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Report a Client for Fraud?
23

Report a Client for Fraud?

Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
I have a Client (Developer) who used whiteout and pencil to significantly alter a printout of a detail design that I had issued.  It was then scanned and issued to the Contractor in electronic format with my firm's letterhead and my initials still intact, as if it had come from us.  I was not notified of the change until I happened to stop by the project site to get some unrelated information and saw what they were constructing.  I asked the Superintendent why he was not following what I drew and he said it was what I issued.  That's how I discovered the change.  The Superintendent was disturbed by the unauthorized revisions and said that he had a similar experience with the HVAC consultant just the day before.  The Client had taken whole sections of the mechanical specifications, changed the equipment, typed up the changes, and literally cut and pasted the paper right into the Project Manual without the knowledge of the Designer.

I find this behavior shocking.  The Client is certainly free to ignore his Consultant's recommendations, but to change the Consultant's work product and issue under the stamp of another licensed professional seems like it would rise to the level of fraud, punishable by the loss of a business license.  If this were my own company, I would have dumped this Client a long time ago when he started in making sweeping changes in my investigation report, but my boss decided to continue the work.  Just looking for opinions.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

I think I would sit down and have a very "serious" talk with the client explicitly explaining exactly what laws and ethics he violated.

This is if you want to keep him as a client - your call - but always follow up.  If you really want to get rid of him - tell him that if he pulls this again you will report him to the appropriate authorities and do so.

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Given that most of the Professional Associations rules and bylaws are similar, this should be cut and dried - if someone else has made changes to YOUR design without your authorization or consultation, you should be free to write the letter to the Client saying "Bye, and thanks for all the fish, you, Mr. Client can get someone else to take responsibility for signing off on the Occupancy Permit and project close-out documents for the building permit".

I had a similar experience earlier this year where cost saving changes were made by others, without consultation and I only discovered the changes when I got shop drawings for stuff that did not meet the design at all, so I rejected them.  It was then that I was told that the Construction Manager and Owner had agreed on these cost savings.  The changes would have resulted in the failure of critical building heating and cooling systems.

The situation was simple to me - go ahead with your changes, but you'll have to get another engineer to sign off on the Building Permit and Close-out documentation for Occupancy.  Or, you can sit down with me and the design team and resolve how much needs to be saved, and let the Owner clearly understand the compromises that he would have to live with, and still end up with a reasonably safe working building system.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Sounds like you have a choice between pulling a pin on a grenade or just sitting on a ticking time bomb.  (Me, I don't like to wait.)

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

2
I'm not sure why you're hesitating.  The client obviously has no ethics, and they'd just as soon claim innocence to the whole matter and throw you under the bus should it suit them.  Turn them in.  The worst that can happen is somehow the doctored report becomes "the truth", and your rear end finds its way to a courtroom.  I don't consider any grace on the situation to be a good thing, you simply cannot get anything good coming out of this.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Get with your company Lawer Immediatly.

Have all you transmittals ready as well as a copy of the altered documents, and if possible an email from the superintendant on the matter.

Both you and your place of work are sitting on a huge liability.

After this is in the lawers capable hands (this is exactly the kind of thing they are there for), File a complaint for fruadulant activity.

I garuntee this isn't the first time they have performed such a slimey manuver.

Just my two cents worth

A question properly stated is a problem half solved.

Always remember, free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it!  

http://www.ap-dynamics.ab.ca/

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

5
I wish life were easier for you Cass.At another time and with another company, it would be a no-brainer, yes?

It seems cut and dried, have a word with the client or simply shop them.

But I doubt wonder, given your other threads, if what you are really asking is:
"How do I do what I have to do and still have a job, for just as long as I need it?"

It would be so nice to know that when you find this behaviour you can act as necessary sure that your company is behind you.

So before moving to the necessary action the best I can suggest is to have a word first (and sort of unofficially) with the local Professional association and make sure that whatever action is taken is done in such a way that your company must support you or face some dire consequences of their own.

I would guess the next step would be to appraise the managers of this problem and present them also with the advice/recommendations/instructions from the professional body, legal advise if possible.

In other words, take away from your own company any option of trying to ignore the situation which, I'd guess, is something they would want to do because the client is a revenue source. Plus they may be looking for any quasi excuse to let you go given all that you've said before about their attitudes, it seems a fair inference.  

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
After talking to my boss, here are HIS suggestions for dealing with this.

1.  Don't write a letter or email raising any red flags where it can be discovered during litigation because the question will come up as to why we stayed on the job.

2.  Record changes, as a clerk, but do not send to anyone.

This was not the reaction I expected.  I didn't think he would jump up on his chair and scream like a 4 yo, but certainly a small bit of indignation is appropriate.  Ethics never even entered the conversation.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
jmw,  you have said what is between the lines.  There is no question that the economy has changed the fabric of business ethics, but I have a feeling that the economy is not the whole problem here.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Yes, it looks like your boss wants to bury this. You don't indicate that he even wants to talk with the client.
With no official record, if it all comes out, guess who'll be getting the finger pointed at them.......

Great proposal by your boss.
It protects him, doesn't embarrass a client (or risk a default on payment) but it leaves you wide open.

I think you really need that off-the-record talk with the Professional Association.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

I would do a few things...

I would discuss this with my employer to determine what he wants to do and if he wants to have this reviewed by his legal consultant;

I would inform him of my intended actions as follows:

I would have a frank discussion with the client and explain that his actions were not only wrong, but could result in a dangerous condition (I would refrain from stating that the actions were illegal and criminally dangerous since being an accessory may not be much fun, either);

I would explain to the client that his actions would require a detailed review.  Reviewing this matter would be time intensive and that he would be responsible for all costs associated with this review;

I would review his changes to see if they are technically sufficient.  If not, it would be a matter of correcting the deficiencies;

I would find out from the contractor what changes have been authorised so that all changes could be reviewed to confirm that this hasn't occurred before; and

If the contractor indicates that other disciplines have undergone changes, then advise the client that all the changes were vetted by the various consultants.

Dik

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

4
I learned that if an offense is not reported and learned later by whatever means by a State Board, you are responsible as the PE and will endure the consequences.  No one else's conduct matters but your own conduct because you are the PE.  Hard decision?  Yes.  It's your reputation on the line either way you choose to handle it and reputation goes a long way.

Report it to your state board.  Your state's board will launch an investigation so have all of your documentation lined up.

I don't know the nature of the project but if people's lives or health can be jeopardized, they shouldn't be allowed to go further.

This is also why I think PE's should be on equal footing with management because management should not be able to trump a PE's professional judgment for any reason.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Should the contractor not be working with certified original copies?

Is there nothing on the original drawing that prohibits modification in any way and warns of the legal consequences?

In this day of photo-shop, what precautions can anyone take to prevent this sort of behaviour? Are there guidelines laid out to cover this and does your company follow them?

These are all questions that should be occurring to your own bosses, I would have thought.

What your bosses seem happy to overlook is that it is already known outside the company that something is wrong, and maybe that someone is expecting something to be done about it.

Quote:

The Superintendent was disturbed by the unauthorized revisions and said that he had a similar experience with the HVAC consultant just the day before.  
He is aware you know about it and presumably that you were very unhappy.
He mentioned another instance... with this same client?

If so, then maybe there are already some official awareness of what is going on at the client and in which case you could be really out on a limb if they move before you do.

Your initial conversation with your bosses appears to be totally verbal and unwitnessed?
You may need to make some more formal documented action whatever they say.

Have they thought of the consequences to them if it should appear they haven't taken adequate response to the situation?

Do they know your legal obligations? Their own?
Do they care?
The fact they want no emails, letters etc suggests to me they do know or suspect, but they don't want to blow the whistle.

The next questions ought to be:
"How many other drawings have they modified in this way?"
"What are they going to do to find the answers?"
"What will they do when they know the answers?"
"If this is possible with this client, due to some defect in the way drawings are certified and copies maintained, is it happening with any other client?"

If it is this client only, has he done it with other drawings from other companies? If this is known or suspected officially, what steps can officials take? could it involve auditing all the drawings and cross referencing them with originals?
What if they then discover you knew and did nothing? supose this superintendent has said or will say something either off the record or on?

As LaCajun suggests, you may be the one to carry the consequences. Your bosses seem to be distancing themselves and ready to deny all knowledge and, possibly, to blame it all on you.

Maybe this is a black reading but better to hope for the best AND expect the worst and act accordingly.

It is a shame you appear have simply spoken to your bosses before getting any legal/professional advice, without formally requesting the meeting in writing with a declaration in writing of what the situation is.
Also, without laying out some legal options before them. Why? because that could have stopped them getting started on the cover up road to begin with. It may not be too late if they can be appraised of the legal situation plus that this is already known outside of the company and even perhaps frightening them with the idea that if its happening to them it may be happening to someone else and that there may be some kind of action pending.
Scare them a little? Get them back on track?

Like most problems, the best way to solve them is make them someone else's problem.
Specifically, your Bosses.
At the moment you are their problem and you have problems enough.

