News: Employer Failure

Overseas cases (or click here for New Zealand employer failure cases)



Overseas improvements


Overseas cases

Australia - Myer Executive charged with CV fraud
15 December 2014

An accused fake executive who allegedly scammed his way into a high-powered job at Myer department store with a fake resumé went home on his first day to retrieve proof of his past employment and never returned

Andrew Jeffrey Flanagan was variously hired as a university lecturer, an executive in charge of overseeing a hospital redevelopment and a manager appointed to implement cost-cutting measures for fashion retailer Rivers, when he was not qualified to work any of the jobs, the Melbourne Magistrates Court heard.

He left two of the jobs over claims of misconduct, the court was told, and left the chamber of commerce after its board discovered "inconsistencies" in his resume.

Flanagan began working at Myer on June 23, after the company had earlier announced his appointment on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Senior Myer management approached Flanagan hours into his first day and told him one of the companies he had listed on his resume - global fashion retailer Inditex - had reported it had never employed him.
Flanagan told his employers he had proof that he worked at Inditex but had to go home to retrieve it.. He never retruened.

Flanagan was hired on a $180,000 salary at Bendigo Health after impressing a panel of seven at interview, gained a $140,000 salary at the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry and earned $20,000 as a casual lecturer at NMIT.

Rivers brand director Jane McNally told the court she recommended Mr Flanagan be hired in February, largely on the strength of his resume, which claimed he had worked in a management role at Zara, another international fashion house.

Ms McNally said she found Mr Flanagan "charming, courteous and presents smartly" at interview and that he had the apparent credentials to work as the company's chief operating officer.

But soon after his appointment, the court heard, Mr McNally found the accused to be disorganised and that he "failed to follow through" on his plans. He was sacked from Rivers in April because of an inappropriate message he sent a colleague, the court heard.

Flanagan left Bendigo Health after inappropriate behaviour and an altercation with a colleague during a work trip to Brisbane, the court heard.

Suzannah Moss-Wright, who succeeded Mr Flanagan as chief executive of the chamber of commerce, said the accused quit his job on the day he was asked to meet with the board after it was found he had falsified a reference and that he never had three jobs he claimed he did.

The court was told while at the chamber of commerce, Flanagan also employed an associate, Gustavo Copelmayer, a man who had also acted as a referee in previous job applications.

At one point Mr Copelmayer was listed as an alias, Gustavo Ortega, when he gave a reference while claiming to be the chief executive of Intidex, which helped Mr Flanagan land the Myer job.

Senior Detective McIntosh said he wanted to speak to Mr Copelmayer, but he had flown to New Zealand days after Mr Flanagan was arrested and his whereabouts were unknown.

In 1992, Flanagan, then known as Jeffrey Wayne Flanagan, was sentenced to four years in jail for burglary, reckless driving, assault and resisting arrest. Flanagan, believed to be from Arkansas, pleaded guilty to the offences in a Texas court and was later paroled by the Dallas County Sheriff's Office.

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Australia - New Zealander sentenced to 14 years prison for $21 million theft
19 March 2013

The well-publicised fraud case against New Zealand-born Hohepa Morehu-Barlow came to a conclusion in Brisbane today when the 37 year-old was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for defrauding his employer.

Morehu-Barlow began working for the Queensland Health Department in 2005 as a corporate Finance Officer. But from 2007 until his arrest four years later he managed to steal more than AU$16.6 million (NZ$20.91m). His fraud was only discovered by chance in 2011 when a colleague did a simple computer search and realised a company receiving funds from the Health Department was in Morehu-Barlow's name.

Following his arrest it emerged that Morehu-Barlow had New Zealand criminal convictions, including stealing $55,356 from the Inland Revenue Department when he worked for it as a student vacation worker, and $31,764 stolen from another employer. He fled New Zealand in 2003 after the Office of the Children's Commissioner, where he was employed on a short-term contract, complained to Police that he had defrauded it of $5625.

Anna Bligh, the Queensland Premier at the time of Morehu-Barlow’s December 2011 arrest issued statements about how a supposed "loophole" had allowed Morehu-Barlow to gain employment in Australia without his New Zealand convictions coming to light and that she intended to ask the New Zealand Government to share its criminal convictions database with the Queensland Government. The Government agreed, and a trial ran for six months, although the results of it have not be publicised.

