Today’s high school cheats – tomorrow’s fraudsters?

The numbers are truly astounding. Several recent studies note that approximately 90 to 95% of high school students admit to having cheated in some shape or form. The type of cheating ranged from copying homework to cheating on final exams.

USA Today reported that an Ohio High School canceled graduation ceremonies for all 60 seniors.

An excerpt from the USA Today article:

“Superintendent Dorothy Holden said so many students are involved that it was impossible “to separate the wheat from the chaff” in terms of deciding who could graduate. Instead, all students will be mailed their diplomas.”

The statistics relating to cheating in college are equally shocking. Various studies report that approximately 85 to 95% of college students admit to cheating.

What does this alarming trend mean for companies? The connection between cheating in high school, college and fraud in the workplace is not fully understood. However, if children opt to cheat while “earning” an education, what type of behaviors will they pursue in the work place?

For employees that routinely received “A’s” in high school and college, a bad performance review may trigger feelings of resentment that could lead to fraudulent activity. Just as they felt justified in cheating while in school, they may rationalize that committing fraud to either improve their performance, or steal funds to “punish” their employer is justified. In fact, given their track record of academic fraud, reaching the decision to commit corporate fraud may be arrived at in very short order.

I do not mean to infer that all “20 something” employees entering the workforce are fraudsters in the making. However, you can’t help but ask if an employee that cheated in high school and/or college has the moral compass to guide them in today’s workplace?

Do you believe that academic fraud is an indicator of propensity to commit corporate fraud? If so, are you concerned that corporate fraud will increase as today’s college and high school seniors enter the workplace?

Need a writer that understands fraud? When you hire me to write an article, blog post, newsletter or white paper you get an accomplished writer that is also an expert in fraud.


About Paul McCormack
I have over 20 years of experience in corporate fraud and intellectual theft prevention, detection and investigation. Unlike many fraud experts, I have both industry and professional services experience. To date, I have conducted over 800 interrogations of fraud suspects including numerous senior corporate executives. As a freelance writer, I have written over 1,000 articles on a broad range of topics. My areas of expertise include: • Asset Misappropriation • Big Data • Bribery, Corruption, and Collusion • Check, Wire, ACH, and Credit Card Fraud • Consumer Fraud • Corporate Security • Cybersecurity • Data privacy (Europe, Brazil, Russia, India, and China) • Drug Trafficking • Embezzlement • Employee Fraud • Executive Protection • Fintech • Financial Statement Fraud • FCPA • Healthcare fraud • Identity Theft • Intellectual Property Theft • Internal Audit • Interrogation Tactics • Loss Prevention • Mobile Fraud • Money Laundering • Operational Excellence • Organized Crime • Payments Fraud • PCI Compliance • Retail Fraud • Risk Management • Terrorism and Counterterrorism • UK Bribery Act • Workplace Violence

2 Responses to Today’s high school cheats – tomorrow’s fraudsters?

  1. DJ says:

    I am guilty of helping a friend with a test here and there, and neither she nor I are anywhere near being fraudsters. However, it could be the kids that consistently cheat or try to cheat…those who don’t want to work to earn a good grade.

    A couple months back, I came across a fraud event that was perpetrated by someone I went to high school with. I don’t know if he ever cheated or tried to cheat, but I do know he was a ‘bad seed’.

    There might be a small correlation between cheaters and fraudsters, but I am guessing that it is proportionate, meaning, if you were a consistent cheater in school, you’re more likely to committ other types of fraud later in life.

  2. Pingback: Guiding teens without a moral compass « Jewish Teens

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