So I'd get that advice ASAP and cover yourself.

I assume, by the way, that these changes were not trivial and the client made them to (a)save money and (b) didn't approach you for modification because presumably he knew they would not be agreed?

Are they serious issues? Who loses?
Have you considered that other drawings may have been altered?

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

2
Cass, you now have the perfect opportunity to get the heck out of Dodge with your head held high. Make your complaint to the board and copy your boss on the letter. They might fire you. Or they might get worried about firing a whistle blower and let you make a graceful exit.
If this place is as disfunctional as you describe, you need to get out of there. I'd rather go out for ethical reasons than for not getting along with some insane management. It makes a better story for future employers.  Plus if they check with the previous employer, it would explain any stink they say about you.
And if the changes are structural, they could be dangerous.  You need to get this aired out.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

is this "boss" the same one that wanted you fired a couple weeks ago for insubordination? Or was that the manager he hired? I can't decide whether your boss or your client is the bigger idiot.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
The Senior Project Manager is the one who gave me such grief and accused (falsely) me of not following protocol when issuing drawings and specifications to a contractor.

This is from the head guy who is clearly has a couple of corrupt files in his personal hard drive.

There may be a structural component to the change the Developer made, eventually.  The revised detail will result in continuous water infiltration from ground and irrigation water into a post-tensioned podium slab which will eventually cause tendons to corrode.  Until that happens, its just a leak that damages the paint on cars.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Cass, just a suggestion:

Get an initial consult with an employment plaintiff's attorney and lay it out for him.

Good on ya and GOOD LUCK!!

Goober Dave

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

So the end client is the the victim.

I like JedClampetT's idea.
 
This is certainly a better reason to go and it might just let you sue them for wrongful dismissal or something similar and you certainly don't owe them anything.

Quote:

The Superintendent was disturbed by the unauthorized revisions and said that he had a similar experience with the HVAC consultant just the day before

This says to me the s**t is going to hit the fan. He may be waiting to see what you do but if he sees nothing happening, he may just go to the client (whoever is paying for all this, i.e. not  your client but his client) and "tip them the wink".

The HVAC company may be acting even now.  

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

2
This has crossed the line from ethical to legal.  The crime of forgery has been committed.  By using your signature on an altered document without reference to you, the client has in effect forged your signature.  I don't know the procedure where you are, but the police should be notified.  

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Agree with hokie66.

Cass....we don't know if you are licensed as an architect or an engineer....if either, your state laws will protect you to some degree.

As for the fraud and misrepresentation, your client has definitely crossed the line.  This happened 30 years ago in a firm for which I worked.  A product manufacturer "doctored" a test result for one product to include one that was not tested.  My boss's signature and seal were fraudulently applied.  

Our corporate attorneys let is slide as did the engineer involved.  I was incensed, but not my issue, since it wasn't my signature.

For you, it's time to raise hell.  It appears that your "superiors" do not support reasonable business practices nor ethics.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Quote (casseopeia):



I have a Client (Developer) who used whiteout and pencil to significantly alter a printout of a detail design that I had issued.

...

   This is why I like blueprint machines.  All copies come from the official source which is under your control.  The prints are very hard to modify.

               JHG

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
I am a licensed Architect, although whether my license is at risk or not is something else.  I know enough about the legal process that I am not too worried about it.  I would, at the very least, make a useful precipient witness with access to my own personal files, contemporaneous notes, photos, and copies of documents I have kept in my own 'personnel' file.  My own materials could replace any official files, drawings and photos that happen to go missing.  This is not my first rodeo.

In any case, I reviewed the Architect's standard of practice yesterday evening and it states that I am obligated to report fraud.  But is it still fraud when your boss caves on the design change?  I don't think so in my case.  It's not as clear-cut as Ron's example where a test was doctored. Even though his bosses went along with it, information was falsified.  

The best I can do at this point is rally the manufacturer's tech rep to my cause.  They will ultimately have to issue the material warranty.  I also alerted the installer who must issue the labor warranty.

jmw, the Client is not the victim.  He is the perpetrator.  He is the one who doctored the drawings.  The ultimate vicitms will be the unfortunate condo owners looking to repair the leaks in their building.   

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

I would be reluctant to 'pull the pin' on a client; this can have far reaching consequences.  It's best that the harms to you are corrected in the most transparent fashion, IMHO.

That's why I responded above with, "I would have a frank discussion with the client and explain that his actions were not only wrong, but could result in a dangerous condition (I would refrain from stating that the actions were illegal and criminally dangerous since being an accessory may not be much fun, either);" I would, however, have the discussion with him.

What he has done is clearly wrong, legally or otherwise.

Dik

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Are you 100% sure it was the client who made the changes, and not the scatterbrained PM?  There may be yet more to this.


 

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

This could be the very thing that led many condo and home owners to file complaints against DR Horton in the Denver metroplex.  I'm sure you can Google the Channel 4 news clip.

My development endures a number of issues and it's not a cheap place to live.  The more time goes on the more garbage comes out.  I dug into my own issues and was dismayed to learn of some head turning that directly led to some of my home's issues.  It's one reason we need to hold others accountable.  Somewhere down the line, because of all of the head turning, it ends with the final consumer and they may not be able to afford to pay for the house and pay for the mistakes made during the entire process of getting a home or condo to market.  Why should they pay to correct a job done improperly?

Life is not about making easy decisions for us personally.  It's about doing the right thing before your Creator regardless of your age and circumstances.  Easy decisions have landed us in the current morass.  I'll get off my soapbox now.

People make mistakes, which I understand and accept.  At least, I'll accept the innocent ones.  The deliberate mistakes to immorally take advantage of another person for your own gain, I cannot accept.

But, that is me and my world is far from perfect.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Quote (casseopeia):

But is it still fraud when your boss caves on the design change?  I don't think so in my case.  It's not as clear-cut as Ron's example where a test was doctored. Even though his bosses went along with it, information was falsified.
Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but it seems like you're playing both sides of the fence.  It's irrelevant if your boss went along with the changes in the end... the client falsified documents, specifically, documents with your name on them.

A theory was envisioned (your design), a test was run (your calculations), and a result was produced (your final paperwork).  Someone came along later and changed the results (falsified paperwork).  Sounds a lot like Ron's example.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Cass, seriously, what does it take for you to realize that you shouldn't work there anymore?

Call the licensing board and ask for anonymous advice.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
I'm assuming that Ron's example included third-party or independent testing.  In my case, my boss goes along with the Client's change despite my objections, makes drawing revisions after-th-fact, then issues the changed design, it is not fraud, just bad business. This makes the Client's actions irrelavent.  I'm not playing both sides, just looking at the reality of the situation.  My boss has not gone so far as to revise the drawings, but it can be done and there is little I can do.  

Yes, I am 100% certain it was the client who made the changes.  His minion at the job site admitted it to my boss.  My boss said he was contrite, like a kid getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  My response was that it was neither the appendage nor the receptical I had in mind, but it's a similar concept.

The Client knows I am unhappy with the doctored drawing.  But because I did not get backing from my boss, I have enlisted the help of a manufacturer's rep and the installer to weigh in on the proposed changes.  They hold the carrots, the official sign-off.   

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

3
All that you _know_ is that the documents that arrived at the contractor were different from the documents that you issued.

You don't know who perpetrated the fraud, but you know that a fraud has been perpetrated.

Should that not be reported to the AHJ?

 

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Cass, that's who  I meant by "end client" i.e. not your client but his. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.
But it sounds as if they are paying for something they are not going to get.... and was the job sold to them based on your original drawings or the changed drawings?
How can your bosses be complicit? They are being rooked out of fees for revisions, if approved and if not approved their reputation as well as yours is on the line.
If it isn't such a big deal, why do they not want anything documented?
If it isn't such a  big  deal why didn't the client ask for a revision? Why did he falsify the drawings?
In any event, should you at least not ask the client to take your name of the altered drawing? They aren't yours any more, they are his.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

What I know is that condominium construction is by far the most litigious type of design and construction that the industry is exposed to. You have multiple condo owners and associations, where anyone might hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit over plumbing, HVAC, roof leaks, etc., etc. And there's always someone with a chapped butt over something. Cass's paper trail will make fascinating reading to some legal eagle. Heck, this thread might be subpoenaed.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

If the documents being used aren't the ones that you signed off on, then you need to let the boss know that your sign-off is not valid and someone else will have to approve them, unless they can show you how and where your design/calculations can legitimately be corrected.  Otherwise, you would be wise to wash your hands of the situation.  You do not deserve to be the fall guy, especially when all you get out of it is keeping your job.
Believe me, I understand how difficult it is in todays economy to risk loss of employment, but I can't see any other way around it. If you are terminated for insubordination, I would think that with proper documentation you can make them regret it.  If they let you go for less than a firing offense, at least UI is still out there.  Have you been there long enough for it to reset yet (if you maxed it out previously)?

