The category of fraud and sanctions checks is an incredibly broad one, drawing on lists aggregating data on individuals that their actions or background may pose a risk to a potential employer for example.
Our main product in this category is the fraud and sanctions search which uses data from thousands of different lists and data sources. The intention of such a check is to establish whether an individual or organisation has any connection (whether known or suspected) to illegal activities; whether they’re subject to economic sanctions or regulatory penalties; or whether their name appears on any number of watchlists maintained by government and law enforcement agencies.
Typically, names appear on such lists because of connections to things like terrorism, drugs and weapons trafficking or money laundering. Needless to say, such people and organisations are unlikely to be the sort you want to be hiring or doing business with. In many cases, the fact they appear on these lists may preclude you from doing so anyway – as is the case for US businesses with the list maintained by the US Office of Foreign Asset Control (created as part of the country’s Patriot Act legislation and designed to stop US institutions being abused by enemy states and terrorists).
Data from more than 300 law enforcement agencies, criminal courts and investigative news sources from around the world currently feeds into these checks. As well as criminal associations, such checks can reveal whether someone is a Politically Exposed Person (PEP). No single, global definition of a PEP exists but the term is typically applied to anyone entrusted with a prominent public function, such as high profile government and political figures or senior leaders of government-backed commercial enterprises.
There is no assumption of criminal activity attached to being a PEP. However, holding positions of influence means that they (and their immediate family and known close associates) present a greater risk of being able to launder money, embezzle funds and give or take bribes. As such, being aware that someone is a PEP is the first step towards putting in place all necessary measures to regulate your business relationship with that person.
Examples of some of the more specialist searches that can be included within a fraud and sanctions check are a Cifas search in the UK and a FACIS check in the US.
Cifas is a not-for-profit association through which hundreds of member organisations can exchange information on people known to have committed fraud when employed by those organisations or when doing business with them . When considering to do business or to hire someone, Cifas members – or third parties authorised by them – can check that the individuals don’t appear on the Cifas internal and national fraud databases, thus preventing proven fraudsters from moving unchallenged between organisations.
A Fraud and Abuse Control Information System (FACIS) check draws on numerous US data sources, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Food and Drug Administration and various federal and state licensing boards and certification agencies. The intention here is to establish whether a healthcare professional has any history of disciplinary action, covering anything from letters of reprimand through to debarments and exclusions.