By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News
In yet another case of falsified or outright phony background checks, a business owner in Ohio was ordered to repay nearly three-quarters of a million dollars for forging criminal background checks for employees of her home health-care business.
According to a blog post on Cleveland.com, the online home of The Plain Dealer, the owner of Beta Services Inc. received a four-year suspended prison sentence and was ordered to repay $744,800 because she made it appear her employees – many with criminal records that disqualified them for jobs in home health care – had clean records.
The report indicates the owner pleaded guilty to one count of theft by deception and six counts of forgery and the company also entered a guilty plea to one count of theft by deception. “By forging background checks, this defendant deliberately put vulnerable Medicaid recipients in harm’s way by employing people with criminal records in caretaker positions,” according to the Ohio Attorney General quoted in the story.
Instances of falsified or outright fake background check investigations for employment purposes are on the rise, as indicated by these reports on ESR News recently:
- BBB Warns Jobseekers of Job Scams Involving Background Checks and Credit Reports (September 2, 2010): The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued a warning to jobseekers about scammers taking advantage of the current weak economy by targeting unemployed people. One scam includes false background checks where the phony employer asks for money upfront for a background check. The BBB has heard about jobseekers that paid upfront fees for supposedly required background checks for jobs that didn’t exist.
- Former College Basketball Star Indicted for Alleged Background Check and Jobs Scam (August 30, 2010): A former college basketball star in Michigan has been indicted for his alleged role in a background check and jobs scam where applicants paid fees for background checks that were never performed for jobs for which no applicants were ever hired.
- Nebraska Man Accused of Running Background Check Scam (July 1, 2010): Federal investigators arrested a man in Nebraska and accused him of running a background check scam by forming a background check company that allowed him to dupe consumers into believing he could run FBI and Interpol background checks on people. Investigators said the man charged $600 for each phony background check and scammed customers out of a total of $170,000.
The recent surge in scams involving background checks underscores the need for employers to make sure that they are dealing with legitimate screening firms when outsourcing background checks. At a bare minimum, the background check firm should belong to the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). In addition, NAPBS has announced a Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) that will also help employers locate professional and legitimate suppliers of background checks starting later this year.