California companies complete background checks for a number of reasons. These checks allow prospective employers to review an applicant’s criminal history, credit report, and past employment. The last of these three is perhaps least well known because employers more often rely on résumés to detail an applicant’s work history and experience. However, a recent event concerning a California executive’s phony credentials may make employers scrutinize that aspect of the background check a little more closely.
Broadcom executive falsified education
According to reports, Broadcom Corp., a broadband and wireless business headquartered in Irvine, California, had to fire their senior vice president, Vahid Manian, when a background report garnered from Barry Minkow’s Fraud Discovery Institute revealed he had falsified educational credentials he had filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission . He claimed he had received a “B.S.E.E. and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Irvine.”
Broadcom’s statement was short and to the point, stating simply that “the employment of Vahid Manian, Senior Vice President, Global Manufacturing Operations of Broadcom Corporation . . . was terminated.”
Microsemi executive under investigation
This is not the only recent occurrence of falsified credentials. Microsemi, another semiconductor company specializing in aerospace and communications manufacturing, was in the news with one of its executives, James J. Peterson, denying claims that he had falsified his educational experience. Though he claims to have received a “B.A. in business administration and an M.B.A from Brigham Young University,” the Minkow Report could find no evidence of either of these degrees.
In a press release, Peterson said, “I am working directly with the university to clarify this situation. It appears that the background check there may have mistakenly been made with the name ‘James J. Patterson.’” However, a spokesperson with Brigham Young maintained “that she checked degree records again and couldn’t find any record of a degree for Peterson. She said she had been checking the right name.”
In addition, Minkow’s background check showed the correct birth date and social security number had clearly been used, making the likelihood of error smaller than ever. Ironically, both men served on the Board of Directors of STEC Inc. and Peterson admits that he “had vetted and hired Manian when the two worked for Silicon Systems Inc.” back in the 1990s. Worse news than this came when the Fraud Discovery Institute investigated the board and proved that “two of four members of [STEC Inc.’s] audit, compensation, and nominating committees used phony credentials in SEC filings.”
In each of these cases, more complete analysis of background information might have prevented these men from being hired using falsified credentials. We offer this crucial service to employers in California so they can be sure they can find the applicants they’ve been looking for.