundwell

  • Jesse Jackson

  • Retailers’ Theft Interviews: Fraudulent confessions


  • Raj Rajaraptnam

Questioning Answer #2: Greedis the motivation

What is Happening in the Mind?


Opportunity: Find a hole in accounting process



Justify theft to self

Pressure/Incentives: Knowingly commit fraud for a perceived need


Step One: Opportunity

Find a hole in accounting/oversight process

The “unofficial”legal line


Step Two: Pressure Knowinglycommit fraud for a perceived need

Step Three: Rationalize

Fraud is expensive over time



The Values of the 8 Motivational States





Fitting In













How Honesty Reverses

STARTING Motivation:

Follow the rules

The “unofficial” legal line


FINAL Motivation: Disobey the rules



Fraud Perpetration requires repetition

Question: Do I keep the money?

Answer: Yes

The Reversal

START: Rules Matter

  • Motivations to sustain fraud (rationalizations)

  • Self: They don’t care ‘bout me

  • Other: I need $ for our medical bills

  • Play: who can catch me?

  • Mastery: Now they will know who’s boss!

  • 4 More possible motivations

Sustaining Large Scale Fraud is

Sustaining the Reversal


Over time the fraudster’s believes:

“the rules are not for me”




Time remains the enemy . . . because the cost grows

  • Motivations to recruit others (rationalizations)

  • Self: They don’t care ‘bout you!

  • Other: Youneed $ for our medical bills

  • Play: who can catch us?

  • Mastery: Now they will know we ‘re in charge!

  • 4 More possible motivations

START: Rules Matter


Over time the fraudster’s TEAM believes:

“their rules are not for us”




Time/Title is the enemy . . . As the cost grows

Sustaining large frauds requires getting

others to Reverse Motivation


Mark Whitacre

Video example

Questioning Answer #3 The answer to halting fraud is a: Profile

What is Happening in the Mind?

Recent Banking Fraud Scenario

Friday Afternoon, Wire Transfer

Predatory Fraud is a Dance

  • Predator

    • Nigerian Prince(ss)

    • Spider

    • Madoff

  • Prey

    • Grandma

    • Fly

    • Madoff’s friends











The Progression, Examples I and II: We (I) Need Money 419

  • Excitement

    • Enjoyment

    • Fear

      • The A.B.C.s p. 236

  • Shame

    • Distress

    • Excitement


Positive1. Interest—excitement

2. Enjoyment—joy

Neutral3. Surprise—startle

Negative4. Fear—terror

5. Distress—anguish

6. Anger—rage

7. Shame—humiliation

8. Contempt (Dissmell)

9. Disgust


Our biology

Our biology

Predatory Dynamic

Higher CPUs:

Blends of blends (Prefrontal Cortex)

Blends of emotion (Paralimbic)

Discrete emotions (Limbic)

Action tendencies (Diencephalon)

Affects as Data and the BrainThe A.B.C.s: Appendix B

Richard D. Lane and David A. S. Garfield,

“Becoming Aware of Feelings: Integration of Cognitive-Developmental, Neuroscientific, and Psychoanalytic Perspectives,”Neuropsychoanalysis 7, no. 1 (2005): 5–30

Recent Banking Fraud Scenario

Friday Afternoon, Wire Transfer

Predator Tactics

  • Masking

  • Dazzling

  • Decoying

  • Mimicking

  • Repackaging

  • Double Play

    • The A.B.C.’s p 182

The Seduction of the Profile

Imagine how hard physics would be if particles could think.

  • Murray Gell-Man, Physics Nobel Laureate


Two new ways of thinking means questioning answers:

  • Blaming “Greed” will limit your seeing the larger ecology/environment of fraud

  • Profiling Employees will make more anxiety and distance than you want and will provide a road map for those fraudsters motivated to read from the play book!

Affects are the tracer bullets flying on the battlefield of fraud

What level of the human brain is your team using?



Fraud: Ideas from “A.B.C.” Text:Two New Models: Bringing Freud to Fraud

The Bad Apple?

Predatory vs Accidental

  • Who is (s)he?

  • What about the victim?

  • Is there a Bad Bushel or Crop?

    • ABC’s of Behavioral Forensics

  • What is in the Headlines?

  • What is most common?

  • What do you need to know about each of them?

Professional Competence

Professor Harry Kraemer, MBA

Having the Answer vs Getting the Answer


Interpersonal Knowledge






TIME on the JOB

Day One

First Year

Tone at the Top:Executive Assessment

Strengths and Weaknesses in Judgment

Emotional Elements




Emotional energy

Changing Conceptual Sets


Predict interpersonal environment


Practical problem solving


Verbal Abstractions

Boil Down To Essence

Need for nurturance


Collect All Relevant Available Data

Need for structure





Tolerance of ambiguity



Effective Judgment

Executive Judgment



  • Strong Perceptions in ambiguity

  • Strong intellect in abstractions, and practical problem solving

  • Work Ethic

  • Reality-based approach (pragmatic)

  • Narcissism

  • Poor Capacity to read Emotions and fit with Context (EQ)

  • Hyper-Competitiveness

  • Absent Self-Reflection

  • At risk of mid-life challenges

Prime Fraud Sources inFinancial Services




Bad Bushels and Beyond: Leadership Tone

  • The Role of Psychopathy

    • The A.B.C.s Ch 5

  • The Role of Narcissism

    • The A.B.C.s Ch 7

  • The role of the Charismatic Leader

    • The A.B.C.s Ch 7

  • The Challenge of the Entrepreneur

  • The critical answer to question

  • Clients: When does your organization say “no” to a client?

