A new study has revealed that working professional most likely to steal from their own firm are males in their 40s, and are employed in middle management.
The study was conducted by an association of private detectives in Austria after being called in by companies who claimed fraud was rising during the economic crisis.
Association spokesman Johann Fesl said that according to their research, the most common people caught were the 40-year-old middle managers who "had the attitude that they had reached as far as they were likely to go in the company and wouldn't go any further with their career."
"It is a growing problem that companies are having to look for thieves among their own ranks. In addition the amounts being stolen are also much higher than they were in previous years," the Daily Mail quoted Fesl, as saying.
A middle manager's career frustrations rather than greed was the main motivating factor behind their stealing, the association found.
According to the study, while a petrol station cashier may steal around 3,700 pounds, senior managers help themselves to between 24,000 pounds and 37,00 pounds. However those at the top, either as the company owner or a big shareholder, steal on average over 550,000 pounds, the paper said.
The study also said that in general fraud in firms has increased between 20 and 30 per cent in the last four years, while in contrast with the cases being investigated by police, many of those handled privately do not end up in the courts, the paper added.