Corra Daily Planet » 2012 » October

FINRA Sanctions Financial Trader

Wed, October 31st, 2012 - 6:11 am - By Gordon Basichis

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As Corra Group conducts a fair share of business research and financial vetting as part of its background checking program, we are going to be calling attention to various articles detailing with possible financial malfeasance and sanctioning by the governing financial bodies.

According to an article on Association of Corporate Counsel….”David Lerner Associates, a private investment company which claims to have $9 billion in assets under management, David Lerner, its founder, and William Mason, its head trader, were sanctioned by FINRA. The charges and sanctions relate to unfair sales practices in connection with the sale of shares in Apple REIT Ten, a non-traded $2 billion Real Estate Investment Trust or REIT and excessive markups charged over a 30 month period on the sale of municipal bonds and collateralized mortgage obligations or CMOs….

“On both charges the firm was fined $2.3 million and will pay $12 million in restitution to customers involved. In addition, Mr. Learner was suspended from the securities industry followed by a two year suspension from acting as a principal. He was also directed to pay a fine of $250,000. Mr. Mason was suspended for six months from the securities industry and directed to pay a $200,000 fine.”

Corra Group works with its clients to help assure that its potential associates and those involved in possible partnerships and co-ventures do not have records in their histories that would give our clients pause to engage.  We conduct a variety of background checks, both on the  principals and the corporate entities.

Janitor Held for Woman’s Workplace Death

Mon, October 29th, 2012 - 9:55 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Workplace violence can vary in motive.  In cases where the violence is external meaning an employee is injured by someone outside the workforce it can be a random incident, the result of a robbery, or some altercation.  The persons involved may not even know each other and there may have been no deliberate intent to commit violence.   The violence may have occurred out of the incident itself.

In other cases, workplace violence can occur between two employees or an aggrieved lover who burst into the office to do harm to the person with whom he is involved.  There are the occasions where workplace bullying creates a scenario where the bullying reaches critical mass and the aggrieved responds violently, either harming the person who was bullying him or taking it out on office staff in general.

I have written much about workplace violence with one recent article entitled, Elderly Worker Sentenced for Workplace Violence.   As the title indicates, workplace violence is never limited to the younger workers.  The person in this article was 75 years-old when he hurt others.

Now here is a case where a janitor is charged with murdering a woman in the workplace.  There is no motive, really, at least no motive has been given.  According to the article in NKY.Com, the suspect had previous criminal records.  “He previously served two prison terms, one for receiving stolen property and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon in 1996 and one for theft by deception in 1994. ”

Would background checks have helped prevent this thoughtless killing?  It’s hard to say.  As these were serious offenses but not violent crimes, the hiring party may have decided to employ the suspect anyway.  Whether it was to give the suspect a second chance, or whether it was hard to hire a janitor who was free of any prior criminal convictions, it’s difficult to say.   And then in many states there are limits to how far back one can search for criminal records when considering a job applicant for employment.   Other considerations are the age of the crime, its severity and whether there have been other crimes committed since the more severe offense.

So here we are–on one hand wanted to give convicted felons a second chance.  On the other hand, we’re sorry that we did.   It’s a tough call with no easy answers.   It’s just a tragedy for reasons that we are not really sure.   Which makes it that much more tragic.


Corra Group Prepares for Third Quarter Holiday Season Employment Screening

Wed, October 24th, 2012 - 4:18 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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Corra Group is preparing for the traditional third quarter hiring push for the holiday season. As businesses prepare for the expected surge in retail, dining, and in the hospitality industry, Corra Group will be ramping up to service its clients for background checks and employment screening.

“We expect hiring will be up this holiday season,” said Nick Gustavson, Co-Founder of Corra Group. “Analysts are predicting a four percent increase in retail sales, which should also translate into more people dining out and taking vacations. This means retail venues will be employing more people than they have for the past number of years as well as restaurants and destination sites.

Gustavson pointed out that many clients hire throughout the year. But during the fourth quarter, he noted two additional and distinctive hiring patterns. The first includes the retailers and the hospitality employers, and the second includes a broader spectrum of businesses that are making plans for the coming year.

For the entire press release, please click on this link


When Cops Hire Criminals

Mon, October 22nd, 2012 - 11:07 am - By Gordon Basichis

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There has long been a claim that the distinction between cop and criminal can be a fine line, indeed.  You can buy into the theory, or you can leave it alone.   But when cops hire those with criminal records, then that fine line becomes obfuscated and the situation can prove confusing.   Such is the case when the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department hired a man who admitted to drug use, liaisons with prostitutes, and who was on probation for assaulting someone.

A background check had been conducted and all of the above had been reported.   Nevertheless, the man was hired.   He has connections, or so it would appear.

From time to time I have written about law enforcement agencies and public services agencies around the country hiring people with criminal records.  Maybe it’s a hallowed tradition, or an unspoken belief that convicted criminals make better cops and public officials because they can better understand other felons.   Just joking.  But not really.  One such article I wrote was entitled, Another Police Department May Have Hired Despite Records on Criminal Background Checks.

It is especially disconcerting when public service agencies and law enforcement bureaus hire sex offenders.  Especially sex offenders who prefer children to adults.   One has to wonder.

Some agencies have not ordered background checks.  With others, they have ordered perfunctory background checks.  And still the more common reason these people get hired is that the responsible agency may order background checks, but  no one bothers to read them.

According to the article….”Pierce Murphy, ombudsman for the Boise police and a national advocate for police oversight, said hiring someone with a background such as Bissman’s is a potential public safety threat. Even someone hired into a relatively low-level law enforcement position, he noted, would have access to sensitive locations and information.”

In fairness, it has been reported that since he was hired the employee in question has done a good job.  So go figure.

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