One plague follows another. Recession-battered companies are at greater risk for criminal violations, warn experts who study corporate malfeasance. Like a virus that takes hold in a weakened immune system, fraud rears up when corporations are fighting for their lives.
"If you look back at history, when there's an economic downturn there's always a spike in fraud," says Richard Plansky, a managing director in Kroll's business intelligence and investigations division. "The reason is pretty simple: Every fraud starts with a motive, and in times like this there are motives everywhere."
While the retail sector is on the front lines, there's more than enough risk to go around in the current economy.