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Tale of Two Countries: International Fraud-Detection Homicide

NCJ Number
Forensic Examiner Dated: Summer 2008 Pages: 72-78
Date Published
7 pages

Based on case studies obtained from the Internet, this study compared the features of homicides in the United States and the former Soviet Republics motivated by the offenders' attempts to prevent the detection of a fraud scheme ("red-collar" crime).


Information from the case studies suggests that red-collar crimes in the former Soviet Republics all had the markings of contract killings; whereas, those in the United States were a mixture of both contract killings and noncontract killings. Also, unlike the American red-collar murders, the murders in the former Soviet Republics apparently were not just to silence the targeted victim, but also to send a message to others who were involved in detecting fraud schemes. The American cases demonstrate true psychopathic behavior that reinforces what forensic psychologists observe in so many criminals, i.e., a narcissistic sense of immunity from adverse consequences due to their self-serving behaviors. This explains why they could not understand why their statements were so transparently false, why incriminating physical evidence was left behind, and how their own behavior incriminated them. The anecdotal evidence from the former Soviet Republics suggests that the red-collar criminals are willing to leave any killing to others, so they are buffered from being accused of murder. They are also more likely than the American red-collar criminals to hire professional rather than amateur killers. Based on the findings of the case studies, the authors of this paper recommend that forensic accountants or fraud investigators be included as part of a homicide investigation team when there is evidence that fraud detection may have been the motive for a murder. Three American cases were examined, along with two from former Soviet Republics. 41 references

Date Published: January 1, 2008