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter
 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Cass...you are correct in your assumption.  It was third-party testing and the client got tired of paying for more testing, so he created his own test reports from cutting and taping pieces and parts together (literally...not like it is now with digital stuff), then getting it all photocopied so that the changes would be more difficult to discern.

You are now responsible for that detail.  You can't rely on the manufacturer, other than to get some support for your objection to it.  Even if your boss caved, as a licensed professional, you have "joint and several" liability, so unless the firm has indemnified you for professional negligence...you're on the hook.

Is it a detail that has public safety or health issues?  If so, you have no choice.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

ask the contractor for his set of plans. take out your "NOT APPROVED FOR CONSTRUCTION" stamp and imprint it over your name. Thank him for his time. Then hand in your letter of resignation and be done with this mess.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Except he'll just print off some new copies.
And you don't want to resign, if you have to go, you want wrongful dismissal and the money you get from that.  

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

casseopeia:

I know the culture and the job market is different south of the border - much tougher than here - but based on what I have read, you probably have no choice but to report this.  You, yourself, have been violated, and other stakeholders have been violated.  If you could legitimately claim ignorance, you might play that card, but otherwise, the ethics likely force you to call them on this one.  Even playing the "ignorance" card might backfire; depending on who is in charge of your professional association and what their mood is on a given day, you might be (wrongfully) accused of being stupid as well as unethical.

I recently had my professional credentials used without my knowledge towards a Regulatory Authority's approval of a license for a facility that I had nothing to do with - never even heard about it.  When I caught wind of it, not only did I seek the immediate reprimand and dismissal from employment of those responsible, I also threatened legal action against the two government agencies (the Regulatory Authority and the Professional Association) when they suggested that it was my problem to sort out, not theirs, and that they recommended that I engage legal counsel.

Of course...I was pretty mad...as, in this case, you should be.

Regards,

SNORGY.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Snorgy's right.

The situation is hardly different from someone getting hold of your checkbook, and using it to their benefit.

 

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
Two significant developments today, one good and one bad.

I checked with the EDD (California's Unemployment Department) and I qualify for 26 weeks of unemployment at the maximum benefit---good

I had what must be a record-breaking 3-hour performance review, but was not laid off or terminated at the end---bad

I guess I don't get the day off tomorrow.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Cass

It sounds like you are on real thin ice there anyway, so loss of job security is not much of a loss as there is not much to loose.

You are mixed up with a bunch of crooks, either you assimilate and become one of them or you get the hell out of there while you still have your honour intact.

Regards
Pat
See FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on use of eng-tips by professional engineers &
http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm
for site rules
 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

We're rooting for you Cass.
 

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

evaluation??? regularly scheduled, or intimidation... Do you get a copy of this so that you can make any rebuttles, corrections or comments?

Dik

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Good questions Dik.
Cass, did you raise your concerns about the fraud? They'd have to document it or you challenge their review.
Do you suspect they using this to establish groundwork for some new action later?
Was it a fair review?
Did you talk to anyone else in officialdom yet for advice?

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
My evaluation was not good.  It doesn't really even matter what the complaints are because at one point, after producing evidence to the contrary, I was told that I was too defensive.  I brought up the doctored drawings and was criticized for using the term 'disturbing developments' in a communication because they thought it was too provocative.

I will admit that I feel defensive, but I am questioned on one thing or another every day, usually several times a day.  Not big stuff.  Little, insignificant stuff.  For example, I put a proposal into wordprocessing.  It goes through a review process where the HR weenie and two others look at it before it is sent out.  The HR weenie sends an email to me demanding to know why I put her initials on the bottom of the document as the author of the proposal with an admonition not to do it in the future.  I always keep my own copy of anything I write up in project folders I keep on my computer desktop.  So I checked my copy and on the bottom were my own initials as author, my boss as signatory and the third space left blank.  So I sent it to the HR weenie saying I had no idea who changed the author initials and sent a copy of the document I had kept in my personal job folder.

At least 45 minutes of my review was spent on this and similar incidences where I was asked why I had done something (wrong), and replied with, 'I did not do that, here's the copy I keep in my personal folder which is different.'  Recently I started keeping the .doc version and a .pdf, so I mentioned that I started doing that if there was ever a question whether I was modifying something after the fact.  I said they are welcome to look at anything I have kept on my desktop for reference.  I asked if the HR weenie found out how the author initials got changed and her response was, "I don't care.  It doesn't matter now."  

If I didn't do it, and the HR weenie didn't do it, and the person who alerted her to it didn't do it, that only leaves one person who it could have been.  So I asked if a similar email was sent to this individual and was told no.  At that point I said "and you can sit there and seriously ask me why I am defensive."  

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

I'm curious as to why an HR weenie should ever be reviewing proposals. They should be sequestered on the other side of the building with the accountants. They are not allowed anywhere near engineering, marketing or admin in our company.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
This is a particularly invasive form of HR Weenie.  She even invites herself into lunchtime technical seminars just to get the free sandwich.   

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

With many wordprocessing applications, there is a tool that allows for the tracking of changes.  You'd be amazed at how different things would turn out if you can turn this tool on for all documents.

Another option is to only send documents in PDF form for review and approval, so that it can't be changed.  I have too many problems with people changing electronic documents, I've switched to only sending PDFs.

______________________________________________________________________________
This is normally the space where people post something insightful.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

PDF only makes it a bit harder, but not impossible to change.  It's relatively trivial to delete a page and insert a new page in most PDF editors.  Altering a page is slight more different, but, again, not impossible.  You can export a page in TIFF, make the change and re-insert the page to the document.  

To make it harder to do that, you'd also need to activate the security features, but even then...

TTFN

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RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Slta:

Quote:

Cass, seriously, what does it take for you to realize that you shouldn't work there anymore?

A seriously good question and ever more so as you reveal more events.
It is becoming clear they (or someone in the company) are out to get you by foul means.

So do I sound paranoid?
And are you trying not to be paranoid?
Take an objective look at what is going on and get independent advice.
I have known brown nosers borrow my work and present it as their own.

But I have never known anyone take my work and tamper with it to make me look bad.

Having written that last, I realise it is wrong.
I did suffer at the hands of the brown noser who did his level best to discredit me with clients, agents and management. It didn't wory him that he was doing no end of damage to the company just to further his own ends.
So it isn't that far fetched to think that someone is trying to get you.

I didn't have any help or advise. I stuck it out for some long years before being "rehabilitated" by new managers but the damage is still there.
There are some truly sociopathic people out in the world and they have jobs. Management is either complicit or beyond even the norms for bad management. They are not going to help you. They may be behind it. If not, they seem not to want to look at anyone else.

They keep springing things on you and you seem to have it covered.
But how often do they have to accuse you of something that isn't true and offer up doctored files to show you at fault before you realise this isn't normal.
It is possibly a criminal action by them or someone in the company.

You need some professional/legal advise.
(a) on the altered drawings as one separate issue
(b) on everything else in general.

And yes, ask for copies of the review report.

It seems to me they are trying to find or fabricate cause to fire you and not get slapped with a law suit, and you keeping back-up documents is frustrating them.
For the moment.

Document everything.
Anytime anyone challenges a document that is supposedly what you wrote, ask for them to email you their copy.
Your proposal that had the HR weenies initials on it: did you go to her machine and open up the document?
Did she email you her copy?
If not, you might ask for it (but only do so in a way that doesn't tip them off why you might want it).

Go to the properties page or bring up the revisions toolbar (tools, track changes) to see what what has been changed.
Maybe there is more you can do here, hopefully someone can advise.

So far, you have frustrated them by having original copies.
What will they do next?

I'd suggest nothing leaves your machine without some serious password protection but maybe you want a more robust way to demoinstrate the documents were tampered with after they left you.
So,set up to track changes.
Then make sure you make a one last change and save just before you email it and then you will have the revision time stamped and the email date and time.

Having your only back-ups on an office machine is not a good idea.
They probably wouldn't scruple to access your work computer and delete or tamper with files there.
You need to back up all your correspondence and outlook on a daily basis.

Store it on another machine they can't get at.
Outlook backup will have emails showing when you sent files and attachments (and start asking for read receipts). (Outlook backup tool).
Put it on a memory stick if that is easier and less conspicuous or CD if that is easy enough.

But there is no substitute for good professional/legal/medical advise. And you need a good plan of action.
Your objective is to do it to them before they do it to you and go on your terms and timing not theirs and with as much loot as you can carry.

Am I being paranoid?
Are you in denial?
I suggest that getting good advise and taking extra precautions is the safe option, paranoid or not.




 

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

"Paranoia is just a heightened sense of awareness"
— John Lennon

 

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter
 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Pettiness and jealousy abound with some people.  They don't like you.  They don't want you there.  But, it sounds like they lack enough to fire you and are making it miserable enough for you to voluntarily leave.  Some employers do this and it is despicable behavior.  They will continue to gather "damaging" information about your performance and attitudes to continue the counseling to fire you.  That's what I've seen in the past with others and myself.