In fact, the trans-tasman data sharing trial is unnecessary. There has never been a "loophole" with regard to New Zealand sharing criminal records information with Australia, or any other country for that matter.

The only reason Morehu-Barlow’s New Zealand criminal history was not uncovered was because the Queensland Health Department failed to request a New Zealand criminal records check before they hired him.

Annually, about 12% of all criminal records requests processed by the New Zealand Ministry of Justice are on behalf of foreign employers and organisations. Obviously the Queensland Health Department was never one of them.

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Australia - Employee will NZ criminal record commits more fraud
6 January 2012

Warren Attfield, a Finance Officer for the Yaamba Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Men in Bundaberg, Queensland, has been sentenced to 6½ years imprisonment for defrauding his employer of $300,000.

Attfield had earlier been sentenced to five years prison in New Zealand after being convicted in 1996 of embezzling $2.8 million from his Invercargill employer, South Wood Exports Ltd.

Yaamba's former manager, Bob Salam, who was manager at the time Attfield committed the fraud, said he would not have hired him if he had known about his New Zealand convictions.

There has been some media reporting in both Australia and New Zealand suggesting a supposed loophole allowed Attfield to gain employment in Australia despite his New Zealand criminal record.

There is no loophole, Attfield's Australian employer could have at any time requested his New Zealand criminal record.

About 20% of PVL’s background screening enquires are for overseas companies hiring New Zealanders. If you are an overseas company considering engaging a New Zealander you can contact us for assistance in verifying the background of your candidate.

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Australia -  Inquiry into Government security vetting failure
20 September 2011

Allegations of inappropriate security vetting practices by the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency have prompted an investigation by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.  The Agency undertakes security vetting for the majority of Australian Government departments.

The allegations were first raised in June 2010 by former staff of the Defence Security Authority’s vetting centre in Brisbane in the course of an investigation into harassment and bullying, but were not investigated until repeated by “whistleblowers” in May this year.

The complainants allege vetting staff would routinely would fill in blank fields on incomplete clearance forms with bogus details to ensure the applications were processed by the computer.

It is alleged thousands of security clearances undertaken by the vetting centre, and cleared by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, may need to be rechecked.

Stephen Merchent, the Deputy Secretary for Intelligence & Security told a Senate hearing that 20,000 security clearances will have to be re-checked, including 5,000 Australians vetted at the top security level.

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UK - Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator exposed as murderer with 96 previous convictions
13 September 2011

A murderer with 96 previous convictions  slipped through vetting procedures to become a co-ordinator for a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

Checks failed to reveal that Graham Galloway, 66, received a life sentence in 1987 for 'a vicious and deadly assault' with a knife that led to the death of a 24 year-old man at a Somerset holiday park.

He served 16 years for the murder and was released on life parole in 2003.

However, Galloway’s past recently finally came to light when it was discovered he renewed a driving licence in the name of a man believed to have emigrated to New Zealand in April 2010.

Northamptonshire Police have now introduced compulsory checking for all who apply to become Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators.

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UK - Police Officer convicted of rape - lied when joining Police
12 January 2011

Stephen Mitchell, a 42 year-old Northumbria Police Officer has been sentenced to two life terms of imprisonment after being convicted of two charges of rape, three indecent assaults of women he met whilst on duty and six counts of misconduct in a public office. The jury, which deliberated for 23 hours, acquitted him of a further three charges of rape, three of indecent assault and nine counts of misconduct in public office.

Mitchell targeted vulnerable women including heroin addicts and shoplifters by offering to help them while they were in custody at Newcastle's Pilgrim Street police station and then asking for sexual favours.

When Mitchell applied to join the Northumbria Police, he answered “No” to a question on the application form asking if he had ever been investigated or charged with any criminal offence. In fact he had been investigated for a series of sexual assaults on young soldiers while he served in the Army and was due to appear in to Edinburgh High Court in 1997 when the case was withdrawn following the complainants’ decision not to give evidence.

Those charges would have been sufficient to reject Mitchell’s application to join the Police.

It is our view that it is pointless asking questions on a job application form, if the employer has no intention of verifying the answer.

