If you fail to pay your bills and later resolve the matter, fast forward seven years and your credit report doesn’t list it any longer. This is not true of criminal records found at the courts and state agencies. The Fair Credit Reporting Act and State Statutes may gag a Background Check company from reporting valuable information to an employer when screening a background check applicant for hire, but the criminal cases are still there at the source court or police agency decades later. When criminal cases are open or unresolved for decades, a reliable background check company will investigate enough to determine the status of the cases listed regardless of the case filing date. “I Was Framed” Story 2 is inspired by a true story behind the scenes at Cluso, a Texas licensed Private Investigation Company.
We find the term “Seven Year Criminal Background Check” is drastically misunderstood by those ordering background reports, many of our industry competitors, and especially the job applicants being screened.
The Real Story
Our client “ABC Company” required a general background check to place a subcontractor on-site at a Fortune 100. We performed our usual identity cross-check, and did not flag for any possible deception with the information provided from the applicant on the background check release form, but the candidate flagged himself by contacting us in the first day asking questions about our investigation.
An employment candidate with a clear conscience does not usually call us asking about our investigation scope and turnaround. We notice when a candidate calls us. The scope is first selected based on “provided” address history by the job applicant but we have tools available to cross-check for omitted places. There are many background check companies which stop at the candidate provided locations; however, a diligent investigation company cannot chance the candidate will omit the one location he or she knows a criminal case exists, therefore, we expand the scope with an independent tracing tool. Since this applicant had a relatively common name, this caused a bit more work on our end to resolve possible cases ensuring a match to this particular candidate. Initially, we found very old case filings with felony level charges matched to the candidate.
If a case is unresolved, it is considered active, pending and is reportable.
While in progress on the research, we received information from a state police agency our candidate had an active warrant from their state and another in another state. The cases were from the 1990s but the warrants were active and open.
Our final report included the active warrants and candidate disqualified from the Fortune 100 contract. The candidate immediately disputed our report making the statement he only authorized a seven year background and mentioned the cases were from the 1990s. An open/active warrant is in the present and cases they represent are unresolved and open.
The candidate had passed several other background checks in recent years and he stated, so he thought the warrants were canceled and cases closed because of how many years had passed. We confirmed the open warrant status and let the candidate know. He said we were on the only background check company which found the active warrants.
There are pending cases and fugitives from justice unresolved for decades. The candidates with old pending cases and felony warrants which fled the state may clear a standard seven year background check in our industry. If the background check skips looking at a 1990s case because of its filing date age, you may unknowingly hire a fugitive due to a “Clear” background report.
Active warrants, open/pending cases are presently unresolved cases regardless of the age of the filing date or warrant issued date, and if you do not see open cases or warrants on your current background check report, the report is not thorough or accurate.
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