Fraud Spreads


Corporate corruption in Enron, WorldCom, Arthur Andersen and Martha Stewart Living is seeping down, it seems.

In an online survey by executive recruiting firm Korn/Ferry, 45 percent of those polled said resume fraud among executives was increasing. A recent congressional report revealed that 28 high-level federal employees had fake college degrees, some of that number holding sensitive security clearances and overseeing nuclear weapons. Football coaches, New York Times reporters, judges and Pulitzer Prize winners have been among high-profile liars to get caught.

Many young Americans are following suit. Surveys show three fourths of high schoolers cheating on exams, and as many as one third admitting to repetitive, serious cheating. A 2002 survey found 13 percent of college students already lying on their resumes. The Society for Human Resource Management estimated that 40 percent to 70 percent of job applicants are guilty of “padding” their credentials to get the job.