The Northumbria Police issued a statement following Mitchell’s conviction saying they have now changed the way Police applicants are vetted before recruitment. 

The Independent Police Complaints Commissioner said "Stephen Mitchell was a sexual predator who used the cover of a police uniform to assault vulnerable women”.

The judge in his trial said that Mitchell "ruthlessly exploited" his victims for his own pleasure and "degraded them repeatedly". Mitchell is such a danger to women that the judge told him he may never be released from prison. He will not be eligible for parole for 7½ years.

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UK – Border Agency Head imprisoned for lying on CV – history of CV fraud
24 December 2010

Andrew Waldron, the 37 year-old head of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) Commercial Investigation Unit has been sentenced to 2½ years imprisonment for lying about his qualifications and criminal past.

Waldron had been recruited by employment agencies which supplied contractors for various organisations, including Government departments, after claiming he had a law degree, A-Levels, and various other professional qualifications – and later lied that he had served as a special constable with distinction.

In fact, Waldron had none of these qualifications and failed to disclose a previous conviction for similar offending in 2002 when he had been recruited to head the Press Office of the Gloucestershire Police after falsely claiming he had three A-Levels and a university degree.

Firms taken in by Waldron, because they undertook no background screening, included construction company Balfour Beattie, the Vehicle and Operator Service Agency (VOSA), and Coventry City Council, as well as UKBA.

Sentencing Waldron, Judge Robert Orme criticized UKBA, saying it was “lamentable” and “deeply worrying” that it failed to carry out a proper investigation into his past.

He said “I find it remarkable you were not only employed there as a contractor but employed for the better part of four years without any proper checks being carried out into your background.”

PVL Update (10 May 2011):  Waldron was today sentenced to four-and-a-half years imprisonment for offending that took place from January to May 2010 (after he had been sacked by the UKBA and was awaiting trial for his earlier offending).

Waldron defrauded property companies by claiming he could award them £480 million in contracts to house foreign diplomats. In five months he defrauded the companies of £69,000.

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UK - Police Officer convicted of rape – lied when joining Police
25 November 2010

Stephen Mitchell, a 42 year-old Northumbria Police Officer has been convicted of two charges of rape, three indecent assaults of women he met whilst on duty and six counts of misconduct in a public office. The jury, which deliberated for 23 hours, acquitted him of a further three charges of rape, three of indecent assault and nine counts of misconduct in public office.

Mitchell targeted vulnerable women including heroin addicts and shoplifters by offering to help them while they were in custody at Newcastle's Pilgrim Street police station and then asking for sexual favours.

When Mitchell applied to join the Northumbria Police, he answered “No” to a question on the application form asking if he had ever been investigated or charged with any criminal offence. In fact he had been investigated for a series of sexual assaults on young soldiers while he served in the Army and was due to appear in to Edinburgh High Court in 1997 when the case was withdrawn following the complainants’ decision not to give evidence.

Those charges would have been sufficient to reject Mitchell’s application to join the Police.

It is our view that it is pointless asking questions on a job application form, if the employer has no intention of verifying the answer.

The Northumbria Police issued a statement following Mitchell’s conviction saying they have now changed the way Police applicants are vetted before recruitment.  

The Independent Police Complaints Commissioner said "Stephen Mitchell was a sexual predator who used the cover of a police uniform to assault vulnerable women”.

Mitchell will be sentenced on 11 January 2011.

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UK - Fake psychiatrist employed by University of London
27 September 2010

A 57 year-old Sarajevo-born Australian citizen, with previous convictions in Australia for impersonating a doctor was able to go on and secure a position as a senior lecturer in psychiatry at the University of London’s School of Medicine and Dentistry.

For over ten years Vitomir Zepinic repeatedly lied to Australian authorities about his training and presented fabricated documents to medical boards. He forged the signatures of medical practitioners and created bogus references in an attempt to practise as a psychiatrist.

In July 2008 a Sydney court found him guilty of six counts of falsely holding himself out to be a doctor. But he continued the deception, telling an international war crimes tribunal this year he had a medical degree.

In September 2009 he had moved to London and was employed by the School of Medicine but it was not until this year that the University belatedly discovered Zepinic's qualifications were bogus and that he had an Australian criminal record for CV fraud. He was suspended, and resigned later that day.

