Case Study: Lessons learned from employee fraud

The most popular type of fraud is misappropriation of assets, including theft of cash and inventories. The motivation to commit fraud include a lack of understanding about fraud behaviour, opportunity to commit fraud and lifestyle and financial pressure.

The motivation for employee to commit fraud stems from three conditions:

  • Need
  • Opportunity &
  • Rationalisation

Let us look at this case from 2019 which resulted in the conviction of a UK solicitor for fraud.

UK solicitor, Andrew Davies jailed for defrauding his firm of £2.3m 

A former senior partner, the UK solicitor, has been jailed for four years after defrauding his firm out of a total of £2.3m. Andrew Davies, 59, paid personal invoices to himself from the business and under-declared £1.1m in stamp duty land tax to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for over nine years.

Davies pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation at Reading Crown Court in 2019 and was sentenced to four years imprisonment in January this year. As a senior partner at the firm, Andrew Davies managed to defraud it out of the money by paying personal invoices to himself from the business account.

The 59-year-old also under-declared £1.1m in Stamp Duty Land Tax to HMRC over nine years, over-declaring tax to clients and then taking money from the solicitor’s firms account for himself, both defrauding the company he worked for and HMRC at the same time.

Davies also raised invoices to pay over £1.6 million to his friend Stephen Allan, who worked as a property developer and was a firm client. The 62-year-old from Bishop’s Stortford was convicted at Reading Crown Court on one count of money laundering and jailed for three years.

In a statement, police mentioned the convictions and sentencing of a solicitor’s firm in Berkshire defrauded out of £2.3m between 2010 and 2017.

Allan then made smaller payments into Davies’ account and also pocketed around £400,000 himself. The solicitor extracted funds from the firm’s client account, paying it to Allan in transactions described as ‘fees’, but there was no known work for this.

Davies of The Street, West Clandon, Guildford, and Allan of Thornberry Road, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, was charged by police officers in August 2019.

The statement did not name the firm, but a Solicitors Regulation Authority notice has previously stated that Davies worked for Reading firm Pitmans LLP, which has since become part of another practice. Davies has already been struck by the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal and ordered to pay £17,000 in costs.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Katie Taylor of Thames Valley Police’s Economic Crime Unit said: ‘In this case, a solicitor trusted to safeguard client funds abused this position and systematically defrauded his firm of large sums of money for his benefit.

‘He then used a corrupt relationship to launder the proceeds of his crime through a property developer. These professional enablers of organised crime represent a significant risk, and we hope that the conviction and sentence, in this case, will act as a deterrent to others.’

Source: Financial Crime News & The Law Society Gazette

Protecting your company from employee fraud

Employee background check and employment history check is vital to avoid horror stories and taboo tales within HR, your business, or your brand. Simply investing in sufficient employment screening services can save you time, money and heartbreak.

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About CRI Group

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, the CRI Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations.

You suspect employee fraud. Now what?

When any type of fraud, including employee fraud, is discovered, it’s usually by surprise. That’s because most of us aren’t used to looking for criminal behaviour inside our own organisation. We trust…
Read More

EU: Can IP infringements cost you your life?

The Intellectual Property Commission estimates that IP infringements in the form of counterfeit goods, trade secret theft, and pirated software costs the US economy $225 billion to $600 billion.

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019 and its subsequent spread around the world, counterfeiters have turned their attention to producing fake testing kits, counterfeit personal protection equipment and, even before the authorities have approved treatments, fake medicines purporting to cure the disease, according to the 2020 status report by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The joint report on counterfeit medicines showed that not only ‘lifestyle’ medicines but also medicines to treat serious diseases, including antibiotics, cancer therapies or heart disease medications, are subject to being counterfeited, with potentially deadly consequences for the patients who consume those medicines.

This report underlines the importance of IP rights to the EU economy and, therefore, to any recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, which has dominated the first half of 2020 and threatens to have long-lasting effects. It brings together the findings of the research carried out in recent years by the EUIPO, through the European Observatory on the infringement of Intellectual Property Rights, on the extent, scope and economic consequences of Intellectual Property Right (IPR) infringement in the EU.

The Status Report also contains research on the volume of counterfeit and pirated goods in international trade and the economic contribution of intellectual property-rights intensive industries to economic growth and jobs.

IP Rights and your employees

Depending on the type of business you are involved in, it is likely that your employees will create certain types of intellectual property in the course of their employment with you. This is especially true if they are involved in compiling databases, creating marketing material and training brochures. Since the IP rights here belong to the company they work for, an employee contract will serve to protect you here. 

It is also vital here to run background checks on employees before you hire them.

Employee Background Checks

Simply investing in sufficient employment screening services can save you time, money and heartbreak. The CRI Group is a leading worldwide provider, specialising in local and international employee background check, including pre employment background check.

Our employee background checks services, also known as EmploySmart™, is a robust new pre employment screening service certified for BS7858 to avoid negligent hiring liabilities and prevent horror stories and taboo tales within HR, your business, or your brand. 

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How the CRI® Group can help you tackle IP infringement

CRI® Group’s Intellectual Property Investigations team helps companies identify threats to IP and confidential information internally and throughout their supply chain, develop the appropriate mitigation strategies and investigate suspected infringements.

VIEW OUR BROCHURE

For further information on IPR infringement or to book a meeting with our experts, click here.

Meet our IPR Infringement Investigation Manager

Mahamad Thouhid – e: mahamad.thouhid@crigroup.com – is an experienced Investigations Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the investigations and intelligence industry. Skilled in investigative planning and reporting, delivering innovative IP/Brand protection (Anti Counterfeit, Products tampering, Anti diversion and Infringement), OSINT, law enforcement, liaison with Govt. Authorities, operations management, due diligence, etc.