I would find unauthorized alterations to legal documents with my name on them very disturbing.  In fact, I think I would be shocked.

Quote (cass):

In my case, my boss goes along with the Client's change despite my objections, makes drawing revisions after-th-fact, then issues the changed design, it is not fraud, just bad business.

Whose seal goes on the drawings?

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
I have tried very hard not to be too paranoid.  I definitely had the sense that they were frustrated by the fact that I have been keeping copies of documents that I produce as well as personal notes.  I run a lot of the details by my brother for a reality check and generally trust his judgement. My brother's opinions pretty much run along the lines of most of the ones here.  He tells me I am trying to solve irrational behavior with logical reasoning and that it will never solve the problem.

Sita is right.  I have to get out as quickly as possible.  This place just isn't normal.    

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

When someone tells me to not keep copies and not write letters, emails, etc. to document my actions and work, it's time to start looking because they're up to "no good" and don't want to get caught.  Been there and it's no fun.  It can sap all the fun out of living.

If your seal ultimately goes on the drawings, it is not just poor business practice.  It is a legal matter.

Or, you can shave your head so they'll not have hair envy.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Damn Cass, I figured out which movie you're living in: Chinatown. Don't know what to say, Jake.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
moom161, I'll have to watch Chinatown again.  It's been way too long and all I remember is not looking at the scene scene Jack Nicholson get's his nose sliced.

My brother said he thinks it's like Cool Hand Luke, "what we have here is a failure to communicate."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fuDDqU6n4o&feature=youtu.be

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Read Ron's post again:

Quote:

You are now responsible for that detail.  You can't rely on the manufacturer, other than to get some support for your objection to it.  Even if your boss caved, as a licensed professional, you have "joint and several" liability, so unless the firm has indemnified you for professional negligence...you're on the hook.

Is it a detail that has public safety or health issues?  If so, you have no choice.
Go to the authorities.  What the client did was fraud, and illegal, and WILL come back to bite you on a condo job.  

The blowback from going to the authorities will either get you laid off, in which case you collect unemployment and have a strong case when applying for a new job elsewhere, or get you fired outright, and you have a very strong case for wrongful termination and can go after these nitwits in court.  Either result is better for you than continuing to work for them, and you get to either of those results by doing the right thing.  It's almost a no brainer.


 

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

By the way Cass, you are one of several Project Managers?
Any of them having problems like yours?
Are they aware of the problems you are having? have they had work for this client modified that they know about?
Is this a repeat client?
Is this his standard practise?

You may just be seeing a little tiny bit of a big iceberg....
 

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

L.A. Confidential might apply too. Just don't wake up in 'Memento'.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Another vote for following Ron's advice.  Who knows what other details that your name is attached too they may have previously changed, you are legally and morally obligated to bring this up and put as much distance between the client, your current employer and yourself as possible.

If some years down the road the condos suffer some serious failures NOT related to your work this large flag could potenially help the owners/tenents show legal willfull negligence and could protect other engineers/architects that had their work changed without their knowing.  Do it for them even if your company will take your name off the records, which I doubt they would from the sounds of it.

This sounds like the silver plater opportunity you needed to escape your current employer with a good record to present to worth-while future employers.  Take this gift and run.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

It is a curious thing but it is when things go wrong that we learn the most, we learn who we can depend on, who we can't and who are the unknowns.

Take two companies, each supplying equivalent product.
One company has never had a serious problem and the other has.
Of the two companies which has the best chance of a new contract?

Sooner or later no matter who or what, the chances are that a serious problem may arise. When things go wrong it costs money, not just the failure itself but the down time and consequential losses.

So if we expect failure some time, the company with no failures is an unknown quantity; that they have had no failures is no guarantee that they will not at some time in the future have a problem. But without having had problem, no one knows how they will perform if they do.

The other is a known. They have had a problem and their response has been experienced.

It is a curious thing that companies that respond well to problems can actually earn a greater respect and recognition than those that have had no problems and paradoxically, it can work to their advantage.

On the other hand, if they performed badly  - went into denial, dragged their feet and played the blame game......

So if this company is prepared to cheat, falsify drawings and defraud its suppliers and its clients, and if your company is prepared to collude in this activity, and if it comes out, as there is every chance it will, even before there is a failure or obvious sign of poor performance, because too many people already know about the falsification of drawings, what is their future and anyone associated with that failure?

This applies as much to people as it does to companies.
Some may come out of this as known quantities.
Good or bad, is up to them.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?


  Dear Cass,
    May I amplify my previous advice , I would recommend a. See the district attorney b.change jobs,maybe city c. this is not your first indication that your swimming in a cess pool .
     Get out while you have something to save (reputation)
                 Regards,Ed  

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Hello cass,

I completely agree with JMW.

"You need some professional/legal advise.(a) on the altered drawings as one separate issue(b) on everything else in general."

best wishes,

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Cass, you've gone quiet......?

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

It's like waiting for one's favorite TV show to start back up after last season's cliffhanger....

______________________________________________________________________________
This is normally the space where people post something insightful.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

It does make me think of LA Law for engineers.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
I've gone quiet because it's so bad, I don't want to say anything for fear that you will think I have lost my mind.

The Client asked that my company produce a letter stating that they (the Client and their Contractor) have completed all of our recommendations from my initial investigation report. And for this complete fabrication, they are willing to pay less than half of our fees to date.  Of course I am expected to write sign the thing.  To make matters worse, the letter is to be presented to a former Client of mine looking to purchase the building.

Anyone I have worked for in the past would have countered such a request with, "FU, strong letter from my attorney to follow."  But my boss thinks I'm 'being difficult' and does not want to 'make a difficult decision.'

Yesterday I made a spreadsheet that showed all of the items from my report, which ones were repaired per my details and specifications, and which ones were repaired by the Contractor and are generally acceptable.  Less than 25% of the items met those criteria. I showed it to my boss and said our Client is asking too much and doing too little for it.  

The boss hasn't asked for the letter again...yet.

As it stands at the moment, I have avoided writinging the letter by keeping busy with another project (no, not the hydraulic scale).   

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Cass, Cass, this is getting worse and worse by the minute.
And I don't see your boss giving you anything in writing.....

How much more evidence do you need that these guys, your boss included, are bottom feeders?
Who are you protecting here because it isn't you?
I'm worried they are going to drag you way down in the mud and leave you carrying the can.
They will black your reputation with just about everyone including former clients....

You need to get that legal advise.poke

At least do that.

But the way things are going, you don't have time to be messing around with anything else.
Forget the weigh scales.
Forget anything else.
This has to be your number one priority.
(And while you are getting that legal advice, ask do they have a witness protection scheme for engineers?)


 

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

The next difficult decision I can see as this progresses is he will hand you a balaclava and a shotgun and drive you to the bank and ask you to go in and make a large withdrawal and bring it out to him.

Regards
Pat
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RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

The client is a forger and is intending to commit fraud.  Your boss is condoning both.  Not much future here.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

For the immediate future, I would be more concerned about the damage done to your reputation if/when people find out you were aware of an intent to commit fraud and did not immediately act upon it.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Why are invertebrates promoted to management?

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Being an adult is tough, isn't it?  I'm sure you know that but your boss certainly doesn't.

Fraud is a serious thing.  I've got some attorney friends, who pointed out how serious it is.

Reputations are hard to build and easy to destroy.  I know you'll do the right thing but you're going to suffer in the process.  Wish I could make it better for you but that's impossible.  I will pray for you.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

You have to wonder what other corners these guys are cutting, and have cut - including your boss.
And what they get away with now is nothing to where they are going.

A sort of mission creep will take over and what even they might consider a step too far, at the beginning, is nothing to what they will one day get up to as their values change and they find new ways to justify themselves.

The client is probably dreaming of the day he can build dam or a high rise in an earthquake zone. Just how much cement can they leave out before they have reached the safety margins?
And when do they tell themselves the safety margins are too conservative anyway? Get enough county contracts and they'll soon be into politics.

Of course, the way they are carrying on, they aren't exactly hiding what they are doing and they don't seem to be doing it very well either. This is the sort of mentality that usually guarantees they'll get caught and that it will be messy.

If these guys were robbing a bank, as Pat suggests, you would shop them and you wouldn't get involved. These are the types who'll drop their ID during the robbery or do something real dumb.
Theirs is a dangerous route of telling themselves "everyone does it", "it ain't serious", "it isn't dangerous" "that's what the safety margins are for", "no one will get hurt", and "No one will get caught".
They think they are real clever and everyone else is dumb.

And it escalates.

Al Capone presumably started stealing from his mums purse.
Al Gore probably started out telling little lies to his mum.

But where will they stop? How deep will they drag you into all this mess?

It staggers me that they could be so brazen about what they are doing and wanting/expecting you to simply go along with it all as if asking you to participate in a crime was a natural thing to do.

I am even more astounded that your dumb boss is going along with all this because he is putting his company's rep on the line and for what?

