We have discussed before how a recent and unfortunate appellate decision in California is slowing down or preventing criminal background checks for employment and tenancy (here and here), much to the detriment to public safety in the Golden State. Sadly, Californians are at risk of being defrauded when an employer or a landlord is prevented from looking at the criminal past of a job or an apartment application. Past may be prologue.
In October 2021, Gregory Allan Dawson of San Diego was denied his application to become a mortgage loan officer because the California Financial Protection and Innovation did a background check and discovered his criminal history of stealing money from people and from banks. He also lied on his application to become a licensed loan officer in California by not indicating his criminal past.
In October 2008, Dawson pled guilty to theft and fraud in District Court, Arapahoe County, Colorado. He was sentenced to two years’ probation and assessed fines, costs, and restitution./1/
Without access to criminal history information, fraudsters may be more ikely to find employment as loan officers and in other positions of financial trust. The ability to conduct a background check is critical to protecting Californians, and people across the U.S.
/1/ In the Matter of Comm. of Fin. Protec. & Reg. v. Dawson, Comm. Of Fin. Protec. & Reg., NMLS ID NO.: 2068278, Oct. 7, 2021.
Eric J. Ellman is Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) in Washington, DC. He also served for eight months as Interim President and CEO of the Association. More