BOOK A MEETING NOW!

 

Employee Background Screening: Fake CV lands a top NHS job… are your employees telling the truth?

Is Employee Background Screening as critical as they make it out to be?

A former builder who faked his CV to land a series of top NHS jobs has finally been forced to pay the full price for his ‘staggering lies’, says a shocking report on timesnewsuk.com/

Jon Andrewes, 69, spent a decade working as chairman of two NHS trusts and chief executive of a hospice after pretending to have a PhD, an MBA and a history of senior management roles. Mr Andrewes had been appointed chairman of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) ahead of 117 other candidates.

After Andrewes was exposed he was convicted of fraud, jailed for two years and ordered to hand over all his remaining assets of £96,737. But the confiscation order was overturned by the Court of Appeal two years ago when judges ruled he had given ‘full value’ for his salary in the jobs he did. Now, more than five years after pleading guilty to fraud charges, Andrewes has had the financial penalty reinstated by the Supreme Court and must pay back nearly £100,000. 

Under his fake persona, Andrewes insisted on staff calling him ‘Dr’ and claimed to have degrees from three universities. But his only genuine higher education qualification was a certificate in social work. After starting as a builder he spent much of his career as a probation officer, customs officer or youth worker before inventing a new life for himself as an NHS manager.

His senior health jobs, which included a £75,000-a-year role as chief executive of a hospice in Taunton, earned him £643,602. He was appointed in 2004. He then led the Torbay NHS Trust in Devon for nearly a decade, before becoming chairman of the Royal Cornwall NHS Hospital Trust in 2015. 

However, an investigation at the hospice uncovered discrepancies in his CV and led to police being called in. ‘He came across as very knowledgeable and competent,’ recalled David Shepperd, former head of legal services at Plymouth City Council, who liaised closely with Andrewes on a council-funded green project. ‘He was an affable, nice guy to deal with.’

‘It beggars belief that no due diligence was carried out when he was appointed to these roles in the NHS,’ says an NHS source, quoted in the timesnewsuk.com report.

LOOKING FOR UK SCREENING?

The UK Screening Module covers:

  • Identity Check: An independent check to authenticate an individual’s identity using various sources of stated data.
  • Regulated Employment History & References: Regulated employment references to confirm previous employment details.
  • Academic Qualifications: Confirmation of highest academic qualification, including details of institution and dates attended.
  • Professional Qualifications: Confirmation of latest or most relevant Professional or Trade Memberships.
  • FSA Register Search against the UK Financial Services Authority Individual Register and Prohibited Persons Register
  • UK Credit Check Check to determine the general credit worthiness of the candidate.
  • Directorship Search: Search for UK Directorships and any disqualifications.
  • Negative Media Search: Search of press and other media focusing on derogatory information only.
  • Compliance Database Check: Search for inclusion in governmental sanctions, enforcements, watchlists, blacklists and criminality.
  • Criminal Record Checks — Standard Disclosure: A check of all convictions held on the PNC.

More details on the UK Screening Module can be had here.

A business must understand its exposure when hiring and type of insurance coverage and limits – does your policy cover a negligent hiring lawsuit? The checks are critical to any company’s success – hiring qualified, honest, and hard-working employees is an integral part of thriving in the business community.

DOWNLOAD THE EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND SCREENING FAQs HERE

Employee background screening FAQs – PART III: Conflict of Interest Checks & FACIS Searches

This three-part series of articles looks at employee background screening FAQs.

How do you know the candidate you just offered a role to is the ideal candidate? Are you 100% sure that everything they’re telling you is the truth? Or are you 90% certain? They showed you a diploma: How do you know it’s not photoshopped? Did you follow the correct procedures during your background checks process?

Simply investing in sufficient screening systems can save you time, money and heartbreak, as the employee background screening FAQs ebook will show you.

Part One of the series, “What, Why and Who?” provides an introduction to employee background checks and the necessary screenings that are vital to avoid horror stories and taboo tales that occur within your business. Part Two, “Pre-Employment Checks,” are essentially an investigation into a person’s character – inside and outside their professional lives. Part Three, “Conflict of interest check & FACIS Searches,” checks for any conflict of interests and sanctions, exclusions, debarments and disciplinary actions. To receive the next series subscribe to our monthly newsletter subscribe now!

Taken as a whole, this employee background screening FAQs ebook developed by the CRI® Group is the perfect primer for HR professionals and companies wanting guidance on background screening, pre-employment screening and post-employment background checks.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL SERIES HERE

WE’VE COMPILED A LIST OF OUR MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS IN THIS EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND SCREENING FAQs. IF YOU CANNOT FIND WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR BELOW, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THE TEAM!

At CRI® Group, we specialise in employment screening, working as trusted partners to HR and recruiting managers of corporations and institutions worldwide. Our people work with energy, insight and care to ensure we provide a positive experience to everyone involved – clients, reference providers and candidates.

LET’S TALK

Is it possible to identify conflict of interest during checks?

Conflict of interest occurs when an individual or company have interests that might influence or be perceived as being capable of influencing their judgment even unconsciously. What your client wants you to do is to check whether the subject has any additional business or interests that are in conflict with what they were retained to do.

Example:
You head the public relations department of the UAE’s largest bank. The department is responsible for putting together a quality service recognition programme. Your bank’s public relations agency is designing the advertising speciality components for the programme targeting the bank’s 10,000 employees. Your wife owns XYZ Promotions, the largest advertising speciality firm in the state.

