CRI Group™ Accredited by PBSA®| Background Screening Credentialing Council


RALEIGH, N.C., DATE – The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) announced today that Corporate Research and Investigations Limited (CRI Group™) has successfully demonstrated compliance with the Background Screening Organization Accreditation Program (BSOAP) and will now be formally recognized as BSCC-Accredited.


CRI Group CEO Zafar I. Anjum states: “It is a great honor to be granted BSOAP Accreditation by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC). Receiving this prestigious recognition affirms our steadfast dedication to delivering the most precise, equitable and legally compliant background screening solutions for clients. Trust and transparency are more important than ever in the sophisticated world of business today. BSCC accreditation assures our clients that CRI Group operates with the highest ethical standards and provides results they can depend upon.’


Each year, employers, organizations, and governmental agencies around the globe request millions of reports on data subjects to assist with critical business decisions.  Background screening reports, which contain personal information about data subjects, are often regulated through data privacy and other employment laws. 

Since its inception, PBSA has maintained that there is a strong need for a compliant, cohesive industry standard and, therefore, created the BSOAP.  Governed by a strict professional standard of specified requirements and measurements, the BSOAP is becoming a widely recognized seal of achievement that brings national recognition to background screening organizations.  This recognition will stand as the industry “seal,” representing a background screening organization’s commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement.

The BSCC oversees the application process and is the governing accreditation body that validates the background screening organizations seeking accreditation meet or exceed a measurable

standard of competence. To become accredited, organizations must pass a thorough desk audit of their operational documentation, followed by a rigorous virtual audit, conducted by a third-party auditor.  This audit includes a review of its policies and procedures as they relate to six critical areas:  Information Security, Legal and Compliance, Client Education, Researcher and Data Standards, Verification Services Standards, and Business Practices.

Any employment or background screening organization is eligible to apply for accreditation. A copy of the standards, the policies and procedures, and measurements is available at


About PBSA®

Founded in 2003 as a not-for-profit trade association, the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) represents the interests of more than 900 member companies around the world that offer tenant, employment and background screening.  PBSA provides relevant programs and training aimed at empowering members to better serve clients and maintain standards of excellence in the background screening industry, and presents a unified voice in the development of national, state and local regulations. For more information, visit .


About CRI Group

Corporate Research and Investigations Limited (CRI Group™), Since 1990, CRI Group has been a global provider of Investigative Research, Forensic Accounting, Counter Fraud and Counter Corruption Solutions, Integrity Due Diligence Investigations, Background Investigations, and specializing in Third-Party Risk Management and Screening.


Kuwait’s Degree Crackdown: A Wake-Up Call for Employee Screening

Kuwait’s Degree Crackdown: A Wake-Up Call for Employee Screening – Act Now or Risk Consequences

Kuwait’s proactive steps to validate the academic qualifications of its government employees signals a broader trend in addressing the challenges of fake academic credentials. This measure is crucial, particularly considering recent global incidents of degree fraud. A striking example is the South Florida fake nursing diploma scandal, where over 7,600 fraudulent diplomas were issued by three nursing schools, leading to charges against more than 25 individuals involved in this wire fraud scheme. These fraudulent credentials provided a shortcut for individuals to qualify for and pass nursing board exams, subsequently gaining employment in the healthcare sector. Each defendant in this case faces up to 20 years in prison​​.


Kuwait Case Highlights

Kuwait’s Civil Service Commission’s extensive effort to verify academic degrees held by government employees reflects a significant step in ensuring integrity and competence within the public sector. This comprehensive initiative, covering both Kuwaiti nationals and expatriates since 2000, is a response to growing concerns about the prevalence of fake degrees.

Dr. Hamad Al-Matar, chairman of the parliamentary Education, Culture, and Guidance Affairs Committee, highlighted the severity of the issue when he revealed that an investigation had uncovered 142 Kuwaitis in public institutions holding forged certificates from various Egyptian universities. This discovery underscores the widespread nature of the problem and the government’s commitment to addressing it.

The consequences of detecting a fake degree are severe, with legal actions including revocation of employment for those found guilty. This crackdown on fake degrees is part of Kuwait’s broader strategy to strengthen the credibility of its workforce and maintain high standards in its educational and professional sectors. The implications of this initiative are significant, given that foreigners make up a considerable portion (3.2 million) of Kuwait’s population. By implementing these measures, Kuwait is setting a precedent in the region for maintaining the integrity of academic qualifications and professional standards.

Kuwait’s Degree Crackdown underscores the critical need for rigorous employee screening and credential verification. They serve as a stark reminder of the risks posed by unverified academic claims, which can lead to serious consequences for businesses and institutions. This global trend of fake degree scandals accentuates the importance of diligence in the verification process for educational institutions and businesses hiring new employees.

Employee Background Checks - EmploySmart™ by CRI Group™

How Employee Background Screening Can Benefit Your Businesses

Employee background screening offers several corporate benefits that contribute to the overall health and success of an organization. Here are six key advantages:


1. Verification of Educational Credentials

Conducting thorough background checks on educational credentials is a crucial defense against the hiring of individuals with fake degrees. This process includes verifying the authenticity of diplomas and transcripts directly with educational institutions. The verification confirms the legitimacy of the academic qualifications and ensures the credibility of the skills and knowledge the candidate claims to have. This is particularly important in fields where specialized knowledge is critical to job performance and can mitigate risks associated with underqualified personnel making critical decisions or performing complex tasks.

2. Ensuring Qualified Personnel

By verifying academic achievements, companies ensure that their staff possess the requisite education and training for their roles. This is essential in industries like healthcare, engineering, and finance, where specialized knowledge is directly linked to job performance and safety. Qualified personnel are more likely to understand the complexities of their roles and perform them competently, reducing the risk of errors and improving overall productivity.

3. Upholding Industry Standards and Compliance

Many industries are regulated by laws that require employees to have certain qualifications. For instance, the healthcare sector often requires specific degrees and certifications. Background checks help ensure that employees meet these requirements, thereby maintaining compliance with industry regulations. Failure to do so can result in legal penalties, loss of licenses, and damage to the company’s credibility.

4. Reducing Risks of Malpractice and Liability

Employing individuals with fraudulent qualifications in critical roles can lead to professional malpractice, especially in fields like medicine, law, and engineering. Inadequate qualifications can result in poor decision-making, leading to accidents, legal suits, and financial losses. Background screening minimizes this risk by ensuring employees have the genuine qualifications they claim, protecting the company from potential liabilities and lawsuits.

5. Maintaining Company Reputation

A company’s reputation can be severely damaged if it’s discovered that employees have fake degrees. Such revelations can undermine public trust and confidence in the organization. Rigorous background screening processes help in maintaining a workforce with legitimate qualifications, thus preserving the company’s reputation for integrity and reliability. This is especially crucial in today’s digital age, where information spreads rapidly online.

6. Long-term Cost Savings

The initial investment in comprehensive background screening can lead to significant long-term savings. Hiring employees with fake degrees can result in poor job performance, leading to costly mistakes, increased training costs, and higher employee turnover. Effective screening reduces the likelihood of such hires, thus saving the company from potential financial losses and the cost of rehiring and retraining new employees.


Know Your Team Inside-Out with EmploySmart™

The recent initiative by Kuwait’s Civil Service Commission to meticulously scrutinize the educational certificates of all government employees, dating back to 2000, is a significant move in combating the issue of forged degrees.  In this context, EmploySmart™ by CRI Group™ becomes a crucial tool for businesses looking to ensure the authenticity of their employees’ qualifications. Our service is designed to provide an in-depth and comprehensive screening of potential and current employees. Here’s how EmploySmart™ can help businesses in the wake of the Kuwait case:

  • In-depth Verification: EmploySmart™ goes beyond surface-level checks to offer a comprehensive verification process that delves into every aspect of a candidate’s background. This includes an exhaustive analysis of educational credentials, ensuring the degrees and certifications listed are legitimate and conferred by accredited institutions. We extend our scrutiny to employment history, meticulously verifying past employments, job titles, and work performances. Professional references are not just contacted; they are thoroughly interviewed to glean insights into the candidate’s work ethic, skills, and behaviors. This all-encompassing approach ensures that every team member is qualified on paper and brings genuine expertise and experience to their role.


  • Compliance Assurance: EmploySmart™ provides a crucial service in ensuring that your hiring processes align with legal and regulatory frameworks. Drawing lessons from the Nazaha case in Kuwait, we understand the importance of adhering to legal standards in hiring practices. Our service meticulously checks for compliance with local, national, and international employment laws, helping you avoid the legal pitfalls and liabilities arising from non-compliant hiring practices. This includes ensuring adherence to data protection laws during the background check process, thereby safeguarding both the candidate’s rights and the company’s legal standing.


  • Risk Mitigation: In today’s complex business environment, mitigating risk is a top priority. EmploySmart™ plays a pivotal role in this aspect by rigorously vetting potential hires for falsified credentials. The threat posed by unqualified personnel in critical roles can be immense, particularly in sectors where specialized knowledge and skills are paramount. EmploySmart™’s diligent background checks protect your operations from the risks associated with fraudulent qualifications and preserve public trust and confidence in your organization.


