Women More Likely Than Men To Embezzle Money
12:45 pm, April 12th | by Rebecca Srulowitz
Bernie Madoff, Kenneth Star, Raj Rajaratnam– what do these three people have in common? They were all caught committing egregious financial crimes. And they’re all men. Which is why we were shocked to learn that women are more likely than men to embezzle money.
I know I know– our assumption that only men commit financial crimes was pretty sexist, but when the headlines blaring all over the news these past few years have surrounded wealthy men stealing billions of dollars, we felt it was safe to assume that women were the honest and responsible ones. Not to mention that we’ve already covered how women are considered better investors precisely because they’re less likely to engage in reckless risk-taking behavior.
However, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, embezzlement is the only offense nationwide where women outnumber men. Furthermore, The Marquet Report, which analyzes prominent embezzlement cases with losses of more than $100,000, reported that women have been responsible for two-thirds of embezzlement cases for four years running and that women comprise 64 percent of alleged embezzlers nationwide.
Say whaaat? How can we even begin to explain this?
Mark Osler, professor of Law and a former assistant U.S. attorney, told ABC it comes down to two things: motive and opportunity. Motive can involve anything from paying medical bills to drug addiction to gambling. As for opportunity, according to Osler, women dominate “pink-collar” professions and so are more likely to be bank tellers, office workers and bookkeepers– jobs that entrust them with handling money.
If you think about it though, that’s kind of an odd explanation– men are office workers too, so I’m not entirely sure I understand Osler’s explanation. So if anyone can come up with a better one, let me know!