The company offers the best prices for large orders. XYZ Promotions has supplied products for a number of other accounts of the public relations firm. However, this is the first time that the public relations firm has used XYZ Promotions for a bank project. The public relations firm does not know that your wife owns XYZ Promotions. You have not suggested the use of XYZ Promotions.

The public relations firm has made its recommendations to you, including using XYZ Promotions as the vendor for the quality service recognition programme. The bottom line is that if somebody is contracted to do a job — so they do not have any connections from which they could benefit again (like above — you are working for the bank, and it is your job to select an advertising company and if you select XYZ you benefit again!) Essentially this is a conflict of interest because you would benefit from this if XYZ was given the job.

Would you like to learn more about our internal investigation and conflict of interest services? Get in touch and let us know how we can help!

What will a financial regulatory check show?

These checks entail a search of individuals who have been disqualified from holding prudentially significant roles primarily within the Banking, Finance, Securities and Investment sector (BFSI), e.g. Individuals who have been disqualified from involvement in the management of a corporation, banned from being securities or futures representatives, banned or disqualified from practising in the financial services industry and individuals who have had Enforceable Undertakings accepted.

A Financial Regulatory Check may also cover whether a person or organisation holds a license where this license is a requirement of their role within the BFSI environment, e.g. Auditors, Liquidators, Authorised Representatives, Financial Planners etc. Availability and access to these checks vary per country.

Would you like to learn more about our Financial Investigations services? Get in touch and let us know how we can help! Or visit us here!

What is a bankruptcy check?

Confirms if an individual (including aliases and associated parties) has been declared bankrupt and recorded with the relevant body. This information is relevant to individuals holding positions of management responsibility and certain financial roles.

What about directorships & significant shareholdings search?

This search identifies potential conflicts of interest that can arise from an individual’s current and past directorships and their significant shareholdings. An individual’s performance as a Director can provide critical insight into their skills and experience. This search can highlight whether any of the companies they have been a director of have had an administrator appointed or deregistered.

What type of educational qualifications can you check?

Specific educational qualifications are required for many positions of responsibility, and salary packages are set accordingly. Failing to verify this information can result in unqualified people in positions in which they cannot perform their responsibilities.

CRI® Group verifies the institution attended, the date of attendance, the qualification awarded and the graduation dates. CRI® Group also verifies that the institution is an accredited provider from approved government databases. Suppose the institution does not appear on an accredited database. In that case, CRI® Group will also check the institution’s name against a comprehensive list of unaccredited institutions to ensure that the institution is not a known degree mill.

What about professional qualifications & membership checks?

Specific professional qualifications and memberships are key requirements for many roles. CRI® Group’s researchers will verify the type of professional qualification and/or membership received, the status of the membership (i.e. Valid or lapsed), attendance dates and graduation dates where applicable.

National police check?

CRI® Group’s Police Record Check will reveal details of criminal records in line with the relevant legislation.

Can I have access to a criminal watch list?

Where CRI® Group cannot conduct a recognised police record check due to either legal restrictions or simply the lack of such a database, we can offer the “next best alternative.” These searches review proprietary databases and criminal watch lists issued by various governments to identify known individuals. We combine this check with an extensive media search which provides a high degree of confidence that the individual has not been involved in high-level criminal activity.

Anti money laundering check?

This check assists in identifying the risks associated with individuals due to specific or general involvement with Money Laundering (AML), Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), terrorists and wanted criminals. It achieves this by detailing the relationship network between these individuals and various other entities.

The check provides an international due diligence report utilising up-to-the-day investigative information from an extensive range of available public domain information sources. It uses government, intelligence and police sites, global organisations, international and national media and all international sanctions lists. Would you like to learn more? Get in touch and let us know how we can help!

Credit & civil litigation check

Access, availability, and information released vary across nations. In general:

  • Civil litigation: Checks and researches public and private legal disputes on civil matters or through the courts. In other words, civil litigation refers to that branch of law dealing with disputes between individuals and/or organisations, in which compensation may be awarded to the victim. For instance, if a car crash victim claims damages against the driver for loss or injury sustained in an accident, this will be a civil litigation case.
  • Credit check: Researches credit bureau for adverse financial judgments for debts and negative credit ratings where available, while a local agent will undertake alternative resources as per jurisdiction to ascertain the financial creditworthiness of the subject in question, which will include media checks, reputational and source comments from Central Bank resources where available.

Can you conduct FACIS (Fraud & Abuse Control Information System) searches?

Yes, we can; we conduct three levels of searches:

  • FACIS Level 1 — A current and historical database of sanctions, exclusions, debarments and disciplinary actions for all provider types: federal sanctions
  • FACIS Level 2 — A current and historical database of sanctions, exclusions, debarments and disciplinary actions for all provider types: federal and state healthcare entitlement programme sanctions
  • FACIS Level 3 — A current and historical database of sanctions, exclusions, debarments and disciplinary actions for all provider types: federal and state sanctions

I AM LOOKING FOR UK SCREENING!

The UK Screening Module covers:

  • Identity Check: An independent check to authenticate an individual’s identity using various sources of stated data.
  • Regulated Employment History & References: Regulated employment references to confirm previous employment details.
  • Academic Qualifications: Confirmation of highest academic qualification, including details of institution and dates attended.
  • Professional Qualifications: Confirmation of latest or most relevant Professional or Trade Memberships.
  • FSA Register Search against the UK Financial Services Authority Individual Register and Prohibited Persons Register
  • UK Credit Check Check to determine the general credit worthiness of the candidate.
  • Directorship Search: Search for UK Directorships and any disqualifications.
  • Negative Media Search: Search of press and other media focusing on derogatory information only.
  • Compliance Database Check: Search for inclusion in governmental sanctions, enforcements, watchlists, blacklists and criminality.
  • Criminal Record Checks — Standard Disclosure: A check of all convictions held on the PNC.