  • Global Reach with Local Expertise: Recognizing that the modern workforce is increasingly global, EmploySmart™ offers an extensive range of background checks that encompass both local and international scopes. This dual approach ensures that their background can be thoroughly vetted no matter where a candidate has studied, worked, or lived. EmploySmart™ combines global reach with local expertise, understanding different countries’ nuances and legal requirements. This makes it an invaluable resource for businesses operating in a global marketplace, ensuring that their workforce meets the highest standards of integrity and qualification.


  • Customized Screening Packages: EmploySmart™ understands that different roles within a company require varying degrees of scrutiny. To address this, we offer bespoke screening packages tailored to the specific requirements of each position. Whether it’s a high-level executive role requiring in-depth financial history checks or a technical position needing detailed verification of professional certifications, EmploySmart™’s flexible approach ensures that each role receives the appropriate level of background checking. This customization enhances the screening process and ensures that resources are efficiently utilized.


  • Protecting Your Brand: In an era where a company’s reputation can be its most valuable asset, EmploySmart™ plays a vital role in safeguarding your brand’s integrity. By ensuring that your team is composed of individuals with verified and authentic backgrounds, EmploySmart™ helps maintain your organization’s reputation for reliability and trustworthiness. In a digital age where information is rapidly disseminated, ensuring the authenticity of your workforce is not just about compliance or risk mitigation; it’s about preserving the hard-earned trust and respect of your customers and the public.


Act Now for a Safer Tomorrow

In a world where the cost of hiring the wrong person can be enormous, both financially and reputationally, EmploySmart™ is not just a tool; it’s an essential component of your HR strategy. In the wake of Kuwait’s degree crackdown, let EmploySmart™ be your partner in building a trustworthy and competent workforce.

Take the Step Towards Transparency

Don’t let your company be tarnished by the risks associated with inadequate screening processes. Make the smart choice with EmploySmart™ and set a new standard in employee recruitment. Reach out to us at CRI Group™ and start a conversation about how EmploySmart™ can transform your hiring process and contribute to the long-term success of your business.

2023 Review: Explosive Insights into Compliance, Due Diligence, and Background Screening!

As we usher in the year 2023, the fields of compliance, due diligence, and background screening continue to evolve rapidly. These essential components of risk management have never been more critical, given the dynamic global business landscape and the increasing need for organizations to mitigate risks effectively. In this article, we will explore some of the explosive insights and trends that have shaped compliance, due diligence, and background screening in 2023.

Enhanced Regulatory Scrutiny

Effective AML/CFT policies are critical for global financial stability. Money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing pose economic threats. The IMF has shaped AML/CFT policies for two decades, covering all its functions: surveillance, lending, and capacity development. The IMF contributes to the global AML/CFT framework, with a five-year Regulatory Scrutiny reviewed and endorsed by its Executive Board in 2023. IMF’s role is vital in safeguarding the integrity and stability of the international financial system.

Embracing Advanced Technology

Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and automation are transforming the way compliance, due diligence, and background screening are conducted. These technologies enable organizations to process vast amounts of data quickly and accurately, reducing manual effort and improving the efficiency of risk assessments. Advanced analytics and AI-driven algorithms are being used to identify patterns and anomalies, making it easier to detect potential risks and fraud. The integration of blockchain technology is also gaining traction for ensuring transparency in due diligence and compliance processes.

ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Considerations

In 2023, ESG factors have become central to due diligence and compliance efforts. Investors, consumers, and stakeholders are increasingly demanding that businesses operate responsibly and sustainably. Organizations are now conducting ESG due diligence to assess their environmental and social impacts, governance practices, and ethical standards. This not only helps in risk management but also enhances a company’s reputation and access to capital.

Geopolitical and Supply Chain Risks

Geopolitical tensions and disruptions in global supply chains have added new layers of complexity to due diligence and background screening. Organizations are now closely monitoring geopolitical developments to anticipate potential risks and adjust their business strategies accordingly. Due diligence processes have expanded to include supply chain risk assessments, as disruptions caused by events like pandemics, natural disasters, and political instability can have far-reaching consequences.

Data Privacy and Security

With the proliferation of data breaches and cyber threats, data privacy and security have taken center stage in 2023. Organizations must ensure the protection of sensitive customer and employee information. Background screening companies are investing heavily in cybersecurity measures to safeguard the data they collect and process. Compliance efforts are also focusing on data protection regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA, which require strict adherence to data privacy standards.

Continuous Monitoring and Adaptable Compliance

The traditional approach to compliance and due diligence, which involved periodic checks, is giving way to continuous monitoring and adaptable compliance strategies. Organizations must stay vigilant and responsive to emerging risks in an ever-changing landscape. This involves real-time monitoring of data sources, ongoing risk assessments, and adapting compliance programs swiftly in response to changing circumstances.

Checklist For Enhancing Supply Chain Due Diligence

2023 was quite a year for compliance missteps. Let’s dive into some of the most noteworthy cases and their subsequent punishments:

HIPAA Penalties: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) had its penalties updated in 2023. Violations due to reasonable cause but not willful neglect could cost $1,379 per violation. Ouch!

FCA Fines: In 2023, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fines totaled nearly £53m. It seems that lessons from the past weren’t learned as hoped.

Banking Compliance Fines: Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, pleaded guilty to violating the Banking Secrecy Act for an ineffective anti-money laundering (AML) program in 2023. U.S. regulators fined them $4.3 billion, and the founder, Changpeng Zhao, stepped down as CEO. The company also agreed to third-party monitoring to ensure compliance with U.S. federal regulations. The allegations included facilitating transactions from sanctioned groups and countries.

SEC Case Against Brooge Energy: The UAE-based company Brooge Energy was fined $5M by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for fraud.

Discover’s Compliance Negligence: Discover’s risk and compliance costs increased by more than $300 million between 2019 and 2023. They’ve been ‘paying the price’ of long neglecting compliance.

Manufacturing Sector Legal Issues: Even in cases of gross negligence or fraud in the manufacturing sector, voluntary disclosure resulted in significant mitigation of penalties and enforcement actions.

CRI Group™ 2023 Review

Strategies for Ensuring Compliance in 2024 and Beyond

In 2024 and beyond, businesses must prioritize compliance as an integral part of their operations. CRI Group™, as a global leader in background screening, due diligence, and third-party risk management, stands ready to assist organizations in efficiently managing their workplace while minimizing risks. Our experienced investigators and experts are dedicated to helping businesses thrive in a compliant and risk-free environment.

  • Stay Updated on Regulatory Changes
    Continuous monitoring of regulatory updates is essential. Regulations can change frequently, and staying informed is the first line of defense. CRI Group’s global reach and expertise ensure that your organization remains up-to-date with the latest compliance requirements across regions.

  • Implement Robust Due Diligence
    Due diligence on business partners and third parties is critical to avoid reputational damage and legal liabilities. CRI Group’s Due Diligence services offer comprehensive assessments to confirm the legitimacy of professional relationships, safeguarding your organization’s interests.

  • Thorough Employee Background Checks
    Pre-employment and post-employment background checks are pivotal in hiring and retaining trustworthy employees. CRI Group’s EmploySmart help you make informed hiring decisions, contributing to a more reliable workforce.

  • Mitigate Third-Party Risks
    Proactively managing third-party affiliations is essential to protect your organization from potential liability and brand damage. CRI Group’s exclusive third-party risk management (3PRM™) services provide the expertise needed to mitigate risks effectively, preserving your business’s integrity.
  • Combat Intellectual Property (IP) Infringement
    Safeguarding intellectual property is crucial in the digital age. CRI Group’s IP Infringement Investigations can help protect your valuable assets by uncovering and addressing threats from external parties.

  • Enhance Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Framework
    An effective AML framework is vital to meet stakeholder expectations and protect your organization’s reputation. CRI Group™ offers AML Advisory Services to help you establish a robust AML program aligned with regulatory standards.
  • Tackle Fraud Risk Head-On
    Fraud remains a significant risk for businesses. CRI Group’s Fraud Risk Investigations are conducted by certified experts who understand the patterns and characteristics of fraud, assisting in identifying and resolving fraudulent activities promptly.

  • Invest in Business Intelligence
    Business Intelligence services, blending external market data with internal financial and operational insights, can provide a comprehensive view of your business landscape. CRI Group’s expertise in Business Intelligence empowers informed decision-making.
  • Customized Compliance Solutions
    Compliance solutions tailored to your organization’s specific needs are essential. CRI Group’s Compliance Solutions ensure that you are equipped to address compliance requirements comprehensively and proactively.

  • Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Commitment
    Demonstrating a commitment to anti-bribery and anti-corruption measures is crucial. CRI Group’s ABAC Group™ subsidiary brand provides ISO 37001 training and certification services to help organizations establish effective anti-bribery management systems.

Contact CRI Group™ today to explore our comprehensive risk management solutions tailored to your organization’s unique needs. Our experienced investigators and experts are here to assist you in achieving compliance excellence and safeguarding your business from potential threats.

As we approach the new year, we extend our warmest wishes for a joyful holiday season and a successful and compliant 2024. Stay committed to integrity and transparency, and let CRI Group be your trusted partner on your compliance journey.

