Denha & Associates, PLLC Blog

Those Who Surround Us

By: Paul Dank, PCI, CFE

For those of us who have succeeded in life and business, like many of you reading this newsletter, you have likely achieved a high net worth and for some, notoriety and even celebrity status. This creates an enviable lifestyle, but also changes how others see you, particularly when our relationship with them involves money. What I mean by this is, every time you want to do a deal or hire good help, the other person needs you (and your money) more than you need them.

Let’s face it, no matter how noble or principled someone is, she or he is going to act in their self-interest most of the time. If the deal / job you can provide is not the most lucrative one available at the moment, they will take a pass. If they are approaching you with an opportunity that requires your capital, expertise or reputation, they need you even more. That need or expectation can be the problem and many times, there are warning signs of this type of behavior in their past.  That’s where fact based background information becomes essential.

So who falls into this category of people who need you more than you need them? On the personal side, the list is long: nannies, housekeepers, tutors, nurses, caregivers, cooks, bookkeepers, financial advisors, personal trainers, handymen and more. These people get to know a great deal about you. They become part of your private life. They have access. Unfortunately, they often want more than their wage and feel entitled to take what they think they are truly owed. One does not have to think real hard to come up with real world examples of these types of service providers who end up taking advantage of their position to manipulate, abuse or defraud their employer. One common thread in many of those examples is the lack of an adequate background investigation before they were hired. When something goes wrong with this type of employee, it ends up being about more than money and your family members are usually the victims. The emotional cost and time spent on these matters is absolutely not worth it.

Outside of the home, when doing a business deal with someone, either as part of an investment, partnership or key hiring decision, the risk profile is the exact same. You may know that this person has experience in a certain field or even held a position with a reputable company previously, but how do you know what they individually accomplished or worked on? How do you that the person whose name they provided as a professional reference is an actual impartial former supervisor? A traditional pre-employment screening service is highly unlikely to give you what you need.

As a friend, I advise you to surround yourself with people you like and believe in. As an investigative expert, I advise you to save yourself ten thousand headaches and get a professional background check conducted before you make the decision to engage anyone. It will be a small investment in making sure you have a solid, fact based foundation to support your choice.

Paul Dank, PCI, CFE

Paul is the President of Advanced Surveillance Group, a background check and corporate investigation agency with global reach, based in Metro-Detroit. Paul is a client of Mr. Denha as well as trusted investigative resource. As a Michigan based professional investigative agency, all clients benefit from a legal guarantee of confidentiality that matches the attorney client privilege. For more information about Paul’s services, please visit or call him directly at 586-493-0300.