Either he is a complete chump and I'm going to start my own 419 email scam, if you'll just give me his email address please, or he is making a raft of money somewhere and he is hiding it well. i.e. there is more you don't know.

People who adopt a flexible attitude to the law in one area soon find it is just as easy to disregard a few other laws and regulations, especially when money is involved.
Chances are that they are also skimping on their taxes, (that really is the best of the "victimless crimes" to these people) if they can get away with it.
Let's face it, if what they are doing is crooked, then they have to be hiding some money somewhere along the line, and tax returns and accounts are probably easier to fudge than drawings. (There might be a reward from the IRS......when you drop the dime on the building frauds, drop another to americanflagUncle Sam).

 

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

jmw, my impression is that this is normal operations for them.  What is abnormal for them are cass's ethical behavior and reason.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Cass:  are you toying with us?  Is this a soap opera made up for our entertainment?

I'm no lawyer, but it sounds like you've got paper evidence of your employer counselling you to aid in a fraud.  On top of that, as if you needed anything further, you've got a very strong case against them for functional dismissal.  

Stop typing and push the "eject" button.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)

If only I were to wake up and find out that it's all been just a bad dream.  Nope, not toying with you.  If anything, I've down-played or just not mentioned some of the worst stuff.  Just to clear up one thing, though, there is no imminent structural danger.  My work has been for the purpose of identifying and solving extensive leaking on a development that was abandoned by the original builder.  The worst that any of my own work can do is not prevent enough water from getting into the structural podium where it can corrode the steel tendons.  My goal is for that to happen long after I am wearing a diaper and drooling on myself in a nursing home somewhere.

Making things more complicated, though, are a number of factors such as the location in a harsh marine environment, significant changes made by the original builder, and having nearly every component of the building turn out to be an unauthorized Chinese knock-off that came over by container ship, right down to the nuts and washers.  The General Contractor joked that the concrete would have come over by container if they could have added enough sugar to it to keep it from setting up.

Solutions for some of the problems are extremely difficult and results never ideal.  There is a very wide range of gray where I must find an acceptable solution that meets strict financial and scheduling parameters.  The good news it that I like the GC who seems genuinely concerned about fixing the problems.  The superintendent has said a number of times that if I tell him he has to do something, he will do it.  So I've got my own ways of fighting back.  If I can't force it from the top down, I'll scrap and claw my way from the bottom up by inducing a mutiny.  Hopefully I will get somewhere in the middle and still have a job.  I also have another tool in my pocket.  Video files from the failed water tests that I took were too large to email the out-of-town client, so I sent them links to YouTube posts.  <evil grin>
 

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

"Video files from the failed water tests that I took were too large to email the out-of-town client, so I sent them links to YouTube posts.  <evil grin>"

This is the sort of connect the dots datum that I'd worry about posting here.

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Cass,
this isn't about the water ingress or how long this building will last, it is about fraud and the abuse of your license.
It is about a bunch of crooks getting up to things you probably know nothing about.

This job is "safe", maybe.
But that isn't the issue.
There is no such animal as a small fraud. Either it is fraud or it isn't.
Did you get any legal advice yet?

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

I couldn't agree more with jmw.

Think you're getting caught up in forests and trees?

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Cass,
I have followed your posts on this forum for many years, I know that you are no stranger to testifying in court on forensic building issues.
  I think right now you are demonstrating frog in the pot syndrome.
 Get out of there before you get boiled.
B.E.

The good engineer does not need to memorize every formula; he just needs to know where he can find them when he needs them.  Old professor

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

That's something I hadn't thought about, your qualification as a forensic expert.
Maybe someone without that has less to lose and may get treated less harshly if it all goes wrong, but is this at risk and might you get more harshly treated if it all goes wrong?

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

It all already went wrong.
It's about to get wrong-er.
First one to blow the whistle doesn't get screwed as badly as everyone else.

 

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Can the letter of completion be used by the client to obtain finances for the project from his lending institution?

Dik

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
The letter of completion, which has not yet been issued, I believe is intended for the potential purchaser of the property.  The entity looking to buy it is a large, publicly-traded real estate investment trust.  They generally hold onto rental properties for 3-5 years as an investment then sell it.  What they do with the letter is anyone's guess.  It could be used to obtain financing, or to use against the author.  

When I did due diligence reports for them in the past, I aways put in a clause that limited who could rely on the information.  I never extended that to a third party and I am going to recommend that my boss do the same, just in case.  My boss may be having second thoughts about issuing the letter.  I expected to be asked to get one done by the end of the week, or Monday at the latest, but no such request has been issued.

If I could talk to anyone, it would not be the purchaser, it would be their due diligence team.  This real estate investment company was a 'kill-the-messanger' sort of client in the past.  Bringing problems to them did not usually go well.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Well, since we still seem to be hoping for a miracle cure, and worrying about the symptoms rather than the disease, the way round the "kill the messenger" syndrome is to pose to them how much money is at risk for remedial work and how much the message is going to save them.
They presumably have a team of lawyers frothing at the mouth for something or some one to go after with a blunt knife. They might rather welcome some bad news.

The whole purpose of the documentation is supposed to be an assurance that the work has been done well.
If that isn't the case, they won't be happy.
They may kill the messenger but they are likely to have an even more effective "sleeping with the fishes" approach for people who don't tell them things.

Tell us you have had some legal advice.
Please.
Please tell us you really are not focussed on the trees and have due regard for the wood, nay jungle, that surrounds you.
Please tell us you aren't just hoping this will go away  by itself.
Not opening the banks letters doesn't make you any less in debt or any less liable to lose everything.
The same is true here. In fact, the worse thing would be to be cuaught out dithering and someone else drops a dime. That dime puts you on the wrong side of the black hat/white hat divide.

Mike got a star for his very terse and accurate advice:

Quote:

First one to blow the whistle doesn't get screwed as badly as everyone else.
And you need an explanation for the time lapse between discovery and action. A good explanation.

Tell us you have this in hand and we can stop worrying.

The more you tell us the more evident it is you should be dropping dimes on half the state  and just as fast as you can.
This is no time to be phaffing around worrying about minor details.


 

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Even as a rookie, some 40 years ago, I never had a boss... only an employer <G>.

If you have presented your employer with your spreadsheet showing the deficiencies, he would be very foolish to provide the letter... I think Bossman's in way over his head... should have had a 'chitchat' with the client a long time ago...

For remedial stuff, the letter of completion is often used to advance funding if the work has been financed.

At very least, if your client is presenting the work to a third party as being repaired, it may be best to know nothing about this, but, your employer could be in for a pile of heartburn... these actions would likely void any insurance coverage... and, for added measure, may be criminal... The fact that the potential purchasor is a third party may not void your disclaimer; have your employer check with his lawyer on that...

jmw: it's difficult to estimate punitive damages...

Dik

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

And the news is....?
Legal advise is....?

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Does anyone know what happened with Cass?

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

She logged on today.
 

"Wildfires are dangerous, hard to control, and economically catastrophic."

Ben Loosli

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

She has other excitements at the moment.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
I wrote up a nice little letter report where I grouped items in 4 different categories; repaired, tested, passed; repaired, tested, failed; incomplete; removed from repair scope.  But even that was too revealing for the Client and my boss had me rework an asinine memo produced by the Client so that he could close escrow.  This memo was accompanied by a cover letter signed by my boss.

I figure after the dust settles, my boss will go knocking on the new owner's door asking if they need a few leaks fixed.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

And are you happy with this?
 

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

I hope you're happy with the re-draft of the memo... the potential for this to 'blow up' is high.  And it may be the new owner's lawyer that is knocking on your boss/employer's door.

Dik

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
I'm not happy with it. Think the Client is a con artist in a suit. I've done as much as my authority allows. One interesting thing, the Client attempted to have a restriction put on our contact with the new owners. I took that out because he cannot legally do that

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Has your employer been paid in full?  Can you file liens in your jurisdiction?

Taking on the new purchasor as a client may be fraught with problems... tread carefully...

All the best and good luck...

Dik

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Since I just renewed two licenses, this is fresh on my mind.

From Colorado's rules of conduct:

3.1.1 Primary Obligation of Licensees. Licensees shall at all times recognize that their primary obligation is to protect the safety, health, property, and welfare of the public. If their professional judgment is overruled under circumstances where the safety, health, property, or welfare of the public is endangered, they shall notify their employer or client and/or such other authority as may be appropriate.

3.1.2 Ethical Conduct. Licensees shall conduct the practice of architecture, engineering, and land surveying in an ethical manner.

3.1.3 Responsibility for Seal. Licensees shall be the only individuals authorized to use their own seals and shall be personally and professionally responsible and accountable for the care, custody, control, and use of their seals.

3.1.4 Work Product Must Be Safe and Meet Generally Accepted Standards. Licensees shall approve and seal only those design documents and surveys that are prepared with applied technical knowledge and skills that provide safety for public health, property, and welfare in conformity with generally accepted architectural, engineering, and surveying standards.

