I ran across another example of Washington D.C. concerning Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi. A serious lack of employee background checks in his office cost taxpayers dearly due to embezzlement and fraud by unscrupulous hires. This is just another example of how the politicians in Washington are beating our country into a bloody mess through their greed and generally disgusting politics.
The story addresses the fact that the lack of proper background checks at his office has been a problem for at least 10 years. In 2002, Gandhi’s legal adviser Saamir Kaiser was convicted of embezzling city funds in the amount of a quarter-of-a-million dollars. Making matters even worse, it was revealed that he used the money to pay for a new car (Mercedes), his wedding and his honeymoon. After the fact, it was found that Kaiser’s credentials contained false information…he wasn’t actually a lawyer.
After Mayor Anthony A. Williams warned Gandhi to do more thorough pre-employment screening on job candidates, another situation arose in 2008. Stephen Cordi, hired by Gandhi as his Deputy Chief Financial Officer, expressed that he believed the office was making some very bad hiring decisions. In 2007, Gandhi’s tax office was hit with a tax refund fraud suit in the amount of $48 million…the largest embezzlement in D.C. government history.
Cordi went on to say that pre-employment background checks were crucial in fixing the dire situation in the tax office. An investigation showed they were only conducted in Gandhi’s office after the hire, and that they often took weeks or months to complete.
While the report went on to say these problems have since been satisfactorily fixed, it’s an excellent example of what not performing employee checks can do to your company. The wrong person in the right position can be costly…and the damage might even be staring you in the face or whacking your nose a couple times a day. Pay attention to your employee behavior.
One has to wonder why Natwar Gandhi wasn’t more proactive in addressing the problem years ago with all the concern expressed. It often comes down to a couple of bucks and laziness. I know because I’ve been privy to employers that illegally use instant background checks and make a hiring decision based on incomplete information rather than on a county court records verified search. In spite of all the information available and at-your-fingertips resources, many businesses still take the risk…but at what cost in the long run?