One of my colleagues in the Hillard Heintze investigations practice often states, “the best prospects are the ones who have been burned,” meaning that many folks do not truly realize the value of our due diligence investigation services until they have been faced with issues that could have been mitigated – or eliminated – through proper due diligence, such as a pre-employment background investigation. Experience has taught them a painful and expensive lesson. Although, in many ways it is hard to argue against this theory, I still hold out hop e that through education and examples of issues faced by other organizations, business leaders will see that spending a little bit of money up front, can save you a lot more in the long run.

100,000 Reasons to Conduct a Pre-Employment Due Diligence Investigation

I came across one prime example recently of a former employee of a large American manufacturing company who was charged with embezzling over $100,000 in cash and stealing over $12,000 in products from his employer. According to the article, this man was a well-paid employee who led teams of sales reps around the country to demonstrate the company’s products. The article didn’t specify, but I would presume that the employee likely had a pretty decent expense account relating to this type of work.

An Escort Service in Vegas

What did this fraudster do with his ill-gotten gains? He funded his escort service business in Las Vegas, of course! I don’t think you need to be Hercule Poirot to know that if a person is caught embezzling over a $100,000 from his employer to fund an escort service in Vegas, this probably isn’t his first rodeo.

What Five Minutes Could Have Revealed

So being the nosy sort and knowing the proper searches to conduct, I did a five-minute due diligence review to see what might be reflected about this guy in public records. Wouldn’t you know it? A string of criminal convictions and civil judgments spanning nearly 20 years came up naming the subject, with the exception of a few years of no activity – but I will get back to that in a minute. His convictions, to name just a few, included misdemeanor battery, felony bail jumping, driving while his license was revoked, and felony theft. Additionally, there were a number of civil judgments filed against this subject in favor of either plaintiffs or creditors. Oh, and I almost forgot, what was he up to during his lull in activity? Doing time in federal prison! I would think that a business that was giving an employee an expense account and face time with clients would want to know if he has a tendency to steal or beat people up. My guess is it is more likely that he was not vetted because, I found out this information by doing only two, very rudimentary searches on this individual. Now, not every due diligence investigation can come back with results in less than five minutes, but the bottom line: a good, well-rounded, pre-employment due diligence investigation is always going to be cheaper than giving a guy with a history of malfeasance the company American Express Card.