3.1.6 Caliber of Association. Licensees shall not permit the use of their name or firm name nor associate in business ventures with any person or firm that they have reason or should have reason to believe is engaged in fraudulent or dishonest business or professional practices.

3.1.7 Cooperation with Board Investigations. Licensees having knowledge of, and/or involvement in, any alleged violation of any of Title 12, Article 25, Parts 1, 2, and 3, C.R.S., or the Board's rules, shall cooperate with any investigation initiated by the Board and furnish such information or assistance as may be requested.

3.1.8 Compliance with Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Codes. Licensees shall exercise appropriate skill, care, and judgment in the application of federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and codes in the rendering of professional services and in the performance of their professional duties. It will be deemed a violation of these rules if a licensee violates local, state or federal laws or statutes that relate to the practice of architecture, engineering, or land surveying.

3.4.1 Conduct that Discredits the Profession. Licensees shall not engage in any conduct that discredits or tends to discredit another architect, engineer or land surveyor and/or the profession of architecture, engineering or land surveying.

3.4.2 Appearance of Impropriety. Licensees shall avoid the appearance of impropriety in the course of representing or rendering services of an employer or client.

3.4.3 Undue Influence. When representing a client or employer, a licensee shall not exert or attempt to exert undue influence over other professionals, contractors, or public officials. Undue influence means any improper or wrongful exercise of persuasion or control by a licensee in an effort to cause another to do what he or she would not otherwise do if left to act freely.

3.6.1 Exercise of Judgment. Licensees shall not permit a client, employer, another person, or organization to direct, control, or otherwise affect the licensee's exercise of independent professional judgment in rendering professional services for the client.

3.6.2 Impartial Decisions. Licensees shall render impartial decisions when acting as the interpreter of documents or when acting as the judge of contract performance.


From Colorado Law:

12-25-108. Disciplinary actions - grounds for discipline.

(1) The board has the power to deny, suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew the license and certificate of licensure or enrollment of, limit the scope of practice of, or place on probation, any professional engineer or engineer-intern who is found guilty of:

(b) Failing to meet the generally accepted standards of engineering practice whether through act or omission;

(e) Violating, or aiding or abetting in the violation of, the provisions of this part 1, any rule or regulation adopted by the board in conformance with the provisions of this part 1, or any order of the board issued in conformance with the provisions of this part 1;

(h) Failing to report to the board any professional engineer known to have violated any provision of this part 1 or any board order or rule;


These would apply for any engineer in your position in Colorado and many other states based upon my experiences.  From my contact with state boards, they will draw a hard line on you for failure to exercise your responsibilities as a professional but will not tell you how to resolve your issues.

This is from the state of Louisiana,

2)    Professional Judgment Overruled
If their professional judgment is overruled by non-technical authority, licensees must clearly point out the consequences, notifying the proper authority of any observed conditions which endanger public safety, health, property and welfare. [Rule §2503(B)]  at this link http://www.lapels.com/docs/Applications/Prof_Ethics_Quiz.pdf.


Some non-licensed engineers think this is all very funny and unimportant.  For registrants, it is not.  Being a professional is a privilege not a right just as having a driver's license is a privilege not a right.  Each violation can reap fines up to $5000, which is not insignificant.  But, in exchange for being a professional, you have a right to your professional opinion, which non-registrants do not.

With all of the poor building in my neighborhood, it's high time professionals began sticking up for their profession and protect the public.  My neighbors are fed up and getting angry about their issues.  Water intrusion in a basement is an abnormal condition just as rusted out window wells that are 5 years old, improperly vented dryers, improperly installed floor joists, flooding window wells, etc. are.  Many of my neighbors are young couples expecting their homes to last 40 years but wondering if they'll last 20 years.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

I am surprised that the Harmon project in Vegas hasn't been brought up.  That project was messed up kind of like this, and everyone got blamed for the steel missing from the concrete.

Doesn't someone in your office have to sign off once the building is completed?  How does that work if you won't sign them because the documents were changed?  I know we won't sign grading certification letters if we didn't get full payment which kind of causes an issue if someone wants to get their COO and live on the property.

B+W Engineering and Design
Los Angeles Civil and Structural Engineering
http://bwengr.com

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
At this point I honestly have no idea where everything ended up, except that the sale apparently went through.  I was enough of a trouble maker to be shut out of the meetings between our Client and the purchaser of the property, I'm sure at the request of the Client.  He even stopped calling to try to convince me that what he was doing was't wrong.  And the firm I work for has not been paid any invoice submitted in the last 4 months.

But the sale would not have happened without the acquiescence of the purchaser.  There was plenty of evidence of the remaining leak issues.  These people are not naive.  They are a MAJOR institutional buyer and manager of rental apartment property and have their own construction wing.  It would not surprise me if they deliberately encouraged non-disclosure of known leaks, so that they could turn around and sue the seller for not disclosing the known leaks.  

I would be interested in what the state of Colorado has to say about a licensed employer who issues thinly veiled threats of termination if a licensed employee is deemed 'uncooperative' with Client demands because she disagrees with report changes made by the Client.  Personally I think it qualifies as undue influence.  I also see a conflict between 12-25-108, failure to report... with Rule of Conduct 3.4.1, which states that licensees shall not, "engage in any conduct that discredits or tends to discredit another architect, engineer or land surveyor and/or the profession of architecture, engineering or land surveying."  How do you report a licensed employer without discrediting him?
 

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

So your boss caved in to a crook, knowing he was a crook in the hope of getting paid for his dishonesty.

One very basic rule I always followed was that if someone asks you to help them cheat someone else don't deal with them ad they will very likely also cheat you at their first opportunity. A crook is a crook is a crook.

Regards
Pat
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RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Quote (casseopeia):

I also see a conflict between 12-25-108, failure to report... with Rule of Conduct 3.4.1, which states that licensees shall not, "engage in any conduct that discredits or tends to discredit another architect, engineer or land surveyor and/or the profession of architecture, engineering or land surveying."  How do you report a licensed employer without discrediting him?
I don't see the conflict.  The understanding would be "outside of legal implications", or in other words, you can't slander, etc., but if you have legal proof they are sweeping things under the rug, that is not covered by the rule.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Yes, as Pat says, never trust a crook.
And it is especially surprising that one crook would trust another. In this case your boss has been playing along without having been paid and they are unlikely to get paid. If your company pursues payment aggressively then the client has plenty of damaging information to hold over them.

The fact that you now surmise the purchaser is complicit or at the very least has turned a blind eye to the problem doesn't make it any better.
Worse, if anything.
It suggests the purchaser and the client have worked together for a some time and that this is their SOP.

I assume that your company does not have a great deal of business with either before now and has been seduced into this by the prospect of lots of repeat business. Whether they knew this would be the way things were or not, it is how it will be in the future and that means they will want some one far more compliant than you in the team.

It would be interesting to find out who previously did this work for the purchaser and client and why they don't any more.
If this is a standard business pattern for them then one can only conclude that no previous company has been brave enough to speak out and probably because they all wanted to get paid some time.

It sounds like the facility with which the client changes drawings and coerces "modified" reports indicates long practise and that sense of invulnerability that comes from getting away with it for so long. Sooner or later they will cut one corner too many and a disaster awaits.

At least, that is how I read it.
If so then sooner or later its going to hit the fan big time because it won't be an isolated instance but something big enough to keep the lawyers billing years at a time and may even become something of a media sensation if it also involves officials.

Does it involve officials, Building Inspectors?
Maybe it does.
When there is widespread bad practise and even fraud, it can be the only thing that has kept it from being an issue before now.
It now depends on how this breaks and who will be caught up in it.

I hope you have a new job lined up to go with a new home.
You obviously hate what is happening and you hate how they have been trying to manipulate you.
I hope you have a plan.
I hope you can tell us you have had some legal/professional advice.


 

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

"At this point I honestly have no idea where everything ended up", ignorance is sometimes blissful...

"...And the firm I work for has not been paid any invoice submitted in the last 4 months.", should have provided his report in trust through a legal firm, to be forwarded on complete payment... He should have known better!

I hope things work out and the market improves to the point where people don't have to take on this type of work...

Dik

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

jmw... missed a big one... it brings the profession down a tad... This same type of action is then expected from other professionals.

Dik

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Wow - haven't visited the boards in a while and stumbled across this one.  Read it from beginning to end....  Don't envy you Cass...not one bit.  A slippery slope you have slid on.

From what I have garnered this is a condominium project some where in Cali.  One that was started by one developer and then sold to a large realtor "flipper". That only muddles the waters when the law suites arrive.......and they will.

The firm I am employed by was heavy in the condo market MEP design that occurred in the panhandle of FLA in the late 90's early 2000's - before (and some during) the housing crash.  We did tons of'em.  There are "ambulance chaser" lawyers working now as we speak in the panhandle approaching HOA's with a simple question - "We believe there were short cuts taken in the designing and construction of your property.  And if proven true in a court of law, we will divide the settlement with the HOA 60/40 with no cost to the HOA.  So are you in"?  Off course they are - free money.  Then they send their team of suspect engineers and architects in to perform a due diligence on the property.  Interview every homeowner and with each little complaint mark it down as a deficiency.  Next thing you know is all your files and emails are subpenaed for potential evidence.  Now the entire design team is on defensive.  100's of hours wasted...  not to mention legal cost.  Non-billable hours.  

