Can You Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?
Forensic Due Diligence
The recent news that a BA Club official stole £1million from staff funds highlighted once again the importance of organisations – both large and small – carrying out proper due diligence when recruiting new staff.
Whether it be identity fraud, lying about qualifications or stealing cash, any prospective employer would want to be sure that their new recruits are telling the truth and are fraud-free.
The fact that in this case, the employee had not one, but two, previous convictions for fraud should have been picked up in even the most basic of background checks – had any been done. And there is absolutely no excuse for failing to establish that they did not have the qualification they claimed to have.
The subsequent patterns of blatant extravagant spending – on business class airfares, lavish hotels and so on – should have also set the alarm bells ringing. Colleagues are likely to have spotted this – in my experience, someone always knows – but for some reason this was also missed.
In a similar case I investigated, again where the individual had an extravagant lifestyle and had previous convictions for fraud, told his colleagues that he had been left money by a relative. His junior colleagues also knew about his time in jail for fraud (his CV said he had been travelling) but they didn’t feel comfortable reporting it so they stayed quiet.
If I had a pound for every time I had heard, “he said he won the lottery” or “has been left money by his grandma” or “been lucky on the horses”, I would be a very rich man. This is a rare occurrence and should set alarm bells ringing.