July 18, 2021

[INTERVIEW] Why Good, Honest Employees Really Do Steal With Kelly Paxton

Do honest people steal? Our guest, Kelly Paxton investigates and researches low level crimes such as book-keeping fraud; also known as Pink Collar Crime. She discusses how a hostile work environment and the prospect of financial difficulties at home can lead “good” people to rationalize dishonest behavior.

Kelly Paxton is a former federal agent who was used to dealing with “bad guys.” Once she started working embezzlement cases, she quickly realized that honest people steal. 

The term pink-collar crime describes embezzlement type crimes that are typically committed by females. Can a man be a pink collar criminal?  The simple answer is yes.  It's the position not the gender but in these "pink" positions there are just more women than men. 


Topics we Discuss With Kelly Paxton 

(4:25) Welcome and speed round questions.

(6:39) Why you should be concerned if your bookkeeper never takes a vacation.

(7:15) What is Pink Collar Crime? 

(10:20) How Kelly’s career and curiosity lead her into investigating Pink Collar Crime.

(14:48) What is The Fraud Triangle?

(19:14) Do women steal differently than men? 

(28:35) What are the common behaviors of people who embezzle? 

(31:17) Who benefits and who takes the blame for embezzlement? 

(37:53) Who should you trust?

(42:39) How people rationalize their dishonesty.

(45:49) What should companies do to prevent pink collar crime? 

(49:49) Kelly's favorite music and playlists.


Join us on our follow-on discussion in Episode 239 where Kurt and Tim have a Grooving Session on what Kelly has brought up in her interview and how we can apply insight from her interview into our own businesses.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Kelly Paxton: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellypaxton/

Kelly Paxton, Embezzlement: How to Detect, Prevent, and Investigate Pink-Collar Crime: https://amzn.to/3i57hN1 

Great Women in Fraud: https://greatwomeninfraud.com/ 

Great Women in Fraud Podcast: https://podcast.greatwomeninfraud.com/ 

Dan Ariely: https://danariely.com/ 

The Dishonesty Project: https://www.thedishonestyproject.com/film/ 

Pink Collar Crime: https://pinkcollarcrime.com/what-is-pink-collar-crime 

How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life by Caroline Webb: https://amzn.to/3eAaNhJ 

Episode 33: Caroline Webb: Having a Good Day: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/caroline-webb-having-a-good-day/

Go Fraud Me: http://gofraudme.com/ 

Rita Crundwell: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rita_Crundwell 

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know by Malcolm Gladwell: https://amzn.to/3i1sKGw 

Duped: Truth-Default Theory and the Social Science of Lying and Deception by Timothy Levine: https://amzn.to/3ehpWUC 

Big Little Lies: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Little_Lies_(TV_series) 

Episode 86: Christian Hunt: Mitigating Human Risk and The Algorithmic Mind: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/christian-hunt-mitigating-human-risk-and-the-algorithmic-mind/

Behavioral Grooves Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves

Musical Links

Foo Fighters “The Pretender”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBjQ9tuuTJQ 

Harold Van Lennep “Liberation”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEzMeDybBG0 

Micheal Kiwanuka “Cold Little Heart”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOubjLM9Cbc&ab_channel=MichaelKiwanukaVEVO 


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