Been thru a half dozen of these at least on project I was directly associated with.  I know of another half dozen that with this route that I wasn't. On a few we cut and run with a high 5 figure settlement not admitting guilt because to defend would have moved our cost into the 6 figure range.  Tough to swallow when you know you have no culpability.....

Hope your firm has some deep pockets Cass.

Andy W.

ps - I would have nailed them to the wall.....      

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Wareagl487, good going.
There's an angle I hadn't thought about....
I've been envisaging some one squealing, perhaps because they couldn't accept this happening or perhaps because their cut wasn't big enough, and I forgot all about the ambulance chasers.

These guys will pick a tree and give it shake to see what drops. They don't need a starting point, they don't need smoke to lead them to the fire. They just shake trees till something falls out of one.
They shake Cass's company's tree.......

Much of the success these guys enjoy is not about right or wrong but about which is cheapest: settle out of court and make the lawyers rich or go to court and make them richer.
They don't even need a legitimate case, all they need is a button and they can find a vest to sew on it.

So as you say, it isn't a case of "if" but "when".
 

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Maybe Wareagl487 has a point, but construction law firms are necessary.  I have been involved on both side of construction lawsuits, and they don't start for frivolous reasons.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

I wonder.

The developer obtains falsified documents about building re compliance to codes.

The real estate agent knows this so there is no fraud at that point.

The agent then sells to individuals and can claim he has documentation that the building complies.

When he gets complaints he claims he had documents from experts so it's not his fault. The developer can't be sued for fraud because there was no deceit on his part. There is however still a conspiracy, but conspiracy is very hard to prove.

Regards
Pat
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RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

My experience reflects Hokie's.

How could you do anything so vicious? It was easy my dear, don't forget I spent two years as a building contractor. - Priscilla Presley & Ricardo Montalban
 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Lol, Cass hasn't quit yet?
 

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Jobs are hard to come by in this market, I don't think anyone would be considering quitting if they didn't have an ace in the back pocket.

How could you do anything so vicious? It was easy my dear, don't forget I spent two years as a building contractor. - Priscilla Presley & Ricardo Montalban
 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
Today our staff meeting was about completeness and truth in Reports.  So I asked "what is the recommended protocol when .a Client demands that information be removed that he finds embarrassing or incriminating" from a report and was told that "this company does not cave to demands such as that from our Clients."

My response, "Oh yes you do.  Would you like the dates, job numbers, project titles and copies of the my original report.  How about the video of failures during water tests that were removed and reported as 'nothing found'?"

I have had it with the ridiculous masquarading around as some pillar of integrity by some of my supervisors, then being asked to remove information from my investigation reports so that "we can get paid."  My guess is soon I will be collecting an unemployment check.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

You have already separated from the company emotionally, as in "Oh, yes _you_ do.", not "Oh, yes _we_ do.".  
The rest is just paperwork.

I'm proud of you.

You don't truly own a principle until it's cost you money.

 

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Quote:


You don't truly own a principle until it's cost you money.

Mike that is just so true. It is incredible how pious some can be when they only have to talk about what others should do or what they might do. Actually doing is the test.

Regards
Pat
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RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Cass,
congratulations on having entered The Twilight Zone!

In all my years I have never ever attended any meetings nor been sent away on courses where "Completeness and Truth in Reports" has arisen in discussion let alone appeared on an agenda. So it is staggering to find your company has scheduled a meeting exclusively devoted to it.

I find this especially surreal, ironic maybe, considering the reality of your experience.
OK, so they could hardly convene a meeting endorsing all that has happened but..... well, what's going through their brains when they stand up and say "We are an ethical company. These are the standards we rigorously enforce. By the way, what  nice green sky this fine May morning."

And you stand up and say "Your company has the ethics of a Columbian Drug Cartel. I've got it all documented and on video. If anything happens to me copies will be sent to CNN, the CIA, the NSA and Sesame Street. By the way, the grass is green the sky is blue..... and it's October."

So, they didn't immediately waterboard you to find out how many copies you've made and where they all are, they didn't escort you to the door? Send for people in white coats to take you away?  Throw you out of the meeting?
Did they look at all embarrassed? disconcerted?
Did they admit it all or deny it all?
Are you imagining it all?

Don't tell, me this was (a) a fraud by other managers than they (b) all done by the loony manager (is he still there? is he involved? are you still supposed to be looking after him?) and no one actually knows anything about it?

Come on Cass, you have to tell us how they responded.

But as Mike says, congratulations on reaching a fully matured I and Them position.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

I'm more curious as to what they said (or how they reacted) when confronted in front of everyone... did they backpedal, did they try to incriminate you, did they blame you solely, etc.?

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
The response was something like "If you materially changed your report, then you are doing it wrong."

I didn't respond.  I was too shocked by that statement that came off as sort of a parental reprimand.  All the other employees just looked at their papers, or their shoes and avoided my desk the rest of the day  I'm glad now that I saved those markups in the Client's and the Principal's own handwriting.

I came home, changed into my PJ's poured a shot of tequila and went to bed.  hard day

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

I still say ride it out until they fire you, then let the court case make you a millionaire.
 

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Cass,

Every time I open this thread, my stomach ends up in knots.  If it bugs me this way, it must be ripping you apart.  Going to bed after a Tequila shot supper is fine in a once-in-awhile case, but if it is becoming a frequent meal, you need to punt.  Riding it out until they fire you isn't worth it, regardless of pipe dream million-dollar settlements that might be, if you ruin your health because of it.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Considering that Cass went along with the fraud rather than reporting it the best that she can hope for should things get really ugly is to cut a deal for immunity from prosecution in turn for her testimony and records.

  

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

She's boiled.

The good engineer does not need to memorize every formula; he just needs to know where he can find them when he needs them.  Old professor

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Glutton for punishment?  Business masochist?  The least believable part of this whole drama is that she's still there.  
 

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

beej67,

Needing an income may have something to do with that.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Duress.
That is the operative word.

Cass has received a lot of advice and support. Most everyone has been clear and recognised that what has been going on is not right.
Most have urged robust action. More robust than has been undertaken.
Also urged has been to get legal advise and support from the professional body. I'd like to think this is what Cass has done and that Cass cannot tell us that level of detail - yet. But I am concerned to think Cass may not have taken legal advice yet.

In the real world there are some people who can be very adroit at manoeuvring people, who can incrementally move people away along a path where each step is below the threshold for robust action.

Mission Creep. Small accommodations leading to ever bigger accommodations or to an ongoing sequence of small infractions no one of which might be viewed as warranting the maximum response.

Cumulatively bad.

Duress.

When you've been laid off for a period and lived in your car/truck for a while and finally got a new job, even at less money, then it is not so easy to just sacrifice the lot at the first infringement.

When you are confronting not only a corrupt client but also your own corrupt management, you know you are on your own. That makes it difficult to take that final step.

Just what is the cumulative effect?

It is easy to seduce someone with the thought that what has happened isn't on a par with sub-standard foundations or a lack of cement in the sand of a multi-story apartment on a fault line; "You want to sacrifice your job and never work in  the industry again over some maybe damp?"

In many such situations due cognisance is taken of the duress that employers can bring to bear.

In the UK, as an example, the Patents Act declares some employee rights to be inalienable.
Why?
Because the law recognises the extent to which employers can bring pressure to bear on employees and coerce them into signing away all their legal rights.
That is why these patent rights are inalienable.   
That means the employee cannot legally sign away their rights except for "reasonable reward".

If employer duress can be recognised in some cases then it should also be recognised in others.

Note also that in cases where people do resort to law, in civil actions for example, the law in some countries, including in the UK, requires that the plaintive should first exhaust all other remedies. This usually means firstly approaching those with the power and responsibility to act (management) and then the professional body.  

So if we now reach a point where all other remedies have been exhausted, then the opportunity still exists for Cass to now take that next step and still also to claim that everything so far has been in good faith and in the nature of exhausting other avenues. This is all one long continuing series of connected events with one client on one project.


I believe Cass, you should seriously consider that the two minute clock has now started to run.
You really should get legal advice, should consult the professional body and act as recommended come what may.
There is now no possible excuse that Management might support you, that some resolution is possible through discussion and agreement.
In the clearest possible way they have now signalled to you that they are distancing themselves from any liability and/or cognisance and you are elected scapegoat.

No more time outs.

Act now.
Otherwise, I tend to concur with Berkshire, Cass and you are "boiled".
Or will be. Very soon.

