September 16th, 2014 | Sterling
Ohio Missions Faked Out By Wanted Fugitive
Even if you are using some type of background check, is it enough? A mission shelter in Warren, Ohio thought they had their bases covered by conducting public record searches and paid background checks on individuals before they were accepted. Unfortunately, they were sorely mistaken.
In July, much to their surprise, the mission found out that they had taken in Shawn Fake, a man who had allegedly raped two children in 2000. Fake was on the Pennsylvania State Police’s Ten Most Wanted List after being officially charged with 26 counts relating to the rapes.
The mission had changed their background checking policy after a New York murder suspect was found at the facility. So how did another wanted fugitive pass their background check? Unfortunately, like many organizations, their process had gaps that can be exploited by determined criminals. In this case, they did not account for individuals with forged identification that allowed Fake to take up shelter in the mission for three months. In fact, he used a fake New Jersey I.D. with the alias Richard Cahill to trick several missions into accepting him.
The mission had taken measures to create a safe environment for the women, children, and other individuals that reside at the shelter, but they were missing a very key component of the background check that may have helped catch this faker in the act.
The Social Security Number (SSN) Trace is one of the most valuable pieces of a criminal record check. You can use an individual’s SSN to locate residential address history and a list of potential aliases. Once you’ve captured a comprehensive list of aliases and jurisdictions to search, you can then look into court records at the county, state, or federal district level. By conducting a criminal record check based on an SSN Trace, the mission would have searched Fake’s real name and found the outstanding warrant.
But what if he provided the mission with a fake SSN? A Consent Based SSN Verification (CBSV) could have been used to verify if the name and social security number provided match the Social Security Administration’s records. The results of this search include a “yes” or “no” match result and in the event that the individual associated with the SSN is deceased, the employer or requesting agency is notified. The purpose of CBSV is not to verify identity or provide any insight into employment eligibility or work status. CBSV exists to prevent the misuse of SSN information and fraud.
The moral of the story here is that an effective background check is designed to close as many gaps as possible by layering on additional searches. The more tools you use to locate jurisdictions where crimes may have been committed, the stronger and more comprehensive your search will be. When an organization relies on only one search – whether it’s a public record search, national database search, or SSN Trace and 7 year county search – it leaves them open to hiring a dangerous offender.
If you’re concerned that your background screening policy has gaps similar to the Ohio missions, contact SterlingBackcheck. We can evaluate your current screening practices and make recommendations on how you can improve your background checks to provide a safer and more efficient workplace.
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