As Corporate Espionage Increases, Man is Sentenced to Fifteen Years in Prison

Tue, August 19th, 2014 - 1:13 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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Corporate espionage is on the upswing.  Since the Great Recession and the economic downturn, either desperate employees or conniving employees have resorted to stealing trade secrets and proprietary information.  We at Corra Group know of at least one company that was seriously damaged by an employee stealing one of their most valued trade secrets and selling it to a foreign company.

Once upon a time there was more loyalty between entity and employee.  For the most part, that seems to be long gone along with the twenty year stints at one company at the gold watch at retirement.  Today it is essential to conduct background checks on all employment candidates, but it is also wise to conduct ongoing background checks to be sure they have not gotten into the kind of trouble that would cause them to steal.  Remember, we are not talking about a few paper clips and notepads anymore.  We are talking about the theft of information that could cause serious damage to your company.

Here is an excerpt of the article from the Wall Street Journal.

California chemical engineer Walter Liew has been sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined $28.3 million for economic espionage. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said Thursday that Liew had “turned against his adopted country over greed” when he sold Chinese government-controlled companies DuPont’s secret recipe for the white pigment titanium dioxide. Liew received $28 million from those companies in exchange for the recipe. Aside from the $28.3 million, the engineering company launched by Liew and his wife was fined $18.9 million. Two former DuPont engineers have already been convicted of economic espionage for their involvement in the case. The Liews are believed to have hired those engineers and paid them thousands of dollars to steal documents related to the manufacturing process for titanium dioxide.

South Korea Suspends Access to Criminal and Civil Searches

Thu, August 14th, 2014 - 9:56 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Please note that criminal background check searches out of South Korea are suspended until further notice. The courts changed their access policy and now require a case number in order to access court records. The recent legislation amended in the PIPA (Personal Information Protection Law) limits the collection and use of the Korean ID number which is necessary in order to complete a criminal search out of South Korea.

There has been significant legislative and administrative activity in the data protection field in South Korea recently. The Korean Personal Information Protection Act which took effect in 2011 regulates public and private sector processing of the personal information of individuals.

The latest update to the Act was released on 07 Aug 2014 and announced the intention to prohibit Resident Registration Numbers (KID) being collected and processed with an anticipated enforcement date of 6th February 2015.

The new notification update relates to restrictions on the management of the KID.There is significant confusion around this as other sections of the Act, allowing for the collection of the KID with consent have NOT been amended.

On the same date the Seoul District Courteffected a change to their court database (which is linked to the Korean Court Network) access , which in effect rendered it impossible to conduct a search on an individual within their database, which holds bankruptcy, civil litigation and criminal court case details.

Prior to 07 August a search of the Seoul District Court database could be made using an individual’s name and KID. Effective 07 August this access was removed and searching the database is only possible with a SPECIFIC case name and the individual’s name.There was NO notification of this change.

In summary effective 07 August 2014 verification of the status of an individual’s bankruptcy, civil litigation and criminal court case records is NO longer available

Corra Group Will Add Staff in Preparation for a Third Quarter Surge in Employment Screening

Wed, August 13th, 2014 - 10:46 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Corra Group is preparing for a robust fall season as HR managers return from vacation, and employers in general add to the impressive job growth statistics of the past two months. The El Segundo, California-based background checking service is adding to its staff in anticipation of an uptick in employment screening.

“We can gauge from our clients in what industry sectors we see appreciable job growth,” said Nick Gustavson, Corra Group Co-Founder. We see expanding employment in healthcare and in the energy industry as the country seeks to become energy independent. We also see hiring in the financial industry, in private equity and venture capital groups. Investors can’t just sit on their money and collect little or no interest. So, some are taking advantage of the economic recovery and buying companies or engaging in mergers and acquisitions.”

Gustavson noted Corra Group conducts a broad variety of background checks. He pointed out that the company is always sourcing new researchers to meet the need in relation to the increase of international hires.

“We conduct international criminal searches in just about every country,” said Gustavson. “We also conduct international education verification and international employment verification searches. We have been expanding our capability to conduct international civil and financial services in a great deal of countries. As each industrial sector becomes more demanding, we are constantly sourcing products for the global market. International background searches are a major necessity.”

For the complete release, please click on this link.

Background Checks and Healthcare Workers

Tue, August 5th, 2014 - 11:02 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Recently,  at Corra Group ran background checks for one of  our healthcare clients.  The final report revealed serious criminal records.  As such, it serves as a reminder on the necessity of employment screening for anyone staffing employees in the healthcare industry.

Here is the link to that article.

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