Thursday, November 30, 2006

Did They Do a Reference Check?

Embezzling from one employer is bad enough, but some people just can't seem to stop themselves even when they get a new job.  Eric Hurt entered a guilty plea in August 2006 to fraud charges related to embezzling over $110,000 while he worked at the Hoboken Housing Agency from 2001 to 2004 by writing 34 checks to himself (see earlier post here).  While awaiting sentencing on that charge, the government determined that Hurt also embezzled anywhere from $120,000 to $200,000 for his next employer, the Brooklyn Day Montessori School, where he was business manager from 2005 to 2006.  According to a press release (here) issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, "he issued salary and bonus payments to himself from the school well in excess of his authorized salary; made unauthorized wire transfers of money from a school bank account to himself; and used the school’s ATM card to make unauthorized cash withdrawals from a school bank account for his personal benefit."  I wonder what kind of reference he got from the Hoboken Housing Authority before he took the school job.  Needless to say, a second embezzlement won't help when Hurt is finally sentenced. (ph)

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The problem most employers run into is that because of fears of libel suits from a former employee, the former employer will only confirm that the employee worked for the company. In some cases they will not even confirm the time period of employment let alone identify a supervisor or co-workers that could be interviewed as references.

Posted by: Bob | Dec 1, 2006 12:48:00 AM

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