A spokesman for the University said it was reviewing its background screening policy.

Zepinic was the security chief for the breakaway Serbian state headed by the alleged war criminal Radovan Karadzic. He resigned in 1992 and fled to Australia the following year.

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China - 200 pilots employed with falsified CV’s
6 September 2010

PRC officials have found that more than 200 commercial pilots with fake resumes and work histories have been employed by Chinese airlines.

More than half of them worked for the parent company of an airline involved in China’s worst plane crash in six years.

Throughout China, airports have proliferated as have small regional airlines eager to develop tourism and this had led airlines desperate for staff, hiring pilots whose CV’s had been falsified.

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Australia - Fake “doctor” jailed
16 June 2010

Balaji Varatharaju, a 29 year-old Singaporean citizen has been sentenced to two years imprisonment after using a forged University of Adelaide bachelor’s degree and a fake reference letter, to gain employment as a junior doctor in the Emergency Department at Alice Springs hospital.

Varatharaju had been granted provisional registration by the Northern Territory Medical Board but the Board failed to verify that the supposedly certified copy of the degree was genuine.

During a six month period Varatharaju treated, or had contact with, more than 400 patients

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Australia: Fake Psychologist fools NSW Health authorities for 12 years
4 October 2009

A man posing as a Psychologist was able to fool New South Wales health authorities for over 12 years, with a PhD he bought for $249 over the internet.

Using the alias Dr David Kaye, 45-year-old Turkish-born Ali Davut Sarikaya was allowed to treat police officers, prison guards, public servants and senior legal figures who were referred to his practice in central Sydney with the approval of the state Government.

In 2006 he was appointed to the NSW Department of Health’s Official Visitors Program entitling him to make regular visits to patients in psychiatric facilities. 

Sarikaya, who was arrested as he was about to board a plane for a flight to New Zealand, has been charged with 26 offences. He has earlier convictions for fraud committed in Victoria, in 1994.

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UK - Increase in dishonesty cases sparks vetting call by Social Workers' Regulator
28 May 2009

The General Social Care Council (GSCC), the organisation in England responsible for registering Social Workers and regulating their training and conduct, has told employers to tighten vetting procedures to stem the growing number of social workers being disciplined for dishonest behaviour.

In the past 12 months, six Social Workers and one student have been struck off for breaching the Council's code of practice, requiring honest and trustworthy conduct. Four others have been suspended or admonished.

Offences included abusing patient trust, faking qualifications and failing to disclose past misconduct to employers and the GSCC. During 2007-8, there was just one removal and one admonishment for similar types of misconduct.

Rosie Varley, chair of the GSCC, has written to managers to remind them of their responsibilities under their code of practice. This includes a duty to ensure that only suitable people are allowed into the profession, by thoroughly checking all applications and references.

In the latest hearing, Martha Wright of Manchester, was struck off in April for stealing nearly £5,000 (NZ$12,800) from a mentally disabled client.

Last year Allan Beard, a Cornwall social work student was removed from the register after falsely claiming that he had been a law lecturer in 1997. In fact, he had been serving a prison sentence for fraud.

Since the GSCC's conduct system began in 2006, fifteen of the 74 hearings have concerned dishonesty.

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UK - Woman employed on the basis of fraudulent reference
31 October 2008

A British company, “The Richardsons Group” estimates it lost £380,000 (NZ$1.04 million) after it employed a woman without verifying her nominated referee was who she claimed him to be.

Angela Wheeler applied for the position of Operations Manager in 2006 and in support of her application included a referee by the name of “Tony Sinclair”, who she said was a former colleague at “Green King”.

When contacted by telephone, “Sinclair” gave a glowing reference and Wheeler was subsequently appointed by The Richardson Group to the £45,000 (NZ$123,000) a year job.

However, during the 18 months that 48 year-old Wheeler worked for the company her poor business decisions resulted in it conservatively costing the company NZ$1.04 million.

When the company made further enquiries into Wheeler’s background it discovered the referee “Sinclair” had never worked for Green King and that whilst Wheeler had worked for Green King, the company was not at all satisfied with her performance.

Wheeler subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception. The Richardson Group said it would not have employed Wheeler had it not been for the glowing telephone reference.

