Current research being undertaken by FCX and the UNSW.

McGrathNicol is currently collaborating with the University of New South Wales in a two year project to research occupational fraud in Australian business. The research project aims to explore key aspects of occupational fraud by conducting a series of interviews with up to 65 perpetrators of white-collar crime in the workplace and with up to 35 corporate, government and not-for-profit victims. The project was inspired by original research by Dr Donald Cressey of the University of Indiana as far back as 1948 which was published in Dr Cressey’s landmark text “Other Peoples’ Money” (1953).

The research hopes to be able to provide insights into:

  • The linkage between poor internal control and occupational fraud incidents;
  • The linkage between poor organisational culture and occupational fraud incidents;
  • How control systems can be strengthened;
  • How current era fraud perpetrators rationalise their conduct;
  • How perpetrator rationalisations relate to the other key variables; and
  • How organisations can neutralise the perpetrator’s ability to rationalise their conduct.

Initial grant funding for the project has already been secured and further grant funding applications have been lodged. The outcomes of the research will be released progressively throughout the life of the project.

At last count, we have six persons who are currently undergoing sentence for occupational fraud and who have agreed to take part in the research. These outcomes of these initial interviews will be collated and summarised and progressively published on the Financial Crime Exchange (FCX) website.

If you would like to know more about the project, please visit or contact Dean Newlan on, +61 3 9038 3151 or +61 412 731 040.


Clinton Free
Position: UNSW
T: +61 2 9248 9943
Paul Andon
Position: UNSW
T: +61 2 9248 9943
E: p.andon
Russell Smith
Position: Principal Criminologist
T: +61 2 9248 9943
E: russell.smith