Digging into workplace misbehavior

Early-stage due diligence for workplace misbehavior

“Plays well with others” Remember your report cards from kindergarten? Early on, we were encouraged and graded on our ability to get along with classmates and teachers. Now that we’re all grown up (in some ways), it seem that we’re still learning. Thanks to recent high-profile alleged improprieties, the spotlight is definitely on how well […]

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Due diligence investigations come in all flavors

Levels of due diligence background investigations

A previous post described the differences between a due diligence background investigation and a basic background check and why you shouldn’t settle for less than what you need. After that post, a colleague made a great comment in a Twitter conversation that should be addressed. Fellow Certified Fraud Examiner Robert Gardner, pointed out that “…there’s […]

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Google alternatives: A little privacy, please!

Privacy-based Google alternatives

Recently, I heard a T.V. news commentator say, “Everything you ever need to know is on Google.” If that’s where he gets most of his information, it’s easy to see why the industry is in so much trouble, but I’ll leave that discussion for another day. For now, judging from reader response, it’s clear that […]

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Don’t rely on a basic background check

Due diligence background investigations

People often confuse a due diligence background investigation with other types of background checks, including employment, tenant, and regulatory checks. Unfortunately, this confusion can lead to a false sense of security. For example, some may feel that, since U.S. securities law requires broker-dealers to “fingerprint certain associated persons working in a non-registered capacity who may […]

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Manage risk with third-party due diligence

Third-party due diligence

On February 6th, The New York Times reported that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) fired contractor Tiffany Brown, sole owner and employee of Tribute Contracting LLC. The agency hired Brown’s firm after Hurricane Maria to supply food for hungry residents in Puerto Rico. It appears that, instead of the agreed-upon 18.5 million meals, Brown […]

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Resource roundup: Digging deeper for company information

Digging deeper for company information in due diligence investigations

When investigating companies and executives, digging for details means going beyond Google and trying specialized databases. Google is a great start for basic information, but due diligence requires a deep dive into the workings of your target company and how they operate – including the good, the bad, and the ugly. That’s why every serious […]

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Phelps Research is now Marcy Phelps & Associates

Marcy Phelps and Associates

After 18 years in business, I’ve changed the name of my company. It sounds strange, feels different. And now it’s time to move on. Not much else has changed, except the domain name. I haven’t moved in a new direction, and the company still offers due diligence services that inform our clients’ important business decisions. […]

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Here’s to another 18 years

Celebrating 18 years

Eighteen years ago, I started working with my first client. As I was closing in on completing my Masters degree in Library and Information Services, one of my connections from grad school brought me in on a very cool project creating a virtual academic library for online MBA students. This connection contacted me at the […]

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Even more Google alternatives

Google alternatives

Google alternatives still reign as the most popular posts on this blog, so I’ve decided to share some more with you. And since Google eliminates features almost weekly, it’s a good idea to try some specialized search engines to handle what Google can’t. Yippy – Clustering results into topics helps with narrowing your focus and […]

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Hedge fund fraud – The real story

fruad prevention

If ever there was a candidate for the Due Diligence Hall of Shame, this is it. Thanks to investigator Brian Willingham, who posts really good stuff on Twitter, I came across a recent NY Times article that describes the fraud and the outcome, and they’re both shameful. I’ll start with the outcome, and then I’ll […]

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