Fraud - From Here to the Moon

Hi. I'm Leslie Kim, Editor of the John Cooke Fraud Reports and, and I have a confession to make.

One day I was addressing an audience of about 600. I'd been given the morning time slot, just after breakfast, and every one of those six hundred people would have really preferred to crawl back into bed and go to sleep. So I did a bad thing. I threw out a very visual example of the COST of fraud to our society in a blatant attempt to wake them up.

"If you add up every dollar that our economy spends on fraud for one year, and lined them up end to end to end... they would stretch from where I am standing right now, TO THE MOON AND BACK ... twenty eight times."

Everybody woke up. Mouths hung open. And for the next hour they listened as intently to my message as they possibly could.

So what was so bad about that?

Okay, here's the confession. I made it up. That number popped straight out of my head.

Do I feel bad about doing such a thing? Heck no. In fact I feel that even though the visual suggested by that lunar trip, especially 28 times, was shocking, I knew that I could support it. Let me show you the numbers.

Let's consider some (somewhat) simple mathematics.

A dollar bill is just over 6 inches long..

There are 5280 feet in a mile.

That means that it takes 10,560 dollar bills, end to end, to stretch a mile.

Subject to a whole lot of factors (like where you are on the Earth, the time of year, etc.), the moon is about 238,000 miles from the Earth.

A bit of multiplication says that this comes up to about $5 billion dollar bills per round trip between us and the moon.

Hmmmm. 28 round trips at $5 billion each is $140 billion.

If you add up all the categories of fraud that fit within the definition of "Gain Through Misrepresentation," my $140 billion estimate is ... LOW!!!!!

So much for waking 600 fraud investigators up on an otherwise dreary Monday morning. Right now I want to go bigger and better. I want to wake all of America up.

Fight Fraud America

- Leslie