After my post on redemption for erring financial institutions, someone has raised an interesting related point. What about clients with spent convictions in their past? And, even more tricky, what about such employees? Under various pieces of legislation (e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 in the UK), cautions and convictions (apart from the most serious sentences) in most jurisdictions eventually become spent, and the ex-offender no longer has to declare them. But – particularly in small towns and small jurisdictions – word gets around. And Google searches quickly turn up local news stories and court reports. If someone has something dodgy in their past, and if that dodginess is financial in nature, what is the risk-aware MLRO to do?
On the other hand, our entire justice and prison system is built on the concept of redemption: you pay your penalty and move on. And redemption is the bedrock (indeed, the major selling point) of many major religions: repent and you shall be forgiven. But faced with a potential client who, years ago, perpetrated a fraud against his bank, or an employee who, when much younger, embezzled from her boss, what would you do? Take them on with super-ultra-über-enhanced due diligence and extra-vigilant monitoring? Or is it just not worth the risk?