Thu, August 4th, 2011 - 4:11 am - By Gordon Basichis
An ex-Citigroup Accountant was accused of embezzling more than $19 million from his employer. That’s a hefty fee, even for a bank.
While sometimes the pre-employment screening background checks won’t reveal any red flags. That is the employment had no criminal record and no behavior that would indicate the propensity to steal, it doesn’t mean reoccuring employment screening wouldn’t show the effects of an employee who thought he was worth more than he was getting paid.
According the the article in the New York Times, “The Accountant, who is divorced and has two children, had been enjoying the high life. He owned six properties, including an apartment in Midtown Manhattan; two luxury apartments in Jersey City; a $1.35 million house in Tenafly, N.J.; and a $3 million home in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., that had a $500,000 entertainment system and bathroom mirrors that turned to video screens when touched, according to a law enforcement official.
He also owned a Maserati GranTurismo and BMW 550xi. A Ferrari was on order, said the official, who was not authorized to speak about the investigation.”
Well now. That’s pretty nifty when the employee was making maybe $100 Thousand a year. Considering this employee was handling millions and maybe billions of dollars for a bank, perhaps a recurring employment screening process would be well in order. Credit reports, which are relevant to employees holding jobs in the financial district would reveal applications for loans for a Maserati and a Ferrari. The credit report would also show credit the type of high limit accounts that may pose as red flags. Property records searches would reveal lavish property records.
Now, I realize some believe employment credit reports are discriminatory. But this is just one instance where the employee credit report, along with additional background checks, would help protect the employer, Citigroup, from being victimized by an embezzler. Sometimes theory is one thing and reality is just what it is. In this case, recurring background checks would shed light on the reality. Citigroup had an embezzler in its midst.
According to the Times article, “Since leaving Citigroup, he has billed himself as a part-time hedge fund consultant, according to his profile. On Facebook, he counts “traveling the world” as a favorite activity.”
Without conducting the appropriate background checks, someone may want to invest with this guy. Or another employer may want to hire him. What a rude awakening that could be.