More details on the UK Screening Module can be had here.

A business must understand its exposure when hiring and type of insurance coverage and limits – does your policy cover a negligent hiring lawsuit? The checks are critical to any company’s success – hiring qualified, honest, and hard-working employees is an integral part of thriving in the business community.

DOWNLOAD THE EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND SCREENING FAQs HERE

Employee background screening FAQs – PART II: Pre-Employment Check

This three-part series of articles looks at employee background screening FAQs.

How do you know the candidate you just offered a role to is the ideal candidate? Are you 100% sure that everything they’re telling you is the truth? Or are you just 90% certain? They showed you a diploma: How do you know it’s not photoshopped? Did you follow the correct procedures during your background checks process?

Simply investing in sufficient screening systems can save you time, money and heartbreak.

Part One of the series of articles on employee background screening FAQs, “What, Why and Who?” provides an introduction to employee background checks and the necessary screenings that are vital to avoid horror stories and taboo tales that occur within your business. Part Two, “Pre-Employment Checks,” are essentially an investigation into a person’s character – inside and outside their professional lives. Part Three, “Conflict of interest check & FACIS Searches,” checks for any conflict of interests and sanctions, exclusions, debarments and disciplinary actions. To receive the next series subscribe to our monthly newsletter subscribe now!

Taken as a whole, this employee background screening FAQs ebook developed by the CRI® Group is the perfect primer for HR professionals and companies wanting guidance on background screening, pre-employment screening and post-employment background checks.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL SERIES HERE

WE’VE COMPILED A LIST OF OUR MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS TO DO WITH BACKGROUND SCREENING. IF YOU CANNOT FIND WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR BELOW, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THE TEAM!

At CRI® Group, we specialise in employment screening, working as trusted partners to HR and recruiting managers of corporations and institutions worldwide. Our people work with energy, insight and care to ensure we provide a positive experience to everyone involved – clients, reference providers and candidates.

LET’S TALK

Does a candidate have to give consent to process a background check?

A job applicant must give written or electronic consent before any screening conducting (whether in-house or by a third party company like CRI® Group) any criminal record search, credit history check or reference interview, etc.

How long does it take to conduct a background check?

Background checks typically take 2 to 3 days to process and receive back from the outside contracted agency. A few exceptions may take up to 2 weeks. A background check may rarely take longer than 3 to 4 weeks. Please allow additional processing time for each background check in the event of a delay. A delay can occur for any of the following reasons:

  • The information has been entered incorrectly by the applicant or the requestor into the vendor’s system.
  • The county or district listed for a background check in researching whether the applicant has any criminal felony or misdemeanour charges is delayed in responding to the vendor.

When should I conduct pre-employment checks?

Pre-employment screening services can help you avoid adding potential fraudsters and other bad actors to your staff. These checks can be implemented before or after a job offer (with each having its pros and cons).

How often should I screen employees?

Employees should be screened regularly to reveal any new information relevant to the business. That’s why our background investigations services also include:

  • Employee monitoring & risk management
  • Data protection compliance
  • Employee testing & confidentiality
  • Employee risk management
  • Post-employment background checks

How to collect references and what to ask?

Because it is impossible to know how your candidate will work daily from just one interview, you will need references. References are a great way to find out whether your candidates are suitable for the role or will fit with your company culture. A primary reference check asks for:

  • Employment dates
  • Employment main responsibilities
  • Attendance record
  • Any disciplinary actions against them
  • Any reasons why they shouldn’t be employed

These references will help you back up their CV – however, many candidates tend to exaggerate or misrepresent themselves. Third-party vendors such as CRI® Group can go beyond to get a fuller picture for you:

  • Greatest strengths?
  • Are they suitable for the role they’ve applied for?
  • Would they rehire the candidate?
  • Suitable management style?
  • Do they have any leadership skills?
  • Situations in which they have excelled at?

Note: Some companies have policies not giving references and just providing necessary employment details, while others direct you towards HR.

How much does it cost to conduct a background check?

That will depend on the scope. Please contact the team for a free consultation.

What are employment references?

CRI® Group’s comprehensive and detailed reference checks have been carefully designed for senior-level positions. Our highly skilled researchers probe extensively across a range of performance and behavioural attributes that have been specifically targeted to meet the information and management requirements of hiring senior-level executives.

We also verify any restrictive covenants, disciplinary actions or warnings; attendance or reliability issues; claims by or their former employer; acts of dishonesty, and eligibility for rehire in a comparable role. We provide a valuable perspective of an individual’s past performance and behaviours by conducting professional, impartial references.

What is the difference between employment history verification & employment reference?

CRI® Group verifies who the individual reported to and their dates of employment, positions held, remuneration, responsibilities and reason for leaving. This is different to an Employment Reference as it verifies quantitative information such as employment dates, salary packages etc.

Media search

An individual’s media profile can encompass both professional and personal activities. This check can provide the client with a unique insight into an individual’s public activities and reputation. Our broad-based press search encompasses electronically available national newspapers and regional media sources from states where an individual has worked, helping to ensure that there are no hidden surprises. The search can be conducted by country, region or globally, where it can be of immense value in the uncovering of omissions made by the candidate (note: additional charges apply).