Tips for Enhancing Your Supply Chain Due Diligence

Supply chains, in today’s digital landscape, have grown intricate and deeply interwoven with third-party entities. While this interconnectedness brings advantages, it also amplifies potential security breaches. The vulnerability of supply chains to cyber threats has been starkly illustrated by several high-profile incidents in recent years. In 2020, the SolarWinds breach saw attackers exploit the software’s update mechanism, affecting 18,000 customers including prominent U.S. government agencies and corporations.

Similarly, in 2017, the NotPetya ransomware initially targeted Ukrainian tax software M.E.Doc but swiftly morphed into a global threat, severely disrupting businesses, ports, and medical facilities. Going further back to 2013, the massive Target breach exposed the credit card details of over 40 million customers, all because hackers exploited credentials from an HVAC vendor. These incidents serve as a sobering reminder of the cascading dangers lurking within interconnected supply chains.

This surge in threats emphasizes the pivotal role of due diligence in supply chain management. Beyond operational efficiency and cost optimization, there’s a pressing need for an in-depth and meticulous examination of every participant in the chain.

How To Enhance Supply Chain Due Diligence?

In today’s interconnected world, robust supply chain due diligence is not just a necessity but a cornerstone of operational resilience. Enhancing this diligence involves a multifaceted approach:

  • Risk Management:

    Begin by identifying, analyzing, and evaluating potential risks in your supply chain. An in-depth risk assessment can highlight vulnerabilities that might compromise your operations.

  • Risk Prevention and Mitigation:

    Once risks are identified, establish strategies to prevent these vulnerabilities where possible, and formulate contingency plans to mitigate their impacts if they materialize.

  • Risk Management Framework:

    Implement a structured framework that maps out the processes of risk identification, assessment, and response. This ensures consistency and comprehensiveness in handling potential threats.

  • Compliance Management:

    Align your supply chain practices with industry standards and regulatory requirements. Regularly review and update your processes to remain compliant with evolving regulations.

  • Compliance Risk Assessment:

    Regularly evaluate your supply chain’s adherence to regulations. Identify areas of potential non-compliance and address them proactively.

  • Due Diligence and Background Investigation:

    Before onboarding a new vendor or supplier, conduct thorough background checks. This includes financial health checks, reviews of past legal issues, and reputation assessments.

  • Corporate Governance:

    Establish clear governance structures and practices for decision-making processes related to the supply chain. This includes setting roles, responsibilities, and accountability mechanisms.

  • Third-party Risk Management:

    Understand that every third-party, vendor, or supplier introduces potential risks. Develop strategies tailored to evaluate and manage these external risks.

  • Supplier Risk Management:

    This goes beyond immediate vendors. Delve deep into your supply chain to assess risks posed by your suppliers’ own vendors and partners.

  • Third-party Management:

    Regularly review and monitor third-party performance and compliance. This ensures they meet the standards and expectations set during the onboarding process.

  • Vendor Due Diligence:

    Beyond initial checks, continuously assess vendors for potential new risks. Changes in a vendor’s business model, financial health, or operational practices can introduce new vulnerabilities into your supply chain.

Checklist For Enhancing Supply Chain Due Diligence

An effective supply chain security strategy involves proactive oversight, open communication, and regular evaluations of your suppliers’ practices. Here’s the checklist for enhancing your supply chain due diligence:

  • Ensure suppliers have stringent measures to regulate access to sensitive data.
  • Prioritize multi-factor authentication, encryption during data transit, and two-step verification.
  • Understand your supplier’s user permission structure and monitor authorization levels.
  • Incorporate audit trails to track access to crucial information.
  • Evaluate suppliers’ network security plans against evolving cyber threats.
  • Ensure they have strong backup strategies, with offsite data storage options and multiple backup points.
  • Regularly review and adjust access rights to match your security policy.
  • Learn which external entities your suppliers share data with.
  • Review any contracts or agreements to confirm that they uphold your security standards.
  • Keep open communication with stakeholders about data being shared externally.
  • Confirm suppliers’ strategies to meet industry and regulatory standards.
  • Suppliers should have a robust process in place for managing data breaches, from early detection to proper communication.
  • Insist on suppliers maintaining a detailed data breach response plan.
  • Check if suppliers consistently monitor and log access to crucial data.

Choose CRI Group™ For Enhancing Your Supply Chain Due Diligence

In today’s intricate global supply chain, the potential for unseen risks and vulnerabilities is ever-present. CRI Group™ stands at the forefront of risk mitigation, offering meticulous due diligence, stringent risk management, and unwavering corporate accountability services. Every link in your supply chain warrants rigorous scrutiny. Engage withCRI Group’s expertise to ensure that no aspect of your operations remains exposed to unchecked threats or non-compliance.

1. DueDiligence360™:

By leveraging the comprehensive insights from DueDiligence360™, companies can confidently verify the legitimacy of their potential partners, safeguarding themselves against unsavory business dealings and external threats. This rigorous process includes international business verification, detailed profiles on both individuals and corporate entities, extensive ownership analysis, checks against global criminality and regulatory databases, industry reputation assessments, and a deep dive into global financial regulatory authorities, among others.

With global regulatory landscapes intensifying, especially concerning money laundering, anti-bribery, and corruption, it is paramount for businesses to remain compliant and transparent. CRI Group™ ensures that businesses have a thorough understanding of the intricate ownership structures of their partners, guaranteeing transparency, mitigating hidden risks, and preventing potential conflicts of interest, no matter where they operate.

2. Third-Party Risk Management Solution (3PRM™):

CRI Group™ has pioneered a transformative third-party compliance verification and certification program known as 3PRM-Certified™, extending its footprint across the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. This solution, designed to gauge the legal compliance, financial soundness, and integrity of potential affiliations, is crucial for organizations to vet partners, suppliers, and customers on a global scale. Supply chains, with their inherent vastness and complexity, require an adaptable risk management approach, and that’s precisely what 3PRM™ offers. By streamlining the third-party risk management process, it ensures scalability and efficiency right from risk identification to assessment.

What distinguishes 3PRM™ from the rest is its holistic coverage: from due diligence, background checks, and regulatory adherence to business intelligence, specialized investigations like IP and fraud, anti-bribery and anti-corruption compliance, and even encompassing employee training and ongoing monitoring and reporting. This ensures that businesses can safeguard their interests and operate with partners that meet their compliance, financial, and integrity benchmarks, irrespective of their operational region.

3. Corporate Accountability Services:

CRI Group’s tailored compliance solutions place organizations ahead of regulatory demands, prioritizing robust due diligence checks on all potential affiliations. Associating with dubious businesses or individuals could jeopardize your financial standing and tarnish your esteemed reputation. CRI Group™ offers a comprehensive service, empowering businesses to ascertain third-party risks, ensuring seamless operations.

Central to their offering is the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Advisory Services division. With over three decades of expertise in identifying and navigating the complexities of international and regional AML regulations, the team possesses unparalleled acumen in pinpointing high-risk individuals and entities. Their proficiency lies in decoding the myriad strategies employed by money launderers, ranging from trafficking and counterfeiting to insider theft and third-party fraud. Partnering with CRI Group™ ensures adherence to global AML mandates while safeguarding against potential illicit associations.

Secure Your Business’s Future Today! Partner with CRI Group™  and fortify your organization against unforeseen risks. Take a proactive step in safeguarding your reputation and financial health. Contact us now!

The 2023 International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) – Forge a Future Free from Fraud

Corruption, a multifaceted issue impacting social, political, and economic realms, poses a significant threat to countries worldwide. Its detrimental effects are far-reaching, undermining democratic institutions, impeding economic growth, and leading to governmental instability. This phenomenon erodes the essence of democracy by manipulating electoral processes, distorting the rule of law, and fostering bureaucratic complexities primarily aimed at extracting bribes. Such an environment hampers economic progress, deterring foreign investments and burdening small businesses with prohibitive start-up costs linked to corrupt practices.

Recognizing the gravity of this issue, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption on 31 October 2003. This pivotal move, backed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) designation as the convention’s secretariat, marked a significant step in the global fight against corruption. The convention, effective in December 2005, has since garnered near-universal support, with 190 parties committing to its anti-corruption mandates. This widespread acceptance underscores the global consensus on the necessity of good governance, accountability, and political commitment to eradicating corruption.

To further elevate the importance of this cause, the Assembly established 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day. This observance aims to heighten awareness about corruption and highlight the Convention’s pivotal role in counteracting and preventing corrupt activities. As we approach the twentieth anniversary of this landmark convention, its principles and objectives are more crucial than ever.

IACD Logo 2022

Global Surge in Corporate Corruption Cases: A 2022-2023 Overview

The past two years have seen a notable increase in corporate corruption cases globally. Both the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have intensified their enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), targeting companies and individuals involved in bribery and corruption. Here are ten significant cases from 2022 and 2023 that highlight this trend:

  • Frank’s International (April 2023):

    The company, operating in the oil and gas sector, admitted to violating the FCPA by bribing officials in Angola. The settlement of $8 million reflects the seriousness of the charges and underscores the importance of adhering to international anti-corruption laws in global operations.

