O'Reilly logo

Faces of Fraud: Cases and Lessons from a Life Fighting Fraudsters by Martin T. Biegelman

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 14

Power of Prosecution and Prevention

The power of prosecution is not to be underestimated. Prosecutions, convictions, and the resulting prison sentences are a deterrent to fraud. As a law enforcement officer, I arrested over 700 fraudsters. Some were career criminals who thought nothing of ripping off people and companies again and again. After completing their prison sentences, some went right back to their fraudster ways. I often arrested these defendants multiple times. I knew that convictions and prison did not necessarily stop future crimes, but it took the fraudster off the street temporarily. That alone had a preventative effect for victims.

The good news for society is that most fraudsters are not repeat offenders. Most of the fraudsters I investigated were onetime opportunists. As long as they got away with what they did, they were fine with their actions. But once I put handcuffs on their wrists and took them to court, the realization set in that they were about to be held accountable. I know that in many of my cases, the arrest and prosecution of first-time offenders caused them to reassess their actions and their lives. They had their motives, opportunities, and rationalizations and that led them to commit fraud. More often than not, those fraudsters learned their lessons and never committed fraud again.

In the mid-1980s, I arrested a young man for credit card fraud. He was fairly arrogant and dismissive when I arrested him, but that soon faded when we fingerprinted, ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required