How do I check on entitlement to work?

It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that every individual they hire is legally eligible to work in certain Jurisdictions. CRI® Group uses copies of the candidate’s passport or birth certificate to verify entitlement to work in the respective Jurisdiction. Where the candidate is not a local citizen, we have an online verification process set up with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, as the case may be, to confirm eligibility to work. We will confirm whether or not the candidate is entitled to work in Australia and provide details of any limitations attached to a work visa. This search verifies and appropriately documents the individual’s entitlement to work in accordance with DIMIA requirements.

How do you conduct identity checks?

The availability of identity checks varies from nation to nation, depending on centralised databases and legislation. In essence, these checks are designed to ensure the person is who they claim to be. Where there is a recognised legislated identity card system, CRI® Group will collect this card, ensure the details are reflected on the background check form submitted and upload the identity card to the candidate file to allow for the requestor to sight.

Identity theft is on the rise, and validating an individual’s identity is essential to making an informed hiring decision. CRI® Group verifies an individual’s identity details via a comparison with details held in the electoral roll, online telephone directory and the National database registration authorities.

Passport check

This passport verification solution enables the client to verify a person’s identity and whether their passport is forged. Passport Check verifies the authenticity of machine-readable passports and identity documents by simply entering the passport/ID data.

CV comparison check

Curricula Vitae (CV) are increasingly being used as a sales tool rather than a factual account of a person’s work history. This check will compare information supplied by the candidate to CRI Group with details supplied to an organisation in a candidate’s CV. This check aims to provide a thorough review of the candidate’s background and reveal any misrepresentations that may exist through a candidate omitting or overstating information on their CV.

DOWNLOAD THE EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND SCREENING FAQs HERE

Employee background screening FAQs – PART I: What, Why and Who?

How do you know the candidate you just offered a role to is the ideal candidate, when it comes to Employee Background Screening? Are you 100% sure that everything they’re telling you is the truth? Or are you 90% certain? They showed you a diploma: How do you know it’s not photoshopped? Did you follow the correct procedures during your background checks process? Who Performs Background Screening? What’s Involved in Background Checks covering History Around the Globe? Why do Employers Check Criminal History?

Employee Background Screening: What, Why & Who?

This three-part series of articles looks at employee background screening FAQs.

Part One of the series, “What, Why and Who?” provides an introduction to employee background checks and the necessary screenings that are vital to avoid horror stories and taboo tales that occur within your business. Part Two, “Pre-Employment Checks,” are essentially an investigation into a person’s character – inside and outside their professional lives. Part Three, “Conflict of interest check & FACIS Searches,” checks for any conflict of interests and sanctions, exclusions, debarments and disciplinary actions. To receive the next series subscribe to our monthly newsletter subscribe now!

Taken as a whole, this ebook on employee background screening FAQs developed by the CRI® Group is the perfect primer for HR professionals and companies wanting guidance on background screening, pre-employment screening and post-employment background checks.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL SERIES HERE

WE’VE COMPILED A LIST OF OUR MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS TO DO WITH BACKGROUND SCREENING. IF YOU CANNOT FIND WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR BELOW, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THE TEAM!

At CRI® Group, we specialise in employment screening, working as trusted partners to HR and recruiting managers of corporations and institutions worldwide. Our people work with energy, insight and care to ensure we provide a positive experience to everyone involved – clients, reference providers and candidates. Simply investing in sufficient screening systems can save you time, money and heartbreak.

LET’S TALK

Why conduct pre-employment background checks?

To protect the company from various potential risks, a background check is considered an imperative pre-employment screening step before hiring. Companies often assume that the applicants are telling the truth on their resumes – what if they are not?

These checks are essentially an investigation into a person’s character – inside and outside their professional lives. Some checks you probably already carry out in-house, such as the candidate’s qualifications (documents provided), work history (with a reference check), right to work in the country and even a quick social media presence scan.

A Pre Employment Background Check: Who conducts it?

Permanent, temporary, benefit-eligible, non-benefit eligible, full-time and part-time staff require an acceptable background check.

Former employees, including retirees, are also subject to a background check if a contract breach occurs.

You could have an in-house HR team or contract with a third party vendor like CRI® Group.

Why should I contract a third party vendor if I have an in-house team?

You may have the capabilities to carry out the above services; however, to perform a full in-depth background screening service for candidates and employees at all levels, you need a considerable amount of manpower and skills – and it can be all-consuming work.

A third party vendor such as CRI® Group, with a global network that works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia-Pacific, is a one-stop international Risk Management, Background Screening and Due Diligence solutions provider that brings true value to you and your team.

By contracting, you can benefit from the following:

  • Cost Control & Savings
  • Time Savings / Response Time
  • Customer Service / Quality Control
  • Expertise & Core Competency
  • Technology & know-how

What other checks can a third party vendor execute better than my in-house team?

From checks on senior executives through to shop-floor employees, a full in-depth background check should include:

  • Address Verification (Physical Verification)
  • Identity Verification
  • Previous Employment Verification
  • Education & Credential Verification
  • Local Language Media Check
  • Credit Verification & Financial History (where publicly available)
  • Compliance & Regulatory Check
  • Civil Litigation Record Check
  • Bankruptcy Record Check
  • International Criminal Record Check
  • Integrity Due Diligence…
    and more.

Why is it important?

