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Fraud Prevention Alert—Fraud Triangle Part 2: Pressure


Throughout the last 25 years, our Office has issued numerous reports on fraud involving Arizona government employees from universities, community college districts, school districts, special taxing districts, counties, and state agencies. Understanding why and how employees commit fraud is crucial to preventing it. The fraud triangle summarizes three elements that are present when an individual commits fraud: opportunity, pressure, and rationalization. Public officials can help prevent fraud by diminishing any one of the triangle’s three elements and, ideally, taking steps to diminish all three elements. This alert, the second in a three-part series, will focus on the pressure element and outline how public officials can identify employee pressures to steal and then take timely action to prevent fraud when they notice troublesome changes in an employee’s behavior.