  • Exelon Corporation & ComEd (2023):

    They faced a hefty $46 million penalty for manipulating legislative processes through bribery. This case highlights the risks of domestic corruption and the need for stringent internal controls.

  • Glencore (January 2023):

    In a landmark case, Glencore faced charges across several countries, resulting in a $700 million sanction. This case is a stark reminder of the global reach of anti-corruption laws and the severe penalties for non-compliance.

  • U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (September 2023):

    His indictment for benefiting Egypt in return for personal gains, including gold bars and cash, illustrates the far-reaching implications of corruption, even at high political levels.

  • Oracle (September 2022):

    The technology giant’s $23 million settlement for bribing foreign officials emphasizes the importance of transparent international dealings and the repercussions of violating the FCPA.

  • Ericsson (March 2023):

    Fined $206 million for breaching a previous agreement related to bribery, this case demonstrates the consequences of non-compliance with settlement agreements and the importance of full cooperation with regulatory bodies.

  • Honeywell International Inc. (December 2022):

    With an $81 million settlement for bribery in Brazil and Algeria, this case highlights the need for robust compliance mechanisms to prevent corrupt practices in international markets.

  • Gol Intelligent Airlines Inc. (September 2022):

    The Brazilian airline’s over $70 million settlement for FCPA violations points to the critical need for ethical business practices in all corporate transactions and dealings.

  • Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (2023):

    This case, involving a $26 million settlement for bribing Chinese officials, underscores the necessity for multinational corporations to maintain rigorous anti-corruption policies, especially in high-risk jurisdictions.

  • Albermarle Corporation (2023):

    Settling FCPA allegations for over 103$ million related to multiple Asian countries, the chemical producer’s case demonstrates the complexities of operating in diverse international markets and the need for comprehensive compliance programs.

These cases serve as a crucial reminder for businesses about the significance of maintaining ethical practices, adhering to anti-corruption laws, and the severe consequences of non-compliance in international operations.

CRI Group™: Your Partner in the Fight Against Corruption

CRI Group™ has a deep-rooted commitment to confront the widespread issue of corruption, a scourge that results in enormous losses for businesses globally. Corruption drains financial resources, undermines corporate integrity, damages reputations, and hampers fair market competition. At CRI™, we recognize these challenges and offer specialized services to combat corruption effectively. By fostering a culture of transparency and ethical practices, we help companies to not only comply with legal standards but also to foster trust among their stakeholders.

Our commitment dovetails with the ethos of International Anti-Corruption Day, a significant annual event that casts a spotlight on the global fight against corruption. This observance serves as a reminder of the collective effort needed to eradicate corrupt practices worldwide. CRI™ actively participates in this global dialogue, offering insights and solutions to tackle corruption. We provide comprehensive training, risk assessments, and certification services, equipping businesses with the tools and knowledge necessary to maintain ethical operations.

Comply with Confidence - CRI Group™'s Service

CRI Group’s Enduring Contributions to a Transparent Corporate World

Since its inception in 1990, Corporate Research and Investigations Limited (CRI Group™) has been at the forefront of safeguarding businesses against fraud, bribery, and corruption. As a premier Compliance and Risk Management company, CRI Group™ operates globally, with a notable presence in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) and Qatar Financial Center (QFC). Our core function is to evaluate the compliance, financial stability, and integrity of potential business partners, suppliers, and customers.

With headquarters in London, UK, and a widespread network across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, we offer unparalleled support worldwide. In 2016, we further expanded our capabilities by launching the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC Group™) Center of Excellence, providing an extensive range of Anti-Bribery, Compliance, and Risk Management programs to help organizations effectively manage internal and external risks. Our comprehensive approach underscores our unwavering dedication to fostering transparency and ethical practices in the corporate world.

  • Educational Empowerment

    We are dedicated to dismantling corruption through education. By offering comprehensive training and certification, we empower businesses to adopt best practices in transparency and governance, fostering a culture of integrity across organizations of all sizes.

  • Promoting Ethical Business Practices

    Our core mission is to advocate for ethical business conduct. As an authority in Anti-Corruption, Compliance, and Governance, we support businesses in maintaining high standards of operational integrity, nurturing a trust-based global business environment.

  • Advancing Transparency and Accountability

    We actively enhance transparency and accountability in the corporate sector, encouraging open communication and complete operational transparency to build trust and strengthen business integrity.

  • Support for SMEs

    Acknowledging the unique challenges of SMEs, we tailor our services to assist these businesses, providing them with the necessary tools and resources to overcome ethical practice barriers and actively participate in a corruption-free economy.

  • Global Outreach and Inclusivity

    Our efforts span globally, reflecting our commitment to a universally ethical business world. We strive to make our services accessible across different regions, upholding integrity standards that transcend cultural and geographic borders.

  • Embracing Continuous Improvement

    We commit to staying informed and adaptable in a constantly evolving anti-corruption landscape. This dedication ensures that our services and advice are always pertinent and effective.

  • Fostering Collaborative Impact

    Believing in the power of collective action, we engage in partnerships with various organizations and industry leaders to amplify the impact of our anti-corruption initiatives.

  • Empowering Ethical Decision-Making

    We emphasize empowering businesses to make ethical decisions, equipping them with the knowledge and tools needed to be integrity champions in their daily operations.

  • Nurturing Sustainable and Ethical Growth

    Our vision is to foster sustainable growth underpinned by ethical practices, aiming for a balance where businesses can thrive without compromising their ethical standards, contributing to a healthier and more sustainable corporate landscape.

Join Us in Making a Difference

International Anti-Corruption Day is more than a date on the calendar; it’s a clarion call for action. It’s an invitation for you to join forces with CRI Group™ in this noble quest. Your participation in the upcoming events and your commitment to ethical practices can make a significant impact. Together, we can shape a business world where integrity is not just a policy but a way of life. Let’s unite to turn the tide against corruption, making a stand for a future where fairness and honesty reign supreme.

The UK 2023 Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act

The UK 2023 Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act: A Guide for Businesses with CRI Group™ Solutions

On October 26, 2023, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act received royal assent in the United Kingdom, marking a significant milestone in the country’s efforts to combat economic crime and enhance corporate transparency. This legislation has been the subject of much debate and scrutiny throughout its journey through Parliament, with legal experts and lawmakers expressing diverse opinions on its potential impact.

In this blog post, we will delve into the key provisions of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act, the implications for businesses, and how CRI Group™‘s Fraud Investigations & AML (Anti-Money Laundering) Services can play a crucial role in helping organizations navigate this new regulatory landscape.

Understanding the Act

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act is a comprehensive piece of legislation aimed at addressing various facets of economic crime and enhancing transparency in corporate operations. While opinions on its effectiveness and scope vary, there are several important aspects to consider:

  • Historical Perspective

    Prior to the Act, securing a conviction against a corporation in the UK required proving that the offense was committed by the company’s ‘directing mind and will.’ This concept, known as the ‘identification doctrine,’ limited corporate criminal liability to cases where the highest level of management possessed the requisite criminal intent.

  • Shift to ‘Senior Manager’ Test

    The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act replaces the ‘directing mind and will’ requirement with a ‘senior manager’ test. Under this test, if a ‘senior manager’ commits a relevant offense within the scope of their authority, the organization is also considered guilty of the offense.

  • Rationale for Change

    The identification doctrine faced challenges in the modern corporate landscape, especially within large companies. Decentralization of decision-making and complex organizational structures made it difficult to pinpoint the ‘guilty mind’ of the company. The Act aims to simplify this process by focusing on senior managers who play significant roles in decision-making or managing the organization.

  • Impact on Corporate Prosecutions

    While the Act intends to facilitate corporate prosecutions, the actual increase in convictions remains uncertain. The government anticipates a modest rise in court cases but expects many cases to be resolved through Deferred Prosecution Agreements. The effectiveness of the reform hinges on identifying senior managers and overcoming evidential challenges.

Defining ‘Senior Managers’

The Act defines a ‘senior manager’ as an individual who plays a significant role in:

  • Making decisions about how the organization’s activities are managed or organized.
  • Directly managing or organizing a substantial part of those activities.

The definition’s applicability depends on the nature and scale of an organization’s activities, emphasizing substance over job titles. Determining who qualifies as a senior manager will require assessing their responsibilities, roles, and influence within the organization.

Implications for Businesses

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act introduces a new regulatory environment that could have far-reaching consequences for businesses operating in the UK. Some of the key implications include:

  • Compliance Obligations

    Businesses, particularly large corporations, will face increased compliance obligations as a result of the new “failure to prevent fraud” offense. Navigating these obligations effectively will be essential to avoiding legal consequences.

  • Risk Management

    With the potential for corporate liability now extended to senior managers, businesses must enhance their risk management and corporate governance practices to mitigate the risk of economic crime.

  • Enforcement Challenges

    It is expected that there will be a lag time before significant enforcement actions are taken under the new Act. This period provides an opportunity for businesses to bolster their anti-fraud and AML measures proactively.

Failure to Prevent Fraud Offense

  • The Act introduces a ‘failure to prevent fraud’ offense, expanding the scope of corporate liability. This offense covers various fraud-related crimes, such as false representation, obtaining services dishonestly, and false accounting.
  • Companies with more than 250 employees, over £36 million in turnover, or more than £18 million in total assets are subject to this offense.
  • A ‘reasonable procedures’ defense exists, allowing companies to avoid liability if they can demonstrate that they had adequate precautions in place to prevent fraud.
  • Notably, the Act excludes failure to prevent money laundering, as the existing money laundering regime is deemed robust enough.