    • Corporate

      • What are the clients sharing?

      • What is the tone of their leadership?

      • How self-reflective are they?

      • How do they make you feel?

      • Is there Narcissism in leaders?

      • How charismatic are they?

        • Do the leaders understand and manage their executive presence?

    • Individuals

      • Are they at risk of being victim of an email scam?

        • Distress?

        • Excitement?

        • Pride? Narcissism?

      • What of the family

        • What is their tone?

        • Is there potential for fraud in the family?


    Avoid Accidentals

    Innoculate against Predators

    • When do they get the message to “do the right thing” vs ask if it’s legal?

    • Do they have a reason to feel taken advantage of by the organization and want something in return?

    • Are they emotionally competent?

    • Can they be seduced by a predator?

    • How would a fraudster turn the culture to his advantage?

    • What are the subcultures that put the organization at risk?

    Vendors:Who interfaces with them?

    • Service Providers to the organization

    • Providing Service to Clients


    • What is the tone of the leadership?

      • Do the leaders understand their presence?

    • How well do they understand emotions?

      • Are they competent?

      • Are they creating a sense of belonging or alienation?

      • Interpersonal Misfits are a breeding ground for risk/fraud?

      • How competitive are they?

    • Are there Charismatic-Leader Follower Dynamics?

    • Do they understand their impact on culture?

    Op Risk Officers

    Managing Organizational Operational Risk

    Running and growing the Organization

    • Acts of Nature

    • Theft

    • Sabotage (non-IT)

    • Work Place Violence

    • Hackers: internal, external, contractors

    • Fraud

    • Navigate Regulators

    • Recruit and Retain Top Talent

    • Leverage Core Organizational Competencies

    • Asked early in the planning of new initiatives – is your perspective sought out? . .. Or avoided.

    To SELL: The challenge of convincing leadership to address fraud

    What you need

    What they need

    • Their attention

    • Their understanding

    • Their perspective

    • Their willingness to change

    • Your understanding of the business/strategy

    • Your willingness to change

    • Your efforts in executing the strategy

    Required Dialogue on Risk


    Internal Governance

    Securities Traders

    Safe Zone

    0% Low




    Affects are Data

    Fraud Defined

    A generic term, embracing all multifariousmeanswhich human ingenuity can devise, and which are resorted to by one individual to get advantage over another by false suggestions or by suppression of truth, and includes all surprise, trick, cunning, dissembling, and any unfair way by which another is cheated. . . .

    Elements of a cause of action for “fraud” include false representation of a present or past fact made by defendant, action in reliance thereupon by plaintiff, and damage resulting to plaintiff from such misrepresentation.

    Black’s Law Dictionary

    White Collar Crime

    • “Those classes of nonviolent illegal activities which principally involve traditional notions of deceit, deception, concealment, manipulation, breach of trust, subterfuge or illegal circumvention.”

    • Caveat Emptor

    Op Risk NY City

    Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

    • Operational Risk Specialist

      ABU Dhabi Investments Authority

    • Deputy Director

      Intact Financial Corporation

    • Vice President

      Freddie Mac

    • VP Internal Controls

      International Monetary Fund

    • Accountant

      US Securities and Exchange Commission

    • Staff Accountant

      National Bank of Canada

    • Vice-President, Operational & Reputation Risks

      ABU Dhabi Investment Authority

    • Senior Manager

    Santander Director of Technology & Operations

    Banque Pictet & Cie SA

    Banco Bradesco SA - Controller

    Brazilian Development Bank – BNDES

    • Operational Risk Manager

      Banco de Mexico Deputy - Manager

      IMF Accountant (2)

      UniCredit Bank AG - Managing Director

      Banco Bradesco S/A- Compliance Analyst Sr.

      Zions Bancorporation

    • Risk Management Administrator

      Banco de la Republica - Deputy Manager

    A Psychiatrist’s Perspective

    Getting into the Mind of the Fraudster

    An Exploration of your Challenges

    Actions to Consider: Convincing Leadership to take it Seriously

    Background: Focus on Private Industry

    • Morrison Associates, Ltd.

      • Arthur Andersen

      • Continental Bank

      • Conseco Insurance

      • Food Lion

    • Daven Morrison

      • Psychiatric Resident and Chief Resident (1996)

      • Morrison Associates since 1996

      • Consultation to Leadership Teams

      • Anti-Fraud Efforts

        • Institute of Fraud Prevention

        • Tomkins Institute of Emotion and Cognition

        • Senior Editor and Author: The A.B.C.s of Behavioral Forensics

    Dixon Illinois

    The Best Reason Ever to have Professional Management

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