These checks can reduce the risk of hiring someone who could cause irrevocable damage. Firms spend years, thousands, even millions to brand their products and services and one bad hire can cause a loss of capital and reputation to the extent that may cause a business to fail. A robust pre-employment check can help you and your company:

  • Reduce turnover & training costs
  • Gain a competitive edge through the hiring of better people
  • Increase productivity – help your employees be more productive knowing that everyone employed by your company has been screened
  • Set your company apart & win more business
  • Reduce employee-related problems
  • Protect company reputation/brand & customer relations
  • Comply with mandates created by state or federal law for certain industries
  • Increase retention
  • Reduce negligent hiring claims
  • Avoid violence in the workplace (threats of violence & actual violence)
  • Reduce theft & espionage
  • Avoid lawsuits & the costs associated with the defence
  • Avoid loss of goodwill
  • Various industry studies indicate escalating costs for worker replacement, loss of production, re-recruitment/interviewing, and training – the learning curve can cost you significant money.

DOWNLOAD THE EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND SCREENING FAQs FREE EBOOK HERE

WEBINAR RECORDING | ‘Remote work & other trends shaping workplace cultures’

CRI® Group hosted a free webinar on August 31st. Our intention was to be able to provide resources on workplace cultures in organisations around the globe that will aid them in expansion and an positive employee environment. Take advantage of this free recording on employee wellness, remote work, pre-employment screening and workplace cultures.

WATCH NOW

The live training session was conducted by senior certified HR professional and member of CRI’s expert team, Nilofar A. Gardezi​. 

Improving workplace cultures

Workplace trends are dictating major shifts and becoming new norms in the workplace. These trends are expected to grow in the coming years. Examples of this include hybrid work, employee wellness, and ongoing education. Adapting to workplace trends will help employers improve company culture, boost employee retention and defeat workplace complacency. This will help companies stay competitive within the industry and remain relevant in the wider world.

With over nine years of experience in HR, Nilofar A. Gardezi​ is a HRBP & an Associate Director with the CRI Group. She is a gold-certified Trainer from DWE with a Certification in Psychology and serves as a Certified Professional Counsellor. She has worked with renowned organisations like Attock Group, British Council and Standard Chartered Bank.

WATCH NOW

Struggling with employee screening?

Get answers to frequently asked questions about background checks / screening cost,  guidelines, check references etc. This eBook is a compilation of all of the background screening related questions you ever needed answers to:

  • Does a candidate have to give consent to process a background check / screening?
  • How long does it take to conduct a background check?
  • When should I conduct pre-employment checks?
  • How often should I screen employees?
  • How to collect references and what to ask?
  • How much does it cost to conduct a background checks?
  • What is he difference between employment history verification and employment reference?
  • How do I check on entitlement to work?
  • How to conduct identity checks?
  • What will a financial regulatory check show?
  • Is it possible to identify conflict of interest during checks?
  • What is a bankruptcy check?
  • What about directorships and shareholding search?
  • Can I have access to a criminal watch list?
  • Anti-money laundering check?
  • Can we conduct FACIS (fraud and abuse control information system) searches?
  • … and MORE!

Taken as a whole, is the perfect primer for any HR professional, business leader and companies looking to avoid employee background screening risks. It provides the tools and knowledge needed to make the right decisions.

Download your “Employee Background Screening FAQ” FREE ebook now!

The CRI® Group has been safeguarding businesses from fraud, bribery and corruption since 1990. We are a global company based in London, United Kingdom. Our experts and resources are located in key regional marketplaces. These are across the Asia Pacific, South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, North and South America. Our global team can support your organisation anywhere in the world. ​For more details about the CRI® Group or to schedule a meeting with us, click here.

 

Let’s celebrate Human Resources Appreciation Week

Being in Human Resources (HR) can be difficult to handle. After all, the HR department plays an integral role in ensuring the success of organisations by nurturing and developing human capital. However, they do not get enough credit. Human Resources Appreciation Week is a holiday to change people’s HR perspective and learn why their job is valuable for businesses.

History of Human Resource Professional Day

Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen referenced Human Resource Professional Day (HR Professional Day) in October 2013. He created this day to recognise and celebrate HR professionals.

HR professionals carry out multiple tasks in an organisation. They have to follow important legislation, help co-workers get paid, and get to plan those fun company parties after a long year’s work. It was not until Governor-General Hon Steadman Alvin Ridout Fuller declared it an official holiday in Jamaica in 2018 that HR Professional Day came into the spotlight. Human Resource Professional Day is designed to tribute to those working in HR departments worldwide.

Human Resources Appreciation Week is an opportunity to learn about what HR does to improve employees’ lives and allow people to join the HR industry. Human Resources Appreciation Week is about thanking and appreciating the hard work of HR staff since they handle the most difficult situations, such as staff negotiations, corporate liaison, and legislation interpreting.

HR professionals day-to-day

Becoming an HR officer is great for someone with strong interpersonal skills, who likes helping others, and who is self-motivated. Working in HR means implementing policies, advising on, and developing plans relating to how staff are used and operate within a business.

Your role is to ensure that you have the right balance of workers in terms of experience and skills and that development and training opportunities are available so that colleagues can achieve their corporate aims and improve their performance.

Several different activities are covered in the HR department. This involves working practices, recruitment, pay, negotiation with work-related external agencies, diversity and equality, and conditions of employment too.

There are many different skills that HR professionals are expected to have. This includes the potential to cope with a leadership role, negotiate and influence effectively, so personnel policies are implemented, and have good organisational skills, management skills, and business awareness.

Aside from this, working in HR demands someone who has a willingness and curiosity to challenge organisational culture where needed, approachability and integrity, and interpersonal skills so that effective working relationships can be formed with people at all levels.

