Atlanta company’s software aims to weed out bad work conduct before it happens

Credit: Liv Friis-larsen

Credit: Liv Friis-larsen

Verensics questions employees on ethics, work practices

He had passed repeated background checks required by his company, according to investigators. And since he was the account supervisor for Infomart, a Marietta company that specializes in corporate background checks, Joshua Aaron Knight’s office was regularly locked due to the sensitive nature of company finances.

The lock on the door didn’t prevent Knight’s alleged thefts, according to police. In March, a Cobb County grand jury indicted him on 100 counts of theft. He is accused of taking more than $800,000 from the company, the indictment states.

So what can companies do to prevent their own employees from crimes? An Atlanta software company has a tool it says can help weed out the potential unethical or illegal behaviors before they happen, taking corporate security beyond the routine background checks.

“What we did was we came up with software that can streamline that process,” Russ Law, CEO and founder of Verensics, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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His company has created software, released in 2020, that combines technology with psychological tools in the form of an online questionnaire. Corporate security experts were also included in the development of the software, currently being used across the U.S. and in Mexico, Law said.

“When they sit down to do our automated interview, they’re much more likely to share information about their own behavior and their own ethical attitudes,” Law explained. “Research shows that people are much more likely to admit this kind of thing to a machine, rather than a person.”

And that information can potentially help businesses plan follow-up conversations, possibly weeding out future problems. Employers may then be able to avoid costly investigations later on that distract from day-to-day business, Law said.

Credit: Mike Glatzer of Mike Glatzer Photography

Credit: Mike Glatzer of Mike Glatzer Photography

The majority of employees do their jobs without committing crimes, of course. But the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to many working from home, has made it easier for a small percentage of employees to commit fraud when they aren’t held accountable for their time, Law said.

In Knight’s case, the amount of missing money made news headlines, bringing negative and unwanted publicity to his former company. He was arrested and is currently free on bond. The case is pending, Cobb County court records show.

Companies that fight fraud and other security issues experience higher morale among employees and can help with recruiting, Law said.

For information on the Verensics software, visit the company’s website at