Sports Frauds

Scoring an International Presence

By Tim Harvey, CFE;Richard Hurley, Ph.D., J.D., CFE, CPA

Global Fraud Focus 

Examining Cross-Border Issues 


 MarchApril-Global-Fraud-Focus-Harvey   MarchApril-Global-Fraud-Focus-Hurley 


Sherlock Holmes (or at least his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Dole) definitely would have taken a keen interest in this criminal sports investigation. Scotland Yard detectives in August 2010 interviewed three key players from the Pakistani National cricket team after the detectives had received a tip about a "spot fixing" scandal. (Doyle named Sherlock after a cricket player Doyle had played against.) In a spot-fixing scheme, players are paid bribes not to fix matches outright but to fix certain plays. In this sting, an undercover reporter, posing as a wealthy businessman, paid the equivalent of more than US$230,000 to a "fixer" who told the reporter precisely when three of Pakistan's bowlers (or pitchers) would deliver three "no-balls." (A bowler bowls a no-ball by breaching several rules of the game including when his foot goes past a designated chalk line on the pitch at the moment of delivery.) The no-balls were delivered on schedule during a game played between England and Pakistan in London.       
British prosecutors charged the three players and the fixer on Feb. 4, and an anti-corruption tribunal of the International Cricket Council banned the players the next day.       
This is just one example of ubiquitous global sports fraud.  


Possibly one thing you might not have thought about is the "fraud triathlon" — commonly known as the fraud triangle. Although Donald Cressey was not a triathlete, he was an iron man when it came to researching and developing a hypothesis to explain why people commit frauds — sports frauds included. Let us examine the three sides of the triangle — opportunity, pressure and rationalization — as they pertain to sports fraud. 

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