Case Studies: Background Screenings

A Comprehensive Background Screening Program Established

When Tyson Perry took over as security director of a major Midwest manufacturer, he discovered that a recent embezzlement had cost the company over a million dollars, after they had failed to discover that a new management employee was a former felon now using a false identity. After that manager was fired, Perry was brought in as corporate security director. He had a strong law enforcement background, but he reached out to Trace Investigations to help set-up a new pre-employment screening program in the private sector. Identity verification protocols and extensive criminal, civil and federal watch lists screening components were incorporated and launched across the company’s several manufacturing locations. Since the program’s inception, thousands of individuals have been screened and qualified as viable job candidates. In addition, Trace Investigations identified numerous unqualified candidates who provided false information on resumes and applications, not only concealing criminal pasts but offering false education and prior employment credentials. Occasionally, our identity verification protocol through the resources of the Social Security Administration continues to reveal an individual with a false Social Security Number.

Result: A comprehensive pre-employment screening program enabled a company to save money in employee turnover costs, to eliminate losses due to employee dishonesty and to provide a safe and secure workplace environment.



A False Public Record Discovered and Eliminated

John Smith had lived in multiple states throughout his life. He was not listed in the National Sex Offender Public Registry; however, a criminal record returned from a researcher based in a county in Florida showed John Smith had been convicted of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, a felony offense. The two results indicated that something else could be hiding in John Smith’s past. An analyst at Trace Investigations went on to review the case file from Florida and noted that there was a reference to a conviction in the state of Utah. A search for the conviction in Utah revealed a case where the individual had gone through the juvenile court system. This conviction in juvenile court (sealed and not reportable by federal law) did not require John Smith to register as a sex offender. However, when John Smith moved from Utah to Florida, he registered as one — in error. When he moved to a new county in Florida, he did not re-register because he realized he should not have registered in the first place. Charges were brought against Mr. Smith, though, for failing to register as a sex offender when he moved and he was convicted. The analyst at Trace Investigations continued to follow the evidence trail and discovered a circuit court case where Mr. Smith appealed his conviction, based on bad legal counsel and the premise that charges never should have been brought in the first place. He won his appeal and the disposition clearly stated that the felony conviction of failure to register as a sex offender should be overturned and the record expunged. However, there never was an expungement, and that was how Trace Investigations ended up with a public record that had been recorded and reported in error by the court. How many times had this false record been reported and used against Mr. Smith without his knowledge? We had to do whatever was possible to see it didn’t happen again.

Trace Investigations pulled together the relevant materials from Florida and Utah and contacted the clerk of the court in Florida where the conviction was still part of the public record. The file was removed and Mr. Smith’s record was cleared. It would not be falsely reported in the future. Our background screening report to our client showed that John Smith had no reportable criminal history.

Erroneous criminal records reported in a background screening can cost an applicant a job and place a prospective employer in a precarious legal position. When records are not reviewed for accuracy and reportability based on state and federal employment law, errors in the public record can quickly lead to a noncompliant background screening report. Such reporting errors can jeopardize a job applicant’s employment opportunities, and quickly place an employer and their screening firm in a precarious legal position.

Result: Because of the due diligence of our analysts and investigators, Trace Investigations was able to prevent the reporting of an inaccurate and egregious public record on a job applicant. A job applicant’s record was cleared with the steward of the records and our client was provided with an accurate screening report, eliminating a serious liability if a job had been denied based on the reporting of a false criminal history.


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All names have been changed for privacy concerns.