Wheeler also pleaded guilty to receiving £9,000 (NZ$24,600) in welfare payments whilst working for the Richardsons Group. She was ordered to repay the £9,000, sentenced to 40 weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years, and fined £5,000  (NZ$13,600).

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USA - Teller pleads guilty to stealing $7 million, bankrupts employer
24 February 2008 – The Courier-Journal

For almost four years, Patricia Helen Sherman hid stacks of $100 bills in her pockets and carried them out of the Obelisk Federal Credit Union in New Albany Indiana where she worked as head teller. Sherman, 50, of Louisville, eventually took $7 million - an average of $152,454 a month - and gambled most of it away at Ohio River casinos.

The staggering scale of the theft - estimated by the FBI to be one of the largest embezzlements against a U.S. financial institution by an employee - stunned co-workers and employees.

Federal investigators declined to comment on why Obelisk's internal controls took so long to discover that money was missing. The embezzlement occurred over 46 months starting around June 2003, officials say.

PVL Comment:  Sherman has since been sentenced to eight years prison . The theft eliminated the 70 year-old Credit Union’s net worth and it was later liquidated.

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USA - Jury awards $12 million against company that failed to undertake pre-employment check
18 January 2008

A jury awarded US$12 million to the mother of a woman who was raped and murdered in 2004. A lawsuit filed on behalf of the victim’s mother contended that the killer was Eriberto Rodriguez, a maintenance worker employed at the victim’s apartment complex.

Rodriguez was convicted in 2006 of burgling apartments in the complex and sexually battering a housekeeper. He was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. The Police said he was the only suspect in the rape and murder of the woman in 2004.

The lawsuit blamed the woman’s death on the lack of a background check before Rodriguez, already a convicted felon and registered sex offender, was hired and given access to all the apartments.

The plaintiff’s lawyer said if the company had undertaken a pre employment check it would have learnt of Rodriguez’s criminal history and not employed him, and the plaintiff’s daughter would still be alive today. The jury agreed.

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UK - Home Office faces cover-up claims over vetting
13 November 2007

The Home Office has been criticised following claims of a cover-up regarding the revelation that up to 5,000 illegal immigrants may have been granted licence's allowing them to work in the British private security industry. The Home Office had earlier been alerted to the matter in July but implemented a news blackout on the disclosure.

It was later forced to admit that one illegal immigrant had been guarding the Prime Minister's car. Last year the Home Office discovered it was employing illegal immigrants as cleaners in the Immigration Department itself.

The Security Industry Authority, (SIA) the agency responsible for issuing security guard licenses (and for reporting to the Home Office) denied it had a legal responsibility to verify that applicants were lawfully entitled to work in England, claiming that it was the responsibility of the employer.

Nonetheless the Authority wrote to 11,000 licence holders informing them of its intention to revoke their licence's within 21 days unless they could demonstrate their right to work in the UK. Further, the Authority has now commenced checking the immigration status of all applicants with the UK Border & Immigration Agency.

PVL Footnote (5 November 2008): The head of the SIA resigned today after it emerged that 38 of his own staff had been employed without themselves being vetted.

The Home Office is reviewing all decisions made by staff who were not vetted and at least one employee has since failed a security check.

The previous month, the Audit Office accused the SIA of overspending by £17 million (NZ$45.8 million).

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UK - "Lacklustre accounting" blamed for £17,000 theft
15 August 2007

The lawyer who defended a 26-year-old secretary charged with stealing £17,680 from her employer said the woman exploited a "culture of lacklustre accounting" to fund her world travels.

New Zealander Nicola Fielding worked for 11 months at JP Morgan and was responsible for processing expense claims and providing petty cash to staff undertaking business trips to Italy. Unspent money was returned to her but instead of accounting for the money she took it to a bureau de change twice a month and deposited it into her bank account.

She used the money to pay for her, and her boyfriend, to take a string of trips in a nine month period, to New York, Turkey, Scotland, Ireland and other destinations

The lawyer cited the "accounting in general" at her office as making the thefts easy and it meant they "didn't stand out as much as perhaps it would have done at another organisation".