CRI Group™’s Fraud Investigations & AML Services

In this evolving regulatory landscape, organizations need a trusted partner to assist them in staying compliant and mitigating the risk of economic crime. CRI Group™’s Fraud Investigations & AML Services are well-equipped to provide comprehensive solutions to businesses facing these challenges:

1. Fraud Investigations:

CRI Group™’s team of experienced investigators specializes in conducting comprehensive fraud investigations. They employ a multifaceted approach to uncover fraudulent activities within your organization, thoroughly examine evidence, and identify the individuals or groups involved in fraudulent activities. Subsequently, the team provides detailed reports with findings and recommendations for remediation.

Benefits For Businesses

  • Compliance Assurance: With the Act’s increased focus on corporate transparency and liability, organizations need to demonstrate their commitment to preventing and addressing economic crimes. Utilizing CRI Group™’s fraud investigation services can help businesses ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Early Detection: Prompt detection of fraudulent activities is essential to prevent potential legal consequences and reputational damage. CRI Group™’s investigators can identify fraud at an early stage, allowing organizations to take corrective actions swiftly.
  • Evidentiary Support: In the event of regulatory inquiries or enforcement actions, having a thorough and professionally conducted fraud investigation report can serve as crucial evidence in demonstrating a company’s commitment to addressing economic crime.

2. AML Compliance Services:

CRI Group™ offers comprehensive Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance services designed to help businesses establish and maintain robust anti-money laundering programs. These services encompass various aspects of AML compliance, including risk assessment, policy development, employee training, and ongoing monitoring. The goal is to ensure strict adherence to regulatory requirements and mitigate the risk of money laundering activities.

Benefits For Businesses

  • Regulatory Compliance: With the Act’s heightened focus on corporate transparency and economic crime prevention, AML compliance becomes even more critical. CRI Group™’s services assist businesses in adhering to regulatory requirements, reducing the risk of non-compliance and associated penalties.
  • Enhanced Due Diligence: The Act emphasizes the importance of due diligence in corporate operations. CRI Group™’s AML compliance services include robust due diligence processes, enabling businesses to make informed decisions about clients, partners, and third-party relationships.
  • Risk Mitigation: Businesses can proactively mitigate the risk of being implicated in economic crimes or money laundering activities. CRI Group™’s AML compliance services help organizations identify vulnerabilities and implement effective risk management strategies, aligning with the Act’s objectives.

3. Risk Assessment Services:

With a team of Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs), CRI Group™ offers risk assessment services designed to help businesses identify vulnerabilities and implement effective risk management strategies. These assessments involve a thorough examination of an organization’s operations, processes, and systems to pinpoint areas susceptible to economic crimes, fraud, or money laundering. The results inform the development of risk mitigation plans tailored to the organization’s specific needs.

Benefits For Businesses

  • Proactive Risk Management: The Act underscores the importance of proactive risk management in preventing economic crimes. CRI Group™’s risk assessment services empower businesses to identify potential risks, assess their impact, and implement strategies to mitigate them before they escalate.
  • Customized Solutions: Every organization’s risk profile is unique. CRI Group™’s assessments provide customized solutions that align with the specific risks and challenges an organization faces, ensuring a tailored approach to risk management in compliance with the Act.
  • Compliance Alignment: By addressing vulnerabilities and implementing risk management strategies, businesses can align their operations with the Act’s requirements and demonstrate a commitment to preventing economic crimes. This not only enhances compliance but also helps protect the organization’s reputation.

Tips for Enhancing Fraud Prevention and Compliance

In light of the recent legislative changes, including the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act, CRI Group™ recommends that organizations take the following proactive steps to enhance their fraud prevention and compliance efforts:

  • Thorough Risk Assessment: Regularly review and strengthen your risk assessments, paying specific attention to identifying potential fraud risks within your organization.
  • Policy and Procedure Updates: Keep your policies, procedures, and controls up-to-date to effectively mitigate known fraud risks. Ensure alignment with changing regulatory requirements.
  • Whistleblowing Program Enhancement: Encourage open reporting by employees and stakeholders. Promote a culture where concerns about potential fraud are reported promptly.
  • Continuous Training: Provide ongoing training to employees to increase awareness of fraud risks, policies, and the significance of compliance in preventing economic crimes.
  • Third-Party Risk Management: Monitor third-party relationships closely, including subsidiaries, to ensure they adhere to your organization’s anti-fraud and compliance standards.
  • Utilize Data Analytics: Leverage data analytics tools to continuously monitor and detect potential fraud risks, enabling proactive responses to suspicious patterns.
  • Regular Monitoring: Implement a robust system for ongoing monitoring of fraud risks, regularly assessing the effectiveness of anti-fraud measures.
  • Enhance Internal Audits: Include specific focus areas related to fraud prevention and compliance in your internal audit program to identify areas for improvement.
  • Identify Senior Managers: Identify individuals within your organization who qualify as ‘senior managers’ under the Act and ensure they are well-informed about fraud risks and compliance measures.
  • Foster a Fraud-Aware Culture: Cultivate a corporate culture that emphasizes integrity, transparency, and accountability at all levels to effectively address fraud risks.

CRI Group™ is well-equipped to assist organizations in implementing these recommendations, leveraging our expertise in conducting comprehensive risk assessments, enhancing anti-fraud measures, and ensuring compliance with evolving regulatory requirements.

For further information on how CRI Group™ can support your organization in navigating these legislative changes and strengthening your fraud prevention efforts, please contact our experts: We are here to help you proactively manage fraud risks and safeguard your organization’s integrity and reputation in this evolving regulatory landscape.

The Consequences of Neglecting Background Screening and Compliance in the UK

In the ever-evolving business landscape in the United Kingdom, ensuring a trustworthy and secure workforce is essential. In 2008, the UK government took a significant step towards achieving this goal by introducing the Employment Background Check Act. This law mandated that employers incorporate rigorous background screening into their hiring process, including criminal background checks, reference verifications, and credit assessments.

The rationale behind these regulations was straightforward: to foster fairness and transparency in the employment sector, safeguarding the interests of both employees and employers. However, more than a decade later, many businesses still grapple with compliance’s complexities.

In this article, we will explore the wide-ranging consequences businesses may encounter when they overlook the importance of background screening and compliance in the UK and how to avoid them. Before that, let’s get to the basics.

Why Employee Background Check Is important?

Employee background checks are of paramount importance for businesses in the UK. They are vital for mitigating risks and ensuring your workforce’s safety, trustworthiness, and compliance.

Mitigating Employee Theft and Fraud

According to UK Finance, there are nearly three million active fraud cases across the UK. Background checks serve as a proactive measure against these risks by uncovering past incidents of theft or fraudulent activities in an applicant’s background. This not only safeguards finances but also maintains the integrity of the workplace.

Building Trust and Reputation

Trust is a cornerstone of business success, and data breaches can severely damage it. In the UK, a 2019 survey indicated that 70% of consumers would discontinue business dealings with a company following a data breach. Background checks are pivotal in building and sustaining trust with customers and partners, assuring them that your employees can be entrusted with sensitive information and preserving your brand’s reputation.

Ensuring Compliance with Regulations

Legal compliance is paramount, particularly in the UK where non-compliance with data protection laws, such as GDPR, can result in substantial fines, potentially reaching €20 million or 4% of the company’s global turnover. Background checks ensure that your hiring practices align with data protection and employment laws, shielding your business from severe financial penalties.

Improving Hiring Quality

Making informed hiring decisions is essential, as the cost of a bad hire can be as high as 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings. Background checks verify qualifications, work history, and references, elevating the quality of your hiring choices and ultimately saving your organization time and resources.

Minimizing Legal Liabilities

In the UK, employment-related lawsuits have been on the rise, with compensation claims averaging around £15,000. Background checks offer a critical layer of protection by reducing the risk of negligent hiring, thereby shielding your organization from costly legal battles and preserving its reputation.

Why Employee Background Check Is important - CRI Group™

Impacts of Not Conducting Accurate Background Screening Checks/Compliance Procedures

Failing to conduct accurate background screening checks and adhere to compliance procedures can have far-reaching consequences for organizations operating in the United Kingdom. This neglect can lead to various negative impacts, affecting the company and its stakeholders.

Legal Repercussions

Failure to perform thorough background checks and comply with relevant regulations can result in severe legal consequences. Companies may face fines, penalties, and legal actions for non-compliance with UK employment laws and regulations and industry-specific requirements.

Reputation Damage

Neglecting background checks and compliance procedures can damage an organization’s reputation. News of unethical practices, corruption, or legal violations can erode trust among customers, partners, investors, and the public. Rebuilding a tarnished reputation can be a long and costly process.

Financial Losses

Inaccurate or incomplete background checks may lead to hiring individuals with undisclosed criminal records or other issues. Such hires can pose financial risks through potential embezzlement, fraud, or workplace incidents. Additionally, legal fines and penalties can strain a company’s financial resources.