Celebrate your HR professionals in this Human Resources Appreciation Week

As you can see, being involved in HR is not easy, and a lot will be demanded of you. This is why Human Resources Appreciation Week is so important. It is a great chance to honour everyone working in this industry. Express your gratitude to HR professionals that work so hard for you.

It is also a great day to raise awareness about this job role and share information about what it is like to be part of the HR community. If you’re interested in working in HR, you should be able to find a lot of great information online during this period too, but here are a few articles you can here:

 

Background Investigations: One-on-one interview with Zafar Anjum

Background Investigations: One-on-one interview with Zafar Anjum

Having dedicated his career to a background investigation, fraud prevention, protective integrity, security and compliance, Zafar Anjum is a distinguished and highly respected professional in his field. As Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Corporate Research and Investigations Limited (CRI Group), he uses his extensive knowledge and expertise in creating stable and secure networks across challenging global markets. For organisations needing comprehensive project management, security, safeguard testing, background investigations and real-time compliance applications, Anjum is the assurance expert of choice for industry professionals.

Q: To what extent have you seen an increase in corporate fraud in recent years? What are some of the common themes and underlying causes?

Anjum: Fraud always seems to be increasing. No matter how sophisticated our attempts to prevent it become, perpetrators are always adapting with new methods. According to the 2020 Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Report to the nations, asset misappropriation is the leading type of occupational fraud. It makes up 86% of fraud cases and causes a median loss of $100,000. On the other spectrum, financial statement fraud schemes are the least common (10% of cases) but are the most costly, causing a median loss of $954,000. A typical fraud case can last 14 months before detection and cause a loss of $8,300 per month – a whopping 5% of an organisations revenue is lost to fraud each year. There are various factors at play here, but it starts with ‘tone at the top’. Basically, corporate culture often sets the tone for how strict or lax an organisation prevents or detects fraud. Combine a lax approach with a country or jurisdiction where corruption is still prevalent, even considered ‘business as usual, and there will likely be a fraud.

Q: Could you outline the benefits of using background investigations to reduce potential fraud? Under what circumstances is it prudent to undertake a background investigation?

Anjum: It should be a priority to conduct thorough background investigations when engaging in a merger or acquisition, an initial public offering (IPO), engaging suppliers, contractors or new clients – your client relationships can affect your organisation’s reputation and your ability – to name a few situations. This can help you avoid becoming entangled with third parties that have hidden fraud and other legal issues. It will also make you aware of a potential partner who has credit risk, has claimed bankruptcy or is faced with debtor filings, for example. In one case, a company was seeking to engage a new supplier for medical supplies and equipment. A background investigation revealed that the warehouse’s physical location – claimed by this ‘supplier’ did not exist. The company’s principal had previously been charged with a ‘criminal breach of trust’. Three other civil damages claims against the principal were discovered, with millions claimed in liabilities.

Q: What are some of the best practice approaches to conducting a background investigation? 

Anjum: One of the most important aspects of thorough background investigations is having a ‘boots on the ground approach. Online database searches can only take you so far. When conducting due diligence on entities or individuals, red flags that pop up often warrant further checking before they can be truly weighed as part of the decision process. For example, if you are considering partnering with another company and providing information for their physical location, do you have agents who can visit that location to make sure it is legitimate? Investigations sometimes discover that purported ‘headquarters’ is actually an abandoned home or vacant lot. Also, if certain credentials are claimed, you need to make phone calls or possibly a visit to the school or accrediting bodies to verify them. These are the important details that help you with facts that help guide your decisions.

EFFECTIVE RISK MANAGEMENT THROUGH BACKGROUND INVESTIGATIONS. FIND OUT HERE

Q: What kinds of legal or regulatory issues might complicate a background investigation?

Anjum: Privacy laws are probably the most important issue, and they need to be carefully understood and followed for every jurisdiction. In the UK, for example, the pandemic has created new data privacy issues, but prudent organisations are constantly evaluating their data protection strategies under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). When it comes to background investigations, similar privacy considerations apply. You might want to check an individuals’ financial or credit history – relevant information if they own a business you seek to partner with or acquire, or if you are considering them for a high-level position at your organisation. Accessing such information is permitted in some jurisdictions and restricted by law in others. The last thing you want is to end up in court for violating someone’s privacy. It is best to engage a professional due diligence background screening firm. They will be trained and up-to-date on the laws governing your background investigations, plus they will have access to resources that most companies do not have.

Q: To what extent are background investigations more challenging in a cross-border or multi-jurisdictional context? How can these additional challenges be overcome or avoided?

Anjum: This goes back to the importance of having investigators in various locations, your ‘boots on the ground’, in your approach to due diligence. The world is much smaller these days as organisations seek to expand across international borders. And the COVID-19 is teaching leaders invaluable lessons in business efficiencies and future strategy. This can lead to obvious challenges – both following the laws and regulations in various jurisdictions and overcoming language and cultural barriers. That is why it is important to have access to locally-based agents – including certified fraud examiners and similarly credentialed professionals – to help with your checks, whether investigating a potential third-party partner or an individual being considered for employment. Another advantage is to have a set, written policy and process for conducting background investigations that you can reference and rely upon when undertaking key business decisions. In this way, your organisation is less susceptible to someone convincing you to bypass proper due diligence simply because it might seem logistically difficult to conduct an overseas investigation.

MITIGATE EMPLOYEE RISK BEFORE & AFTER HIRE? LEARN MORE HERE

Q: Once the background investigation results are collated, what are the key points to analysing?