Fielding, who had earned £400 per week whilst working at JP Morgan, was sentence to a 51-week suspended sentence, ordered to pay back £2,500 and complete 100 hours of unpaid work.

JP Morgan is a global financial services firm and is part of JP Morgan Chase which has assets of $1.4 trillion world wide.

PVL Footnote (3 April 2008): Eight months later, the Judge issued an arrest warrant against Fielding. It emerged she had attended an induction meeting with the Probation Service but then failed to turn up at  ten community work sessions that had been scheduled for her. She is believed to have fled England and to now be living in Europe.

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Ireland - Academic resigns after three year-old sex conviction discovered
15 July 2007

A Government enquiry was launched into how Dr Niall McElwee, the Irish Director of a child care services centre, was able to remain employed despite being convicted of a sexual offence three years earlier, and despite the Garda (Police) having informed the Health Board of the sexual offence at the time.

McElwee resigned after an anonymous tip-off led his employer to becoming aware of the 2004 Netherlands conviction.

The college lecturer had been on a visit to Amsterdam to study drug addiction when it was alleged that he had been involved in an attempted sexual offence against a group of American girls, aged 15 to 18, on 24 June 2004. McElwee was convicted in Holland of attempted indecent assault after forcing one of the girls, through acts of violence, to endure lewd acts. He was given a three month suspended prison sentence and fined €2,000.

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Singapore - Hotel chain CEO quits after fraudulent CV uncovered
14 June 2007

Patrick Imbardelli, the 46 year-old Australian chief executive of Asia Pacific for Intercontinental Hotels resigned following the discovery that he had lied about his academic qualifications.

Imbardelli had been due to be promoted to the board of InterContinental, which owns the Holiday Inn and Crown Plaza chains, at the start of July. Earlier in 2006, Imbardelli, had been named Asia Pacific hotelier of the year. He had been appointed managing director of InterContinental's Asia Pacific business in 2003. Prior to that he held a number of management posts with Hilton, Hyatt and Southern Pacific Hotels.

Imbardelli, who joined InterContinental in 2000, told the company when he applied for his job that he had three university degrees - a BA from Victoria University in Australia, a BSc and an MA from Cornell University in America.

However, Imbardelli never graduated from any of the institutions.

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UK - Insurance company fined £20,000 for employing fraudster
28 April 2007

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) imposed a penalty of £20,000 on insurance intermediary Besso Ltd, for failing to apply for approval of an employee who held a significant management role at the company.

The employee had previous convictions for fraud and is also alleged to have perpetrated various frauds while he was employed within the Besso group. Had the FSA received an application for approval, the previous convictions could have been detected at an earlier stage and the fraudulent behaviour may have been prevented.

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USA - Dean resigns for falsifying resume for more than 27 years
26 April 2007

Marilee Jones, Dean of Admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who spoke publicly against students inflating their resumés, resigned after 28 years at the MIT for lying about her academic qualifications.

Jones was first hired by MIT as an entry level Admissions Officer in 1979, being later promoted to Associate Director of Admissions, and she served as the Dean of Admissions on an interim basis between May 1997 until January 1998 when she was appointed to the position full-time.

She claimed on her resume that she had degrees from Albany Medical College, Union College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, but she had no degrees from any of those institutions

Jones said "I misrepresented my academic degrees when I first applied to MIT 28 years ago and did not have the courage to correct my resume when I applied for my current job or at any time since." She had applied in 1997 for her current job, where she had become the most prominent Admissions Director in the USA. Jones kept a popular blog and spoke widely about restoring the joys of youth to young people obsessed with their resumes.

Officials only undertook a verification of her qualifications when they received a phone call from a person who questioned her credentials.

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Overseas improvements

UK - One in 10 drop bid for UK bank jobs on vetting
2 March 2015 

More than 10 per cent of people selected for the most senior positions in UK banking withdraw their applications amid the vetting process.

Of the 186 applications processed for the most senior jobs since April 2013, including chief executive officer, chairman and a handful of other positions, 22 people withdrew.

The Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority have made the review process more rigorous since the banking crisis.

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UK - Police to assist companies with combating employee fraud
16 June 2009 

The Metropolitan Police, in cooperation with British employment screening companies have established a forum to share advice and information, and improve the awareness of the importance of employment screening in combating the increasing prevalence of employee fraud.