Operational Disruptions

Non-compliance with regulatory procedures can result in operational disruptions. Regulatory authorities may suspend or revoke licenses, and investigations can divert valuable resources away from core business activities. Adherence to compliance measures is essential for smooth operations.

Risk of Security Breaches

Neglecting background checks can expose an organization to security vulnerabilities. Employees with undisclosed criminal backgrounds or conflicts of interest may compromise sensitive data or intellectual property, leading to data breaches or corporate espionage.

Regulatory Scrutiny

Failing to comply with regulations can attract regulatory scrutiny and audits. This can be time-consuming and stressful for the organization, diverting resources away from strategic goals.

Loss of Competitive Advantage

Reputation damage and legal issues can diminish a company’s competitive advantage. Potential clients and partners may choose to work with more compliant and ethical organizations, leaving non-compliant firms at a disadvantage.

Difficulty in Attracting Talent

A poor reputation for compliance and background checks can deter talented individuals from seeking employment with the company. Attracting top talent becomes challenging when candidates perceive the organization as unethical or unreliable.

Case Study: Glencore Slapped with £280 Million Penalty for Rampant and Destructive Corruption

Glencore Energy UK Ltd’s failure to conduct thorough employee background checks was pivotal in the company’s significant legal and financial woes. The company’s downfall began when it came to light that it had paid approximately $29 million in bribes to gain preferential access to oil in several African countries. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) launched an investigation in 2019 focused on the London-based West Africa desk, responsible for sourcing and trading crude oil from various African nations.

The investigation uncovered a web of deceitful practices, including text messages, large cash withdrawals, and concealed payments, all indicative of the company’s involvement in bribery schemes. These practices were notably sustained over prolonged periods, demonstrating significant criminality and sophisticated methods that Glencore employed to disguise its wrongdoing. Perhaps most strikingly, the culture of bribery had seemingly become an accepted part of the West Africa desk’s way of doing business, and it was described as endemic among traders on that desk.

The failure of employee background checks is evident in the conviction of Glencore, as it was revealed that senior individuals within the company had authorized the bribery instead of merely failing to prevent it. This highlights a crucial lapse in the company’s hiring and oversight processes, allowing individuals with questionable ethical standards to occupy significant positions within the organization.

The consequences of this failure were severe. Glencore faced a historic financial penalty of £280,965,092.95 million, the largest ever in an SFO case following a conviction. This penalty included fines, a confiscation order for the profit gained from the bribes, and the SFO’s full costs. The confiscation order alone marked a significant milestone in corporate criminal convictions. Moreover, the company’s reputation was tarnished, as it was exposed for pursuing profits at the expense of national governments in some of the world’s poorest countries.

The failure to conduct comprehensive employee background checks led to a culture of corruption within Glencore, resulting in a landmark corporate bribery case. This case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of diligent vetting and oversight of employees to prevent unethical and illegal behavior that can have far-reaching consequences for the company and society.

Seamless and Compliant Background Checks with CRI Group™

In the aftermath of the Glencore case, where a failure to conduct accurate background screening checks and adhere to compliance procedures resulted in significant legal and reputational consequences, organizations increasingly recognize the critical importance of robust risk mitigation measures. CRI Group™, through its EmploySmart™ and DueDiligence360™ services, offers invaluable solutions to help companies proactively address these challenges and prevent similar incidents.

EmploySmart™: Elevating Employee Screening

CRI Group™’s EmploySmart™ service provides organizations with a comprehensive solution for effective employee screening. By partnering with EmploySmart™, companies can:

  • Enhance Compliance: Ensure adherence to UK employment laws and industry-specific regulations by conducting thorough background checks on candidates and employees. EmploySmart™ helps organizations stay in line with legal requirements, mitigating the risk of legal repercussions.
  • Minimize Risk: Identify potential risks associated with hiring individuals who may have undisclosed criminal records, conflicts of interest, or other red flags. By conducting in-depth checks, EmploySmart™ helps minimize financial and operational risks.
  • Boost Reputation: A commitment to thorough background screening sends a clear message to stakeholders and the public that the organization prioritizes ethical practices and safety. This can help rebuild and protect the company’s reputation.
  • Maintain Consistency: Establish consistent screening procedures across all levels of the organization, ensuring that every candidate and employee is subject to the same rigorous scrutiny. This consistency is vital for equitable and transparent hiring practices.

DueDiligence360™: Comprehensive Risk Assessment

CRI Group™’s DueDiligence360™ service is a powerful tool for comprehensive risk assessment, particularly when engaging with third parties, such as suppliers, partners, or agents. Organizations in the UK can rely on DueDiligence360™ to:

  • Verify Partners: Ensure that potential business partners or intermediaries have a clean record and are not involved in corrupt or unethical practices, as was evident in the Glencore case.
  • Uncover Hidden Risks: Identify potential red flags, such as undisclosed conflicts of interest or corrupt practices within the supply chain, which can pose significant risks to the organization’s integrity and financial stability.
  • Enhance Compliance: Maintain strict compliance with anti-bribery and anti-corruption regulations by conducting comprehensive due diligence on third parties. This proactive approach can prevent legal and reputational fallout.
  • Protect Investments: Safeguard investments by conducting thorough background checks before entering into agreements or partnerships. DueDiligence360™ helps organizations make informed decisions and protect their assets.

Ready to Safeguard Your Business? Contact CRI Group™ Today!

Don’t leave your organization vulnerable to risks and compliance issues. Reach out to CRI Group™ now to explore how our EmploySmart™ and DueDiligence360™ services can fortify your business against threats and ensure a compliant, ethical, and secure future. Let’s build a safer tomorrow together!

CRI Group™ Unveils Cutting-Edge Pre-Employment Screening Solutions at PBSA 2023

Empowering Saudi Arabia’s Workforce: CRI Group™ Unveils Cutting-Edge Pre-Employment Screening Solutions at PBSA 2023

In the heart of the Middle East, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands as a dynamic symbol of rapid evolution and boundless growth. As the region blossoms into a thriving hub of global collaboration and economic progress, the demand for robust Pre-Employment Screening solutions is more crucial than ever.

The challenges encountered are intricate and multi-faceted, stemming from the fusion of local culture, language, customs, privacy considerations, and the newly established data protection regulations.

As businesses hailing from the UK, Europe, and the US set their sights on broader horizons, grasping the distinctive dynamics of the KSA market emerges as a pivotal strategy. A shining example of this forward-thinking approach is embodied by Acino, a trailblazing pharmaceutical provider. On that notable March 30, 2022, Acino seized the spotlight, announcing its momentous entry into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Through the establishment of a legal entity and an office in Jeddah, the company took a bold stride towards realizing its extensive expansion plan across the Middle East and Africa.

The announcement, made amidst the auspices of the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia, resonated as a testament to the robust partnership between Acino and the nation. A carefully orchestrated decision, this move echoes Acino’s core mission – to deliver excellence in pharmaceuticals. With a history tracing back to its foothold in the Kingdom since 2017, Acino’s strategic leap is propelled by the surging demand for its sought-after products and services.

Yet, there’s more to this initiative than meets the eye. This endeavor has the power to infuse the Kingdom with global pharmaceutical expertise, fostering a collaborative spirit with local manufacturers and actively contributing to Saudi Arabia’s ambitious healthcare transformation program.

In the face of such expansion, one truth remains unwavering – the significance of diligent background screening and meticulous due diligence cannot be overstated. These are the compass points that guide companies through the labyrinthine intricacies of the KSA market, ensuring a journey marked by strategic choices and fruitful partnerships.

Why Saudi Arabia, and Why Now?

According to recent industry reports, the business landscape in Saudi Arabia has undergone a profound transformation, with rapid growth across various sectors. The Saudi Vision 2030 initiative has paved the way for unprecedented economic diversification, technological advancements, and a surge in foreign investments.

This transition has not only attracted global conglomerates but has also ignited the growth of indigenous startups, contributing to a vibrant job market. But what exactly makes Saudi Arabia the focal point of corporate expansion, and why is now the perfect juncture to emphasize pre-employment screening in this burgeoning environment?

Demand for Discerning Pre-Employment Screening

As the Kingdom steps into the forefront of global business, the need for meticulous pre-employment screening solutions becomes paramount. Businesses must navigate a maze of cultural nuances, linguistic intricacies, and privacy considerations while adhering to the recently introduced data protection regulations. A one-size-fits-all solution falls short in the face of the unique challenges posed by Saudi Arabia’s distinctive business environment. Therefore, comprehensive pre-employment screening crucial to ensure the quality and integrity of their workforce.

The Nuances of Culture and Law

Saudi Arabia’s rich culture and customs are unique, with a strong emphasis on adherence to Islamic law. This strict adherence to tradition makes the business environment in Saudi Arabia unlike any other. The people of Saudi Arabia are proud of their distinct culture and expect visitors and transplants to respect their customs and values. Conducting business in Saudi Arabia requires a deep understanding of their cultural sensitivities.

An effective pre-employment screening strategy must take these cultural sensitivities into consideration. It is essential to ensure a harmonious alignment between workforce integrity and local values. Understanding the nuances of Saudi Arabian culture is essential to any business looking to operate successfully in the region.

