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Grand Theft Auto

“The story my new employee is telling me sounds fishy.” – Automotive Business Owner

He seemed alright and was a really nice guy, just down on his luck.

You have a new applicant for a job, he comes with years of experience but they are on parole. The last place fired them for being a “convict”, he just can’t get a break. He really needs to have a job to not go back to jail. He is down on his luck a bit but obviously a hard worker, you need an experienced mechanic, even two, and you want to give him a chance. He was  just trying to protect himself from losing everything in a messy divorce. You know how lawyers are always looking to take advantage of the husband, man-hating attorneys. Everybody makes mistakes, what could go wrong? STOP.

Unfortunately, this experienced business owner fell for the hard luck case. He hired the employee without doing pre-employment background screening. He gave him an advance on the following month’s salary to purchase tools. However, the first day he was supposed to show up at work he came in with a broken wrist and tried to work. He had fallen while “riding a dirt bike” that weekend. Fortunately for the owner it happened before he started work. He dodged a workman’s comp insurance bullet with that one, but something was starting to sound fishy. He placed a call to Flatirons Private Investigations.

Pre-employment Background Screening

Flatirons Private Investigations staff did a targeted (now post-employment) pre-employment background screening for him. Using our experience, proprietary databases and a longstanding relationship with the state’s criminal, driver and court databases. FPI found a long list of check fraud, drug, domestic violence, kidnapping and identity theft charges. The employee owed back child support and did not have a driver’s license. He had been in jail off and on for years. There was some truth, he was trying to protect himself from divorce but at the same time he had charges for forgery, drugs and domestic violence. It was the longest rap sheet we have seen in a long time.

Somewhat happy ending

In this case the business owner was able to terminate the employment of a habitual felon, because in order to perform his job he required a driver’s license. The now former employee left, he remarked that he appreciated the opportunity that the business owner had given him, that he understood. Not days later the former employee went to a local bank with two reasonable facsimiles of a payroll check (just like the check he received days prior) and tried to cash them. The bank noticed that the check numbers had been used previously and said they would be paid in two days. The business owner was notified and so were the police.

In the following weeks the former employee, the guy that was just down on his luck, visited a number of local auto parts stores to pick up items in the name of the business. One can imagine the business owner’s surprise when getting the call for payment for car parts that he never ordered and never saw..

Three months later the business owner tells me that the police are arresting his former employee. In that time we have done other targeted pre-employment background screenings on other new employees. A delayed success story but a lesson learned.