Anjum: If red flags are uncovered, the best way to further investigate is to understand discrepancies. For example, suppose you are conducting background screening on a potential employee, and something comes up in their criminal record, rather than eliminating them from consideration. In that case, you should ensure that there was no error in your background check, investigate the discrepancy, gather all relevant information, and ask the person to explain what you found and why they did not disclose it. They might have an explanation that affects your decision process. In other words, do not overlook potential talent. According to Nacro, more than 11 million people in the UK have a criminal record – that’s 1 in 3 men – however, just over half of these had been convicted on only one occasion, and 85% were convicted before they were 30 years old. Not all of those have a prison record, however. Most convictions are for motoring offences, such as speeding or unpaid tickets.

Q: What essential advice would you offer to companies on developing internal policies and processes to combat fraud? should intensive background investigations form part of their standard procedures?

Anjum: Intensive background investigations should be a part of an organisation’s standard procedures. It should be part of a greater risk management plan, be set forth as written policy that owners and directors approve, and be reviewed and understood by management and other relevant personnel. Engage risk management professionals when developing your policies and procedures. They can help tailor a plan based o your organisation. Key questions to address should include; who will implement the plan, how an investigation is conducted, who evaluates and reports the results, etc. Sometimes organisations put forth a thorough, excellent programme for background investigations and then, six months or a year later, nobody is following it. The key to success is following through with it and ensuring your entire organisation understands the process and why it is so important. The security of your company depends on effective risk management.

The security of your company depends on effective risk management

Background investigations are critical to any company’s success because working with qualified, honest and hard-working employees and other businesses is integral to thriving in the business community. What you don’t know can hurt you, and the simple act of one bad decision can result in an unprecedented loss for your company. 

From vendor and third-party screening to employment screening, CRI Group recommends background investigations as critical proactive measures to help keep your business safe. An effective background screening investigation will help screen for bad apples that can cause havoc down the road. Because we maintain a diverse talent base comprised of multilingual and multi-cultural professionals, CRI can traverse obstacles that often impede international background investigations. That’s why we are frequently contracted by our competitors to conduct background investigations in geographic regions not serviced or accessible by larger investigative firms. 

Meet our CEO

Zafar I. Anjum is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due to diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading businesses organisations.  Headquartered in London (with a significant presence throughout the region) and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center-QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI Group safeguards businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, the USA, and the United Kingdom.

Contact CRI Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

CONTACT INFORMATION

37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom  e: zanjum@crigroup.com | LinkedIn | Schedule a meeting | t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959

 

What is continuous background screening?

For decades, pre-employment background screening has been helping organisations hire the right candidates for the right roles. These checks hold good till a candidate gets on board. But what if one of your existing employees commits a crime, revokes their license, or loses work authorisation? Continuous Background Screening (otherwise called rolling background checks or continuous monitoring) can help you mitigate any risks. Let’s look at what continuous background screening is and how it transforms the background check for employment industry.

What is continuous real-time pre employment screening?

Global enterprises generally take the approach of conducting background verifications on candidates to ascertain the data that they present at the interview. One-time background verifications help organisations check candidate data while hiring but not after that. New forward-looking entrants have been disrupting the background screening industry with this trend. The continuous background screening process is a systematic technique and is not completely new. Companies can perform real-time background checks on employees to identify internal threats and flag them immediately when found. It is a post-hire employment screening process that applies to any specific part (or all) of your workforce. 

Staying informed about the employees’ background is as important, or conceivably, more important than verifying the candidates’ data when they initially apply. Certain regulated industries have been performing some form of continuous background check of employees as it is a mandate – but most of them are not real-time. The best examples include high-risk industries like transportation, healthcare, and finance. But with the advent of rapidly evolving technology, real-time background screening that uses online record databases and digital platforms has allowed taking a proactive approach toward risk mitigation.

Now let’s take a deeper look at how this works. CRI® Group looks for any change in candidates’ background data. It identifies them so that organisations can stay away from possible risks. When the background screening software detects an employee’s data change, it notifies the employee and begins verification. Furthermore, the tool will allow candidates disqualified due to criminal violations to resurface after an allowed time frame. This will empower employers to give a second chance to the employees and perform a more comprehensive pre employment background check on them.

The Alarm Bell

Continuous background screening still has a paramount need to comply with regulatory policies. In addition to being compliant with global regulations, organisations must adhere to the state and local laws that pertain to disclosure and authorisation requirements and adverse action processes. It is recommended to follow the rules of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) when any issues arise due to removing an employee based on the screening results.

The regulations demand the employer to get written consent from the employees before a background verification starts. Employers should take immense care to make the consent clear enough, failing which a new notice and fresh consent need to be provided the next time. But, even though the federal law (FCRA) accepts such practices, the state or local law might not (Californian laws, for instance).

HR teams need to be prepared for the worst – when an employee refuses to authorise a background verification stating it as a privacy intrusion. Hence, designing a screening program that adheres to global and local compliance is key.

CRI® Group can help companies nip bad employees in the bud, thus ensuring the brand image is not affected by bad hires. Yet, surprisingly, an SHRM study states that only 4% of 6500 HR professionals said that their companies performed rolling background checks.

Employers should revisit their screening programs and incorporate technology-powered techniques like real-time screening, so they do not go blind in the interim.

Get in touch with us to learn more about how you can leverage employment screening services and proactively mitigate risks in real time. CRI® Group is happy to assist you.

Who is CRI® Group?

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceTPRMDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds B.S. 102000:2013 and B.S. 7858:2012 Certifications and is an HRO certified provider and partners with Oracle.