Electronic Monitoring Bracelet? Consider a Background Check

Nick Fishman

This story out of the Palm Beach Post caught my eye because it involves so many warning signs that an employer missed or failed to follow up on and ultimately resulted in disaster.  Erika Morales showed up for her first day of work at a medical supply company with an electronic monitoring device courtesy of Palm Beach county.  When asked, she said that she needed to resolve a domestic issue.  The employer never followed up.  Ms. Morales was given access to the personal information of hundreds of clients and in turn used that information to commit identity theft and steal from them.

She is now in jail and charged with 25 counts of identity theft.  See story.

Here’s what we learned in the wash.  The employer says that they conducted an employment background check.  Of course the first signal that perhaps the check was flawed would have been the lovely jewelry she wore around her ankle.  Here’s what they missed:

  • If they would have conducted employment verifications or professional reference interviews they could have known this from her past employers:
      • Walmart: stole two $500 gift cards.
      • Yellow Cab: stole more than $4,000 by logging phony trips and running customers’ credit cards more than once.
      • Kauff’s Towing: stole about $2,500. Prosecutors declined to prosecute.
  • If the would have run a credit report, they would have seen that she had over $78,000 of liens and judgments against her.
  • And then to 6 arrests for fraud and a two year stint in prison that might have been revealed if a proper criminal background check was completed

Who know how much this will cost her employer or how badly their reputation has been damaged.  It could have been avoided with an inexpensive, but thorough employment background check.

Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
Nick Fishman
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