Privacy and Data Protection

As the world becomes increasingly digitized, the importance of protecting personal data has never been greater. For employers, this means that pre-employment screening is a more complex process than ever before. The latest data protection regulations add a layer of complexity to an already intricate process.

The challenge lies in the delicate balancing act required to safeguard candidate data while still adhering to international best practices and local regulations. It takes specialized expertise to ensure that the screening process is not only thorough but also fully compliant with legal and ethical standards.

Strategic Investments in Hiring

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has been working tirelessly to establish itself as a prominent player in the global business landscape. With so much at stake, each new hire becomes a strategic investment in the success of the company. That’s why pre-employment screenings are no longer a mere checkbox exercise. Instead, they are a proactive measure that companies are taking to ensure that their workforce aligns with their mission and values.

In addition to checking for possible red flags, such as criminal records or fake credentials, the comprehensive screening process involves evaluating a candidate’s personality traits, work style, and cultural fit. By doing so, companies can be confident that they are investing in a team that will contribute to their long-term growth and success.

CRI Group™’s Local Expertise

Recognizing the distinctive demands of the Saudi landscape, CRI Group™ has not only established itself as a trusted global player but has also solidified its local presence. Our Riyadh-based operations are a testament to our commitment to providing tailor-made solutions.

By seamlessly blending our international experience with an in-depth understanding of Saudi culture and regulations, we’re uniquely positioned to deliver screening services that go beyond checkboxes.

Let’s Shape the Future Together at PBSA 2023

The countdown has begun for an extraordinary event that promises to be etched in history. The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) is gearing up to commemorate its remarkable 20-year journey at the 2023 PBSA Annual Conference, set against the backdrop of the vibrant city of Grapevine, TX. This celebration will transcend the boundaries of a typical industry gathering, offering attendees an unparalleled blend of networking, knowledge, and jubilation.

A Grand Anniversary Gala

As the sun sets over the picturesque city of Grapevine, a new dawn rises for the PBSA’s 20th year celebration. The festivities commence with a Network Reception, where professionals from diverse backgrounds and industries will converge, fostering new connections and forging lasting relationships. The excitement escalates with the grand Opening Ceremony and the eagerly awaited Exhibit Hall Opening Showcase, showcasing cutting-edge products and services from industry leaders.

The 20 Year Opening Gala: A Night to Remember

The pinnacle of the event is the 20 Year Opening Gala, scheduled for Sunday evening. With a backdrop of elegance and grandeur, the gala sets the stage for an unforgettable experience. The evening will feature a mesmerizing dueling piano performance, creating an enchanting ambiance of celebration and festivity.

Attendees are encouraged to dress in black and gold formal attire, enhancing the splendor of the occasion. The event’s inclusivity welcomes all attendees, whether adorned in tuxedos and gowns or donning semi-formal attire, to be a part of this grand celebration.

Days of Enriching Insights: Conference Sessions

The following days are devoted to enriching insights and empowering knowledge. Industry experts and thought leaders will lead a series of informative sessions on Monday and Tuesday. These sessions promise engaging discussions, educational workshops, and a glimpse into the latest trends and advancements in the background screening industry.

The conference days provide an exceptional platform for attendees to expand their horizons, gain valuable insights, and contribute to the professional growth of the background screening community.

CRI Group™: Illuminating the Path Forward

Amidst this electrifying atmosphere, CRI Group™ stands as an integral participant in the jubilation. Our expert team is thrilled to showcase our latest innovations at booths 610 & 612. Attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to explore two groundbreaking solutions that have set new industry standards: EmploySmart™ and DueDiligence360™.

EmploySmart™: Elevating Safe Work Environments

EmploySmart™ takes center stage as our cutting-edge background screening platform, leveraging advanced technology and artificial intelligence to streamline the screening process. It transcends mere screening; it’s a potent tool that ensures a seamless experience for candidates and empowers employers to make confident, informed hiring decisions.

With EmploySmart™, expect faster turnaround times without compromising accuracy. Our platform utilizes cutting-edge technology for various essential checks, including address and identity verification, previous employment validation, and education & credential verification.

Employee Background Checks - EmploySmart™ by CRI Group™

DueDiligence360™: A Comprehensive Approach

Our comprehensive due diligence solution, DueDiligence360™, provides a deep and meticulous analysis of potential business partners, vendors, and stakeholders. With meticulously curated reports and risk assessments, businesses can make critical decisions with elevated confidence and transparency.

From the Basic DueDiligence360™ package, which covers international business verification and more, to the Enhanced Integrity Due Diligence Package, delving deep into a subject’s activities and history, our offerings empower informed decision-making.

CRI Group™ provides Due Diligence service to secure your business

Embrace the Future with CRI Group™

As the PBSA Annual Conference unfolds, CRI Group™ extends an invitation to join us at booths 610 & 612 to unearth the transformative potential of EmploySmart™ and DueDiligence360™. Engage with our experts, discuss your unique screening requirements, and discover how CRI™ can become your steadfast partner in ensuring precise and compliant background screenings.

Secure your personalized session and book your meetings today, and be part of a revolution in background screening services. Experience the future of screening with CRI Group™.

$114M Nursing Diploma Scandal: How Thousands of Nurses Got Licensed with Fake Degrees

The recent nursing diploma scandal has exposed a dark underbelly of the healthcare industry—untrained individuals posing as registered nurses and licensed practical nurses due to the proliferation of fake degrees and fraudulent credentials. This alarming situation demands immediate action from employers in the healthcare sector to implement robust verification processes and safeguard the well-being of patients.

Exposing the Nursing Diploma Scandal

The nursing diploma scandal sent shockwaves through the healthcare industry, exposing the disturbing ease with which untrained individuals obtained fake diplomas and transcripts. These fraudulent documents were sold by three now-defunct Southern Florida nursing schools, providing unqualified candidates with a pathway to take national nursing board exams. The scandal’s repercussions were far-reaching, as an estimated 2,800 fake nurses managed to pass these exams, securing positions in healthcare facilities across the United States.

The scandal revealed a blatant disregard for patient safety and raised serious questions about the effectiveness of verification processes in the healthcare sector. The lack of proper training and qualifications of these fake nurses posed significant risks to the well-being of patients, leaving them vulnerable to substandard care and potential harm. Healthcare institutions were left grappling with the fallout of having unknowingly employed unqualified staff, damaging their reputations and eroding public trust.

The Alarming Consequences

The consequences of fake nurses infiltrating healthcare settings were dire and far-reaching. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a critical healthcare provider for veterans, had to take immediate action to remove 89 phony-degreed nurses from direct patient care as a result of the scandal. While the VA stated that no actual patient harm had been reported, the fact that these untrained individuals were providing care to vulnerable veterans highlighted the urgency for more rigorous verification processes.

Beyond the VA, fake nurses were discovered working in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and agencies responsible for caring for homebound pediatric patients. This widespread distribution of unqualified healthcare professionals underscored the need for healthcare employers to exercise utmost caution when hiring and verifying the credentials of potential nursing staff.

The scandal’s impact extended beyond the immediate safety concerns to the overall credibility of healthcare institutions. Patients and their families were left questioning the authenticity of the care they received, and the tarnished reputation of healthcare facilities cast doubt on the entire industry’s integrity.

Importance of background screening within the nursing scandal context - Pharmaceutical Healthcare Industry - CRI Group™

Importance of Background Screening within the Nursing Scandal Context

Background screening is an essential process within the nursing context as it plays a pivotal role in safeguarding patient safety. The nursing diploma scandal exposed the potential dangers of unqualified individuals practicing as nurses. By conducting thorough background checks on prospective nursing hires, healthcare institutions can ensure that only qualified and competent professionals are entrusted with patient care. Screening for fake degrees and fraudulent credentials can prevent untrained nurses from slipping through the cracks and protect patients from receiving substandard care.

Upholding Professional Standards

Background screening is a critical aspect of upholding professional standards within the nursing profession. By verifying the authenticity of educational qualifications and licensure, healthcare employers can maintain the integrity of the nursing workforce. The scandal revealed the dire consequences of failing to screen candidates adequately, as fake nurses undermined the credibility of healthcare institutions and the nursing profession as a whole. Implementing rigorous background screening processes helps ensure that only qualified and reputable individuals become part of the nursing workforce.

Mitigating Legal and Financial Risks

The nursing diploma scandal exposed healthcare institutions to significant legal and financial risks. Employing unqualified nurses can result in malpractice lawsuits and other legal complications, leading to substantial financial losses. By conducting comprehensive background checks, healthcare employers can mitigate these risks and avoid potential legal liabilities. Ensuring that all nursing staff possess genuine and valid credentials reduces the likelihood of facing legal challenges related to patient care provided by unqualified personnel.

Strengthening Institutional Reputation

The reputation of healthcare institutions is built on the quality of care they provide. Hiring unqualified nurses damages the reputation and trustworthiness of these organizations. Background screening serves as a proactive measure to protect the reputation of healthcare institutions by ensuring that all nursing staff are highly qualified and legitimate. Upholding a robust reputation is crucial for attracting patients and retaining the community’s confidence in the institution’s ability to provide safe and reliable healthcare services.

