Psychiatrist takes FOX19 inside the mind of an embezzler

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Dr. Melvyn Nizny, an expert in the field of psychiatry, took FOX19 inside the mind of an embezzler.

"Embezzlement, well, in essence, it's a betrayal of trust," said Nizny.

He's seen a lot of embezzlers in his decades of practice.

"Embezzlement is, technically speaking, financial fraud," says Nizny.

It's fraud that he says does not discriminate. He says anyone, at any time, can be a victim. Usually, Nizny says that victim won't know they have been duped for weeks, months, or years.

"If you look in the legal literature, you can find probably 20 different types of embezzlement," says Nizny.

Nizny tells FOX19 the most famous financial fraudster is of course Bernard Madoff. He says there are a lot of characteristics embezzlers usually share with Madoff. Nizny says the first is a sense of entitlement. Second, is a lack of oversight from others. Third is a series of hard times in the embezzler's past. Fourth is a lack of trust in others, and fifth is often a poor relationship with others.

But Nizny says, make no mistake: it's not easy to tell who might be an embezzler and who is not.

"They are going to keep a distance because they don't want people to know too much about them, because somebody would then identify that they are doing something they shouldn't be doing," says Nizny.

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