Cass, you have a lot of support here. And a lot of advice.
I can't say I have been in this situation.
Ever.
I don't know that I would take unilateral action, even if I knew it had to be done. I do think I would have share the burden by getting legal and professional advise (If only to be able to share any blame).
I note also that while most here have been supportive and are clear what is right and wrong, I haven't seen anyone post to say:
"Been there, done that, got the Tee shirt. My management were as corrupt as yours. My management were setting me up for the fall. My management were on the side of the client and not on the side of what is ethical. But I went full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes and lived to tell the tale. "

So lots of us know what should be done, we think we would do it, but none has been able to say they have walked the walk.  
 

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
jmw, very nice analysis.  Better than my example,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPw-3e_pzqU

I'm not sure, but I think I touched off the sh!tstorm because of some unrelated events.  I heard little snippets around the office that there is a problem project that may be going into litigation (not mine.)  What started the whole 'completeness in reporting' was one person assigned to go back through old reports and come up with a timeline of what was done during a building renovation had trouble making sense of past reports.  He sent around an email saying that it was a difficult task because people were not writing their reports with the thought that someone might have to go back and try to connect the dots if the company were to be sued or their work investigated, his old reports included.  

I responded to his email telling him not to beat himself up too much, that field reports are generally written for a purpose other than future litigation, and that if the attorney had to fill in the holes, he can subpoena the author of the report and pay them expenses only.  I know.  BTDT  

I knew the project was a litigation job, but had assumed that my company was acting as a 'reporting' expert.  But thinking about it, they may be sitting in the defense seat.  Bringing up the fact that my reports were materially changed, that I objected to it AND kept copies may have touched a nerve that's been exposed on the other project on the fast track to court and my contribution wasn't making their attempts at denial any easier.  That would explain the ridiculous posturing about how 'this company doesn't do those things' with clear evidence to the contrary and a mouthy PM there to make a public display for them.

Btrueblood.  Normally I can just bite my tongue and get through a stupid staff meeting making a grocery list or something, but I was so aghast at the audacity that I was saying stuff almost before I knew I was talking.  

I don't know if I'm boiled just yet, but definitely dangling over a simmering pot.  The only thing saving me right now is having recently landed a couple of large projects....nice, fat fees with nice, fat retainers.
 

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

You're looking at the wrong pot, the little one stirred by your employer.

You were dumped into the bigger pot, the one stirred by the state licensing board and the courts, at the closing, when a phony| dishonest| inaccurate| misleading report over your name became part of the official record.

 

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Limey,

They're still setting her up to take the fall and she knows they're doing it.  Obviously not worth the paycheck.  I'd feel nauseous just showing up to work in that environment, knowing my employers were waiting around the cubicle corner with a knife.  Makes me wonder how much embellishment is in the story.  Whole thing is approaching "Eric Berne Kick-Me" status.
 

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Oh this is bad.

If they are involved in another investigation, and may be the target, things could get real messy very soon.

Quote:

The only thing saving me right now is having recently landed a couple of large projects....nice, fat fees with nice, fat retainers.
I wouldn't count on it.
Not on this planet.
Not in this company(or in many others).
Not with these people as managers (not with lots of managers even in "ethical" {not found out yet} companies).
They are blatantly, stupidly and clumsily corrupt.

Nothing suggests to me that these new projects mean anything except the start of a race amongst the managers to claim exclusive credit and, double whammy, still blame you for the problems.
It buys you nothing.

If they can find a way to lay off the blame on you for projects you had nothing to do with and completed before you joined, they will.  

About now the shredder is probably going full blast and they are busy trying to delete email archives. They will all have alibis.

These people won't hold up their hands and say:
"I's a fair cop Guv. We dun it. We didn't realise it was bad. We didn't mean to hurt anyone. It's just a little damp. Maybe not even that, just a difference of professional opinion. "

No, they'll point a finger and say:
"She dun it.
Her.
Her over there.
We are shocked and appalled.
We loved her like the bosses daughter, we trusted her.
We took her off the streets and gave her a new life and this is how she repays us.
We are and always have been a highly ethical company.
WE pride ourselves on maintaining very high standards of honesty and integrity. WE inculcate this into all our employees. Why, we just had a company meeting on this very subject.
WE couldn't believe this behaviour from any employee, least of all her (weep weep).
We knew nothing about this until the search warrant was served.
We are will open all our records (those remaining, doctored records) to the authorities (no choice so put a spin on it) and we want to co-operate to the fullest extent to help the authorities prosecute this person to the limit of the law."

Blah blah blah.

There is no white knight.
There is no sudden management remorse.
There will be no confession from some bad manager exonerating you.
They will deny everything.
What they can't deny they will try and have excluded from the public record.
They will spend money on lawyers.
They will lay as much blame on you as they can.    

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

"What started the whole 'completeness in reporting' was one person assigned to go back through old reports and come up with a timeline of what was done during a building renovation had trouble making sense of past reports"

If you haven't already done so, you may want to record all the events and make notes (as detailed as possible).  I don't know how things will shake out with this project, but this may help if events turn sour and you have a clear recollection of things as they unfolded.

Dik

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

I hate the waiting between post.  It is like a soap opera or a two part mini series.  A cliff hanger.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Perhaps another farting drafter for comic relief?

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter
 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
Xera, I'm still managing to hang on by my fingernails.  I can't post very often because I have few breaks and no internet connection at home yet (just moved).

beej67, if anything I have held stuff back.  The problem is that there is a culture of incompetance and blame at this place set by the people I call the three musketeers; the Principal-in-charge, his henchman, the 70-year-old Fine Arts major Senior Associate and the HR witch.  When the three of them get together to troubleshoot some event, they have never to my knowledge looked at their own behavior.  Instead, they throw blame onto the Project Managers as their first and only response, always adding the same line about how we could be doing more.

Maybe later I'll be able to add some background.  I'm sure there is also a component of my own personality that escalates some of the turmoil.  But there is no embellishment.
 

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

The only piece of the story I really question is why you haven't quit already.  That's what makes the whole thing unbelievable to me.  I've followed some of the other "adventures of casseopeia" threads, where you appear to be very assertive in dealing with clients or other engineers who are pushing the boundaries of business ethics.  And yet you're heading into Month Four of this current drama with every indication that you're going to let them set you up to take the fall.  Why?

Have you even started putting resumes out?  Why not?

Do you expect to work at your current firm until you retire?  Clearly not.  So why hold on to the job now?  

I have enormous amount of sympathy for folks who get screwed by their employers unexpectedly.  My sympathy dwindles for folks who know they're being screwed and choose to allow it to happen.  

 

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

"The only thing saving me right now is having recently landed a couple of large projects....nice, fat fees with nice, fat retainers."

Saving you from what?  Being fired from a horrible place to work?

This is not saving you from potential legal action, board action, professional reputation damage etc., etc., etc.

JMW is DEAD on.    


IC

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Another star for jmw's excellent analysis.

 

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Cass, shouldn't that be "The Three Stooges?"


 

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

can't they just find and delete (or throw into trash) her copies (either electronic or hardcopy)?

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
Nope, unless they break into my house and steal my laptop and then locate my remote electronic storage and delete those files.  I don't think I know how to do that, come to think of it.  And then there's the little thumb drive I carry around in my purse.

I figure I'll find out what's going to happen with this job very soon now.  Rain is on the way.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

I hope you have the sealed envelope with my lawyer "to be opened in the event of..." bit covered and made sure they know it.wink
Apart from anything else, copies in the hands of others is an added means to demonstrate "not tampered with recently".  

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Since you've hung in there this long, I'd stay until it's over to save more money for the bumpy road ahead.  I also agree with MikeHalloran and JMW.

Managers protect their own self-interests not the company's interest and certainly not yours.

They are posturing for the litigation, by holding an ethics meeting, which may grow to include your project.  The timing is incorrect for the litigation and your project but that is inconsequential to them.  It's all about perceptions and their ability to create the right perceptions.  Many buy into "perception is reality."  There are immutable facts.  Water ingress is a fact not a perception.  If they can create the perception of being a truthful, just, fair, and honest company, they may be able to mitigate or erase any problems.  Time will tell.

In the US, employers can treat professionals pretty much as they please.  Our system favors employers.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

I'd think it's in the hands of lawyers by now, and all parties have been told to be quiet.

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

I doubt that. I would suggest he sweeping under hte carpet has been completed.  

http://www.nceng.com.au/
"A safe structure will be the one whose weakest link is never overloaded by the greatest force to which the structure is subjected" Petroski 1992

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

I do like amber fluid.  

http://www.nceng.com.au/
"A safe structure will be the one whose weakest link is never overloaded by the greatest force to which the structure is subjected" Petroski 1992

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

(OP)
I don't know much other than the building sold in September, the company I work for still has not been paid their final invoice, and the new owners so far have not hired us to complete the repairs.  

My guess is our Client, the seller, is sipping umbrella drinks somewhere in the tropics.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Report a Client for Fraud?

Sounds like your company may not get paid anyway.... and that means... economies Downsizing, Rationalising etc.
I hope they don't start by laying you off Cass.
Make damn sure you have everything backed up somewhere other than work.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

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