Larry C. Adams, CPA
Certified Public Accountant
Certified Fraud Examiner
Phoenix, Arizona USA
November 2007 Fraud
Hoodwink and Sleipnir
organized crime groups are operating
in Canada in 2007.
Fraud In Other Words
and Uncensored Street Slang
by Larry C. Adams, CFE, CPA, CIA, CISA
To deceive, delude, or
influence by slyness. Hoodwink is derived from wink, meaning to briefly
close an eye. In the 16th century, it
was fashionable to wear a head covering of
a cowl or hood attached
a cloak. A wearer became hoodwinked or blinded when the hood
unintentionally fell over the person’s eyes. The situation made the wearer
vulnerable. A thief could intentionally pull a hood down over a victim’s
eyes and then snatch his or her purse, leaving the victim groping about
for the perpetrator and the stolen valuables.
In other situations, a nearly-closed hood could conceal
the wearer’s identity and be used to intentionally deceive other people.
Today, a fraudster might hoodwink his victims by
concealing his true motives and feigning good intentions while a scam
continues. The fraudster might mislead the victims to believe an untruth.
Organizations or consumers might allege they have been
hoodwinked out of thousands of dollars. However, victims are more likely
to be blinded by their own greed than a cloth hood.
In Elizabethan times, children played the “hoodwinke
game” that is known today as “blind man’s buff” or "blind man's bluff."
One child is blindfolded and then the other players scatter around to
avoid detection. The blindfolded person wanders around trying to find and
tag another player. To deceive or tease the blindfolded person, some
players make distracting noises as they move about or give the person a
disorienting small push called a buff.
Charles Earle Funk and Charles Earle Funk, Jr.,
Horsefeathers & Other Curious Words, Perennial Library, Harper & Row,
Publishers, New York, 1986, page 96.
Sleipnir is an analytical
technique developed to uniformly rank organized groups of criminals by
their relative capabilities, limitations,
vulnerabilities. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) uses the
rankings to recommend intelligence
and enforcement priorities. This threat measurement technique was
developed by the Criminal Intelligence Program (CIP) of the RCMP and
adopted in 1999. The RCMP uses two versions of Sleipnir. Version one is
the “Long Matrix for Organized Crime.” Version two has different threat
assessment criteria for terrorist organizations. Sleipnir is used in
Australia and Europe too.
attributes are ranked and weighted for each criminal organization each
year by RCMP experts who judge their threat to Canadian society. Each
criminal organization is compared for threat changes from year to year,
and compared to other organizations. From the highest to the lowest, this
is the relative importance of the attributes: (1) corruption, (2)
violence, (3) infiltration, (4) expertise, (5) sophistication, (6)
subversion, (7) strategy, (8) discipline, (9) insulation, (10)
intelligence use, (11) multiple enterprises, (12) mobility, (13)
stability, (14) scope, (15) monopoly, (16) group cohesiveness, (17)
continuity, (18) links to other organized crime groups, and (19) links to
criminal extremist groups.
Each project conducted at RCMP headquarters has
a randomly selected name that starts with the letter “s.” Sleipnir was a
magical eight-legged gray colt – a gift to Odin, the chief god in Norse
mythology. The horse was the swiftest on earth and could bear Odin over
the sea and through the air. Sleipnir’s name means smooth or gliding, and
is related to the English word slippery.
Canada’s Criminal Intelligence Service identified 950
organized crime groups operating in Canada in 2007, compared to 800 groups
in 2006. The increase could be attributed to law enforcement working
together better to identify crime groups. Eighty percent of the crime
groups are involved in marketing illicit drugs, such as marihuana,
cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and methamphetamine. Organized crime also is
involved in financial crime such as identity theft, mass marketing fraud
(telemarketing), mortgage fraud, securities fraud, payment card fraud,
money laundering, human smuggling, intellectual property theft,
counterfeit software, and vehicle theft.
A few criminal groups mount elaborate operations. They
are hard to detect and run their operations in multiple urban centers.
Criminal leaders coerce or employ legitimate business people, lawyers, and
accountants to help them.
2007 Annual Report: Organized Crime in Canada, July 6,
Steven J. Strang, Project Sleipnir: An Analytical Technique for
Operational Priority Setting,
135_Camera_Ready_Paper.pdf, retrieved September 2, 2007.
Copyright 2007 Larry C. Adams. All rights reserved.
|This article is in the
November/December 2007 issue of Fraud Magazine,
the Journal of the Association of
Certified Fraud Examiners.
Magazine Article Archive