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Cover Story
ASHING your dirty stores and internet site for millions
linen in public is an of pounds and informants could be
Jeffrey Robinson,
oft-quoted phrase a means of staying one step ahead.
that is an apt “Almost of 100% of retail fraud
the author of
description of trials end up in court because of a
Jeffrey Robinson, the world’s not guilty plea. The courts should
money laundering
leading expert on fraud and say from the outset ‘you are going
money laundering. to jail’ but offer a deal of a shorter
best seller, The
The author of 24 books and sentence, say six years, in return
darling of the media who have his for information. There is no
Laundrymen and
number of speed dial under ‘F for expensive trial and police get
Fraud’ when the subject rears its valuable information to follow
the world’s leading
ugly head, Robinson relishes the up.”
challenge and loves nothing more “Fraud is very simple – it is lying.
commentator on
than rolling his sleeves up and It is the exchange of money or
giving his forthright opinion. goods based upon an untruth. This
international fraud
A native New Yorker who has system sends a clear message to
split his time between London and the fraud community that there is
goes through
Greenwich Village since 1986, no free ride. The retailers and the
Robinson ‘tells it as it is.’ police have it within their interests
retail’s dirty linen
Retail Fraud met him for to stop it and this system is much
breakfast fresh off the ‘red eye’ more straightforward than the
from JFK at a steamy North West current one.”
London coffee house close to his
second home where over pastries PEOPLE ISSUES
he held court on the rise of Robinson argues that retailers
fraudulent activity in the sector think that have it cracked when
and the role of retailer culpability. they hire a former police officer to
As breakfast meetings go, retailers head up security.
themselves were on the menu and “This is a very reactive policy.
he proceeded to roast their people This one guy is basically in the
policies and processes, spitting out position of distrusting everyone. If
what did not agree with him, you asked every member of staff in
which was most of it. a larger organisation ‘if you had
According to Robinson retailers the opportunity to steal, knowing
have only themselves to blame for there was a small chance you could
the $98 billion global shrinkage bill get caught, 20 per cent would say
because they have not adequately ‘yes’.
vetted personnel or listened to “Retailers need to be more
what their own staff have been
telling them at the same time as
they have been pursuing over-
ambitious global expansion plans, “FRAUD IS VERY
both physically and online, that
have over-exposed their financial
vulnerability without investing in
the correct checks and balances.
Its easy to blame the police, but
law enforcement cannot work
alone in bringing fraudsters to
book, according to Robinson who
controversially would like to see a
US-style pleas bargaining system
introduced in the UK courts to fast
track retail crime and allow the
law to gather vital evidence
against the ‘Mr Bigs’ of retail
Make no mistake, the problem is
not about opportunistic shop
Jeffrey lifters, but seasoned and
Robinson professional gangs hitting retailer RIDE. ”
ISSUE 4 AUGUST 2009 • 15
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