Forensic Fraud

Forensic Fraud

Evaluating Law Enforcement and Forensic Science Cultures in the Context of Examiner Misconduct

1st Edition - March 18, 2013

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  • Author: Brent Turvey
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780124080737
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124080584

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Forensic Fraud is the culmination of 12 years of research by author Brent E. Turvey. A practicing forensic scientist since 1996, Turvey has rendered this first of its kind study into the widespread problem of forensic fraud in the United States. It defines the nature and scope of the problem, the cultural attitudes and beliefs of those involved, and establishes clear systemic contributors. Backed up by scrupulous research and hard data, community reforms are proposed and discussed in light of the recently published National Academy of Sciences report on forensic science. An adaptation of Dr. Turvey’s doctoral dissertation, this volume relentlessly cites chapter and verse in support of its conclusions that law enforcement cultural and scientific values are incompatible, and that the problem of forensic fraud is systemic in nature. It begins with an overview of forensic fraud as a sub-type of occupational fraud, it explores the extent of fraud in both law enforcement and scientific employment settings, it establishes and then contrasts the core values of law enforcement and scientific cultures and then it provides a comprehensive review of the scientific literature regarding forensic fraud. The final chapters present data from Dr. Turvey’s original research into more than 100 fraudulent examiners between 2000 and 2010, consideration of significant findings, and a review of proposed reforms to the forensic science community based on what was learned. It closes with a chapter on the numerous crime lab scandals, and closures that occurred between 2010 and 2012 – an update on the deteriorating state of the forensic science community in the United States subsequent to data collection efforts in the present research. Forensic Fraud is intended for use as a professional reference manual by those working in the criminal system who encounter the phenomenon and want to understand its context and origins. It is intended to help forensic scientist and their supervisors to recognize, manage and expel it; to provide policy makers with the necessary understaffing for acknowledging and mitigating it; and to provide agents of the courts with the knowledge, and confidence, to adjudicate it. It is also useful for those at the university level seeking a strong secondary text for courses on forensic science, law and evidence, or miscarriages of justice.

Key Features

  • First of its kind overview of the cultural instigators of forensic fraud
  • First of its kind research into the nature and impact of forensic fraud, with data (2000-2010)
  • First of its kind typology of forensic fraud, for use in future case examination in research
  • Numerous profiles of forensic fraudsters
  • Review of major crime lab scandals between 2010 and 2012


Forensic science professionals, legal practitioners, laboratory supervisors, forensic science students and academicians

Table of Contents

  • Dedication


    Chapter 1. Introduction


    Definitions of Key Terms


    Scope and Originality

    Thesis Statements and the Prevailing Wisdom

    Approach Overview

    Chapter 2. Occupational Fraud

    Fraud as a Statutory Violation

    Differentiating Fraud and Negligence

    Occupational Fraud

    The Fraud Triangle

    Traits of Occupational Fraud Perpetrators


    Chapter 3. Forensic Science: A Primer

    Forensic Science—Defined

    Criminalistics: Some Relevant Background

    “Real” Forensic Scientists

    The Role of Forensic Examinations

    Cardinal Traits of the Forensic Examiner

    A Tale of Two Cultures


    Chapter 4. Fraud in Law Enforcement Culture

    Law Enforcement Duties and Obligations

    Law Enforcement Discretion and Integrity

    Cardinal Traits of Law Enforcement Culture

    Noble Cause and Corruption

    The Blue Wall of Silence

    The Use of Deception

    Internal Tolerance for Criminality

    Fraud Diamond Theory: Assessing Common Forms of Law Enforcement Fraud


    Chapter 5. Fraud and Scientific Culture

    Science, Scientific Knowledge, and the Scientific Method

    Science as Falsification

    The Cardinal Traits of Scientific Culture

    Scientific Fraud: Terms and Definitions

    The Babbage Typology

    Scientific Fraud: From High Profile to Mundane

    The Frequency of Scientific Fraud

    Fraud Diamond Theory and Scientific Misconduct


    Chapter 6. Contrasting Scientific Integrity with Law Enforcement Culture

    Dispensing with “Bad Apple” Theory

    Relevant Criminological Theory: Routine Activities Theory, Differential Association Theory, and Role Strain