The Police estimate that fraud costs British employers £20 billion (NZ$43 billion) a year, and that an organisation's own employees are responsible for the majority of fraud-related crime. The Police also believe many business failures are attributable to fraudulent activity by senior executives.  

The aim of the forum, Protecting Employers From Internal Threats (PREFIT) is to facilitate the sharing of information and good practice between employers, employment screening companies, investigators, and the Police.

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UK - More than 6,000 criminals applied to work with children during 2008
24 February 2009

The United Kingdom’s Criminal Records Bureau, the agency responsible for vetting applications from people wanting to work with children and vulnerable people has released figures, under the Freedom of Information Act, revealing 6,750 people with criminal records last year applied for jobs working with children.

They included convicted paedophiles, killers and kidnappers, flashers, child beaters and drug dealers. Two people had convictions for taking indecent photographs of children and four had been convicted of manslaughter.

A Home Office spokesman admitted they had no figures to show if any of these individuals actually obtained teaching positions. The Secretary of State for Children has demanded an investigation.

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UAE imposes life ban on job applicants using fake qualifications
1 October 2008

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has decided to impose a lifetime ban on the entry of foreign workers found to have used fake qualifications to secure employment in the country.  

UAE businesses will also be able to sue for compensation against an employee discovered to have been hired on the basis of bogus qualifications.

Under UAE law, using fake documents is a punishable offence that can lead to a fine of up to 20,000 dirhams (NZ$9,500) and prison term of up to three years.

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UK - All National Health Service staff to undergo vetting
1 April 2008

The British Government has introduced mandatory vetting of all NHS employees. The checks have been introduced following the failed terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow last summer when it emerged that the key suspects had come to the UK to work in the NHS.

The checks will include verification of identity, right to work, registration and qualification, employment history and references, criminal records checks and occupational health checks.

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UK - Personal identity checks for Doctors
18 March 2008

Medical Doctors seeking new employment are to be required to participate in mandatory face-to-face identity checks before being appointed to National Health Service positions.

The new pre-employment check standards have been imposed as a means of supporting employers who have to meet all of the legal requirements of vetting staff to be able to give safe assurance to the public, patients and other staff.

From April, employers will be required to meet a European standard of identity verification, which includes:

• a face-to-face identity check
• verification of identity
• right to work
• registration and qualification
• employment history and references
• criminal records checks
• occupational health checks

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India - Fake CV’s - Firms increase check points
22 February 2008 -The Times of India

The mass recruitment phenomenon in IT/ITeS, BPO, financial services, telecom and retail sectors has led to a spurt of false CV's and fake candidates.

A number of players, including big ones like KPMG and Hong Kong-based Quest Research, have stepped in to make the recruitment procedure for companies more stringent with compulsory pre-employment screening, background checks, including criminal record checks and credential validation and verification.   

 view article»


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British Police reject over 400 job applicants in last three years
13 November 2007

A total of 436 people who applied to work for the Merseyside Police in the period April 2004 to March 2007 were rejected as unsuitable candidates during the pre-employment vetting stage of their applications. Of those rejected, 150 had applied to become Police Officers or Special Constables.

The vast majority of those rejected were turned away because of suspected criminal links, or questionable financial history.

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Canada - 'Didn't you check?': A bad hire can be catastrophic to a businesses' reputation
31 January 2007

If it turns out the person is a rogue and his or her nefarious conduct results in media scrutiny, the first thing reporters ask a company is, 'Didn't you check?

view article»

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Check your references!
7 November 2006

Written or verbal references are virtually useless as a tool for would-be employers, unless heavily contextualized, says executive headhunter Debbie Goodman.

view article»

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UK - Background checking for contractors
March 2006 The British Computer Society

In today's litigious environment, with increasing pressure from regulators and legislation, employers, clients and agencies are taking more care about checking the backgrounds not only of potential employees but also of freelance contractors and consultants.

view article»

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UK - Vetting legislation
March 2006 BBC

Tighter vetting controls on people who want to work in schools announced.

view article»

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CV Fraud: NZ

CV Fraud: Overseas

Theft As A Servant: NZ

Theft As A Servant: Overseas

Employer Failure: NZ

Employer Failure: Overseas