Donald R. Cressey 's Theory Of The Occupational Offender

1163 Words Jan 18th, 2016 5 Pages
Donald R. Cressey was a criminologist who developed the classic model for the occupational offender (Wells, 2013, p. 13). Cressey focused his research on people who started out doing their jobs in an honest way, but at some point, they started embezzling from their employer (Wells, 2013, p. 13). Cressey’s hypothesis was that embezzlers or “trust violators” had three common characteristics (Wells, 2013, p. 13). These three characteristics would later become known as the “fraud triangle” (Wells, 2013, p. 13).
Frist, the trust violator had to have a “non-shareable financial problem” (Wells, 2013, p. 13). A non-sharable financial problem was a problem that the embezzler, for whatever reason, wouldn’t share with someone else in order to receive legitimate help (Wells, 2013, pp. 13-14). Second, the embezzler had to have a perceived opportunity to embezzle the money (Wells, 2013, p. 17). This one is potentially the easiest to accomplish because anyone who has access to money has the potential to steal it. For example, a receivables clerk could skim incoming cash. The third and final thing the potential embezzler had to do was rationalize their theft (Wells, 2013, pp. 17-18). This was important because the fraudsters didn’t regard themselves as criminals so they needed a justification for their crimes in order to maintain their view of themselves as honest and trustworthy (Wells, 2013, pp. 17-18).
Another forerunner in fraud examination was Dr. W. Steve Albrecht. Unlike Mr. Cressey,…
Open Document