Enhancing Public Trust

Public trust in healthcare institutions is essential for fostering a positive patient-provider relationship. The nursing diploma scandal shook public confidence, leading to skepticism and doubt among patients and their families. Healthcare organizations demonstrate their commitment to patient safety and professionalism by implementing rigorous background screening. Transparent and diligent verification processes enhance public trust in the healthcare system and reassure patients that their care is in capable hands.

Preventing Recurrence of Scandals

Background screening is a key preventative measure to avoid the recurrence of nursing diploma scandals and similar incidents in the future. Healthcare institutions can create a more resilient and secure environment by learning from past mistakes and strengthening hiring practices. The scandal serves as a wake-up call for healthcare employers to prioritize background screening, implement robust verification processes, and collaborate with regulatory bodies to effectively identify and address diploma mills.

Employee Background Screening Importance for Employers - Degrees & Credentials Checks - CRI Group™

CRI™ – Empowering Safe and Trustworthy Work Environments

CRI™ provides a comprehensive pre-employment screening service, EmploySmart™, designed to empower healthcare employers with the tools to create safe and trustworthy work environments. With certification for BS7858 and tailored screening packages, CRI Group™ offers a leading worldwide solution for local and international employee background checks, including pre-employment background checks.

Ensuring Patient Safety Through Thorough Investigation

In the context of recent nursing scandals, CRI™’s background checks go beyond basic in-house verifications. Our extensive screening process investigates a person’s character inside and outside their professional lives. With a focus on identity verification, previous employment history, education and credentials, and local language media checks, CRI™ leaves no stone unturned to ensure that only qualified and credible candidates join your healthcare workforce.

Eliminating the Risk of Fraudulent Credentials

The nursing scandal highlighted the dangers of unqualified individuals using fake diplomas and transcripts. With EmploySmart™, CRI Group™ includes thorough education and credential verification to ensure candidates’ provided documents are legitimate and not forged or photoshopped. This critical check helps healthcare employers avoid negligent hiring liabilities and protects patients from potential harm caused by unqualified staff.

Compliant Screening for Peace of Mind

Navigating background check laws can be challenging, especially in the healthcare sector. CRI™’s employment screening services are designed to comply with relevant regulations, ensuring a seamless and hassle-free process for healthcare organizations. With CRI™ as your partner, you can rest assured that you are adhering to necessary legal requirements during the background check process, mitigating legal and financial risks.

Rebuilding Patient Trust and Institutional Reputation

Rebuilding patient trust is paramount after any scandal. By investing in CRI™’s sufficient employment screening services, healthcare employers can enhance their institutional reputation and foster a positive patient-provider relationship. Our integrity due diligence and compliance checks showcase your commitment to patient safety and professionalism, reassuring patients that they are receiving care from qualified and trustworthy professionals.

CRI™’s EmploySmart™ service empowers healthcare employers to create safe and trustworthy work environments through comprehensive employee background checks. By delving deep into candidates’ qualifications, employment history, identity, and compliance with regulations, CRI™ ensures that only qualified and credible professionals become part of the nursing workforce. With CRI™ as your partner in employee background checks, you can safeguard patient care, uphold professional standards, and protect your brand’s reputation, ultimately fostering a work environment where safety, integrity, and patient well-being are at the forefront.

PBSA Annual Conference 2023

Celebrating 20 Years of PBSA: A Spectacular Event in Grapevine, TX

The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) is gearing up to celebrate its momentous 20-year anniversary at the 2023 PBSA Annual Conference in Grapevine, TX. This event promises to be a memorable occasion, filled with networking opportunities, informative sessions, and, of course, plenty of celebration.

Let’s take a closer look at what attendees can expect during this milestone event. 

An Unforgettable Celebration

PBSA’s 2023 Annual Conference will be more than just a typical industry gathering. With two decades of excellence to commemorate, the celebration kicks off on Sunday evening with the Network Reception, where attendees from diverse backgrounds and industries can come together to connect and build relationships. The camaraderie will continue with the grand Opening Ceremony, followed by the highly anticipated Exhibit Hall Opening Showcase, featuring cutting-edge products and services from top industry players. 

The 20 Year Opening Gala

One of the highlights of the event will be the 20 Year Opening Gala on Sunday evening. This elegant affair will take place at 8 p.m. and promises to be a night to remember. The gala will feature a dueling piano performance, setting the perfect tone for an evening of festivity and celebration. Attendees are encouraged to dress in black and gold formal attire to add a touch of elegance to the occasion. However, the organizers are welcoming all attendees, whether in tuxedos and long gowns or semi-formal attire, to be a part of this grand celebration. 

Conference Days – Informative Sessions 

Monday and Tuesday will be filled with a series of informative sessions led by industry experts and thought leaders. Attendees can expect engaging discussions, educational workshops, and insights into the latest trends and advancements in the background screening industry. These conference days will offer an excellent opportunity for attendees to expand their knowledge, gain valuable insights, and contribute to the professional growth of the background screening community. 


CRI Group™ at the 2023 PBSA Annual Conference:

CRI Group™ is thrilled to be an integral part of the 20-year celebration and excited to showcase our latest offerings at the conference. Our team of experts will be available at booths 610 & 612 to provide personalized demonstrations of EmploySmart™ and DueDiligence360™, two groundbreaking solutions that have set new industry standards.



    EmploySmart™ is our state-of-the-art background screening platform that leverages advanced technology and artificial intelligence to streamline the screening process. EmploySmart™ is more than just a screening platform; it’s a powerful tool that ensures a seamless experience for candidates and empowers employers to make confident and informed hiring decisions. With EmploySmart™, you can expect faster turnaround times without compromising on accuracy.

    Our platform leverages cutting-edge technology to perform various essential checks, including address verification, identity verification, previous employment verification, and education & credential verification.  



    Going beyond domestic boundaries, EmploySmart™ offers international criminal record checks, enabling you to make informed decisions about candidates with international backgrounds. For organizations seeking to delve deeper into a candidate’s integrity and reputation, our integrity due diligence service provides invaluable information.


  • DueDiligence360™

    DueDiligence360™ is a comprehensive due diligence solution that provides a deep and thorough analysis of potential business partners, vendors, and other stakeholders. With our meticulously curated reports and risk assessments, businesses can make critical decisions with a heightened level of confidence and transparency. 


Basic DueDiligence360™ Package:

Our Basic DueDiligence360™ investigation covers a wide range of critical checks, including international business verification, personal profiles on individuals, and company profiles on corporate entities. We conduct historical ownership analysis, identify subsidiaries, and uncover connected parties to give you a complete understanding of a subject’s business interests. Our global/national criminality & regulatory records checks, Politically Exposed Person database searches, and global terrorism checks provide essential information on potential risks and associations. 

We also conduct thorough digital media research and company background analysis to ensure you have a comprehensive view of a subject’s online presence and reputation. Additionally, our investigation includes industry reputational assessment, FCPA and UK Anti-Bribery & Corruption risk database checks, and money laundering risk database checks, ensuring that you are aware of any potential compliance or regulatory concerns. 

Furthermore, we provide financial reports and asset tracing, giving you valuable insights into a subject’s financial history and stability. Our country-specific databases include litigation checks, law enforcement agencies, and capital market regulators, providing you with comprehensive information about a subject’s legal and regulatory standing. 


Level I Essential Integrity Due Diligence Package:

Building upon the DueDiligence360™ Package, our Level I Essential Integrity Due Diligence goes deeper into a subject’s corporate structure and affiliations. We verify addresses, telephone numbers, and corporate records, including shareholdings and directorships. Our investigation includes verification of corporate and business affiliations, as well as personal information on key principals associated with the subject entity. 

We conduct research on government affiliations, political positions, and relationships with public officials to assess potential reputational issues. Additionally, we research criminal history records, civil litigation, liens, judgments, and bankruptcies to identify any red flags that could impact your association with the subject. 


Level II Enhanced Integrity Due Diligence Package:

Our Level II Enhanced Integrity Due Diligence is the most comprehensive investigation, providing an in-depth understanding of a subject’s activities and history. In addition to all the checks included in Level I, we conduct onsite visits to verify addresses and localities, ensuring greater accuracy in our findings. We verify previous employments, projects completed, business and personal references, academic and professional qualifications, and current activities. 

Our investigation delves into the background and track record of key principals and shareholders, with a focus on regulatory or reputational issues of concern. We thoroughly examine property records and asset ownership to provide a complete financial picture. 

Furthermore, we conduct comprehensive screenings of local and international sanction lists, PEP databases checks, global compliance database searches, OFAC, and other international sanctions and law enforcement institutions. Our research includes profiling the positioning and connections of the subject and its key principals and shareholders, including business relationships, political affiliations, and exposure to international anti-bribery and anti-corruption legislation. We also undertake source interviews to gather local and industry expert insights, ensuring a well-rounded investigation.

Join CRI Group™ at the PBSA Annual Conference and discover how EmploySmart™ and DueDiligence360™ can transform your background screening procedures. Take this opportunity to meet our team of experts, discuss your unique screening requirements, and learn how CRI™ can be your trusted partner in ensuring accurate and compliant background screenings.

Book your meetings at our booths 610 & 612 to secure a personalized session tailored to your needs.