Murder Suspect Lied on Background Check to Coach Youth Football Team

Due Diligence Background Check

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A man arrested on suspicion of murder who had a lengthy criminal record admitted he falsified his date of birth on a volunteer job application and provided false information for a background check to coach children in a Charlotte youth football league, according to a report from WCNC-TV NBC in Charlotte, North Carolina.

WCNC-TV reports that parents were “horrified” and wanted answers after Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police arrested Royce Mitchell in September in connection with the shooting death of his pregnant 15-year-old foster sister at a school bus stop in 2009. Her baby was delivered on the scene but she later died.

WCNC-TV reports that Mitchell was a person of interest in the shooting of his underaged foster sister and he was charged with statutory rape for an alleged illicit relationship with her. Court records show he had “at least 11 criminal filings and served time in federal prison for drug charges.”

WCNC-TV reports that Mitchell coached in a youth sports league called i9 Sports that conducted “very stringent” background checks and was “shocked and appalled” by the coach’s arrest, according to a statement from the i9 Sports Corporation. Here is the complete statement released by i9 Sports:

i9 Sports Corporation was shocked and appalled to learn this week that one of its franchisee’s former volunteer coaches was arrested in early September and found to have a past criminal record. For the past 16 years, i9 Sports has been deeply committed to the safety and well-being of the athletes our independently owned franchises serve, which makes this discovery even more troubling. All franchisees must adhere to very stringent policies and procedures that mandate criminal background checks as part of the volunteer coach application process.

In this instance, Mr. Mitchell falsified his date of birth and lied about his prior record on his volunteer application submitted to the third-party background check company used by i9 Sports. This resulted in no reportable records for Mr. Mitchell. The third-party background check company adheres to national standards for employment screening under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Unfortunately, while an isolated case for i9 Sports, the process used by the independently owned franchise location did not uncover Mr. Mitchell’s past history due to his deception.

Mr. Mitchell was a volunteer coach in Spring 2018 and the local franchise did not invite him back as a volunteer coach for additional seasons due to attendance-related issues. i9 Sports and its franchisee are grateful that no reported issues or complaints were made during the season against this volunteer coach. Despite this disturbing situation, i9 Sports remains committed to providing a safe environment for the children that participate in its programs nationwide. The company is currently re-evaluating its background check process in an effort to ensure that this never happens again.

Résumé fraud is common. A benchmark study on employment background screening revealed more than eight out of ten employers found résumé fraud that includes “embellishments or outright lies on job applicant resumes in the last year,” a whopping 85 percent and a steep rise from only five years ago when two out of three employers – 66 percent – found lies on resumes.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background screening firm – provides three levels of verifications to give employers the flexibility to customize employment and education verifications to help uncover résumé fraud.  ESR also checks the credentials, licenses, and references of job applicants. To learn more, visit www.esrcheck.com/Background-Checks/Verifications-References/.

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