    Overt Pressure to Conform

    Contrasting Scientific Values and Law Enforcement Culture


    Chapter 7. Forensic Fraud: Prior Research

    Background: Public Employee Restrictions and Fear of Retaliation

    Ideographic Research: Loosely Referenced Case Studies

    Monographs: Case Studies with a Theme

    Nomothetic Research: Group Studies


    Chapter 8. Forensic Fraud, 2000–2010: Data and Frequency

    Sources of Data

    Parameters for the Current Data Set

    Excluded Cases

    Variables and Frequency Results


    Chapter 9. Multivariate Analysis of Forensic Fraud, 2000–2010

    Statistical Methods

    Correlation Matrices

    Hierarchical Multiple Regression Analysis and Discussion

    Immediate Recommendations for Related Research


    Chapter 10. Conclusions and Recommendations

    Significant and Relevant Findings: A Summary

    Pre-NAS Report Reform in the Literature

    The NAS Report: Lack of Science and Error over Fraud

    Forensic Reform Suggested by the Current Research

    Future Research


    Chapter 11. Crime Labs in Crisis, 2011–2012: Update and Discussion

    Lab Crisis #1: Austin Police Department Crime Laboratory (APDCL), Texas

    Lab Crisis #2: Connecticut Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection (DESPP), Division of Scientific Services Laboratory

    Lab Crisis #3: Detroit Police Department Forensic Services Laboratory, Michigan

    Lab Crisis #4: El Paso Police Department Crime Laboratory (EPDCL), Texas

    Lab Crisis #5: Department of Public Safety (DPS) Crime Laboratory, Houston, Texas

    Lab Crisis #6: Idaho State Police Forensic Services Laboratory, Pocatello

    Lab Crisis #7: Indiana State Department of Toxicology

    Lab Crisis #8: Portland Metropolitan Police Crime Laboratory, Oregon

    Lab Crisis #9: St. Paul Police Department Crime Laboratory, Minnesota

    Lab Crisis #10: Stark County Crime Laboratory, Ohio

    Lab Crisis #11: U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory (USACIL), Ft. Gillem, Georgia

    Lab Crisis #12: Department of Public Health Drug Lab, Jamaica Plain, MA




Product details

  • No. of pages: 296
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2013
  • Published: March 18, 2013
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780124080737
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124080584

About the Author

Brent Turvey

Brent Turvey

Brent E. Turvey spent his first years in college on a pre-med track only to change his course of study once his true interests took hold. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Portland State University in Psychology, with an emphasis on Forensic Psychology, and an additional Bachelor of Science degree in History. He went on to receive his Masters of Science in Forensic Science after studying at the University of New Haven, in West Haven, Connecticut.

Since graduating in 1996, Brent has consulted with many agencies, attorneys, and police departments in the United States, Australia, China, Canada, Barbados and Korea on a range of rapes, homicides, and serial/ multiple rape/ death cases, as a forensic scientist and criminal profiler. He has also been court qualified as an expert in the areas of criminal profiling, forensic science, victimology, and crime reconstruction. In August of 2002, he was invited by the Chinese People's Police Security University (CPPSU) in Beijing to lecture before groups of detectives at the Beijing, Wuhan, Hanzou, and Shanghai police bureaus. In 2005, he was invited back to China again, to lecture at the CPPSU, and to the police in Beijing and Xian - after the translation of the 2nd edition of his text into Chinese for the University. In 2007, he was invited to lecture at the 1st Behavioral Sciences Conference at the Home Team (Police) Academy in Singapore, where he also provided training to their Behavioral Science Unit. In 2012 Brent completed his PhD in Criminology from Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia.

He is the author of Criminal Profiling: An Introduction to Behavioral Evidence Analysis, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Editions (1999, 2002, 2008, 2011); co- author of the Rape Investigation Handbook, 1st and 2nd Editions (2004, 2011), Crime Reconstruction 1st and 2nd Editions (2006, 2011), Forensic Victimology (2008) and Forensic Fraud (2013) - all with Elsevier Science. He is currently a full partner, Forensic Scientist, Criminal Profiler, and Instructor with Forensic Solutions, LLC, and an Adjunct Professor of Justice Studies at Oklahoma City University. He can be contacted via email at:

Affiliations and Expertise

Forensic Criminologist Director, The Forensic Criminology Institute (Sitka, Alaska, United States); Senior Partner, Forensic Solutions, LLC (Sitka, Alaska, United States); Partner, The Behavioral Sciences Lab (Aguascalientes, Mexico)

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