Pink Collar Crime

About Kelly

Kelly Paxton, CFE, Licensed Private Investigator

Kelly Paxton, CFE, Licensed Private Investigator

Hi, I’m Kelly Paxton.  I’m known most as the Pink Collar Crime lady. 

No, I didn’t commit pink collar crime but I investigate and study pink collar crime. I didn’t start out in law enforcement but that’s where I have spent most of my career. I was recruited by US Customs Office of Investigations in 1993 because of my background in finance. I was able to work all types of cases including white collar fraud, money laundering and narcotics cases. I was used to investigating “bad guys.”

I have worked in the public and private sector. My cases have included embezzlement, conflict of interest, intellectual property, Open Source Intelligence and fraud. My most recent position was at Nike where I was recruited for my expertise in Open Source Intelligence and being a Certified Fraud Examiner. 

What started out as a research project, why are the majority of embezzlement suspects women, became my passion. I was working at the Washington County Sheriff's Office in the Fraud Identity Theft Enforcement group and found the definition of Pink Collar Crime (Kathleen Daly, Criminology Magazine 1989).

Women steal differently than men. Interviewing a woman requires a different mindset in many cases. Using not only anecdotal evidence but academic studies, Kelly is able to combine this knowledge into a complete investigation. Kelly speaks nationally on the topic. She is considered to be a subject matter expert. 

Kelly travels throughout the United States speaking about Pink Collar Crime. She also speaks on other fraud topics including ethics and non-profit fraud.

Why do I do this? 

Everyone has a mother. I was used to “bad guys” when I was in federal law enforcement. When I worked at the Sheriff’s Office as their fraud analyst, I realized that most all my suspects in embezzlement cases were women. They were “nice” women. They weren’t scary. Most all of them had not committed embezzlement before. But for varying reasons they crossed the line and became criminals. Maybe it was for a sick child, an aging parent, financial difficulties due to their significant other losing a job or just deciding they wanted more. 

I speak, teach, blog and tweet about these women because businesses, governments, school districts, unions, and anyone else who makes money needs to realize crime comes in all shapes and sizes. Just because someone is a long term, trusted employee does not mean things can’t change in their life and they make a bad decision.