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Auditors from Bank of America were coming to Garda’s Dedham, Mass., branch to count money that Garda was being paid to protect. Theft was rampant in that branch, according to emails between Garda managers and company security. Times reporter Bethany Barnes has been investigating GardaWorld for more than a year, with important contributions from data reporters, editors, copy editors, designers, visual journalists and digital producers. In 2017 and 2018, employees in St. Louis repeatedly stalled bank auditors in a conference room while workers scrambled to move boxes of quarters and dimes — each containing hundreds of dollars — from one bank’s account to another, according to Jammie Bolton, the branch’s manager at the time. Coins are boxed by denomination and stacked on metal pallets, often behind chain-link fences elsewhere in the building. It posts strong profit margins and has attracted investors while steadily buying competitors. “It's a working-capital business,” he said in a January interview with the podcast Speaking of Business. “We were working with Wells Fargo, so I kind of punted a hot potato over to them.”. The Federal Deposit Insurance Commission requires banks to have enough security in place to identify thieves and “preserve evidence that may aid in their identification and prosecution.”. Garda has continued to expand, completing at least 10 major acquisitions in 2018 and 2019 alone. Send a confidential message to Times investigative reporter Bethany Barnes via email at [email protected] or encrypted email at [email protected]. Other instructions coincided with major financial transactions. Told about the Times’ reporting on Garda’s vaults, Soraparu said “that’s crazy” and described the situation as “very troubling.”. Court records, interviews depict some of the company's vaults as chaotic places where employees routinely ignored protocol and lost money. Much of the growth came from acquisitions, financed with huge amounts of debt. Both bank and retail clients sometimes gave Garda extra money by accident, he said. Garda touts itself as a runaway success. Born in Bridgeport, Conn., she came here in 1963 from Fort Gordon, Ga. and was a retired major in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. He saw a special opportunity in the fact that American banks mostly hadn’t outsourced their vaults, whereas nearly all had in Canada. The U.S. government requires that banks keep meticulous track of customers' money, even if they outsource its handling to another company. © 2020 Endeavor Business Media, LLC. The deliverables of each team would be four-fold. The audit department told her to “get the proper approval and directive since this involves a significant shortage.”. It has bought two additional security companies since March and is embroiled in an intense public-relations campaign relating to its hostile takeover of G4S, with Garda executives alleging the much bigger company is mismanaged and G4S calling Garda’s offer “highly opportunistic.”. Garda’s U.S. operation doesn’t publish a client list. Tidwell could not be reached for comment Tuesday. ! Some of the currency is destined for grocery stores, gas stations and malls. GIVE US A TRY. Court records and interviews depict some of the vaults as chaotic places … The only clue about what happens inside is the armored trucks that roll out of the garage. In September, it began its boldest move yet — an ongoing hostile bid to buy G4S, the world’s largest private security firm. Needham, Mass., was missing $1.2 million. Concerns about Garda’s ability to pay began to drag down the company’s stock prices. The risk department believed it actually would cost $2 million to $3 million — if not more. In December 2013, Garda scored a deal that helped it jump to the top of that field. The company says its operating profit has grown for six years straight. The team’s analysis suggests 3 to 4 resources will need to be dedicated to this project for two months. In 2020, the employee was convicted of money laundering and the transportation of stolen money in connection with the crime. Research and Reconcile — It is critical we identify resources that can review documentation at the OOB sites and attempt to identify the time and entry error (or theft) that caused the OOB condition. The footage from some Garda security cameras was of such poor quality that it looked like it had been shot through frosted glass. And when it came to Garda’s approach to handling money, he said, the problems were big enough to undermine the premise of the business. The Times was able to identify only one case, from the 1990s, when federal prosecutors accused Revere Armored of not telling the banks that used its vaults that millions of dollars had gone missing. Brian Fink, who worked on a “SWAT team” that the company sent to branches having operational problems, also said the company was plagued by thefts it couldn’t solve. In 1972 she moved from New York, where she had been a teacher for two years, and took a $5,000 pay cut, she said, although she "doesn t think about the paycheck much." Bank of America, the nation’s second-largest bank, signed a 12-year agreement outsourcing many of its vaults to Garda. Another Springfield employee stole $30,000 over a three-month period. He said issues with truck safety and vault security had the same cause: Fixing either would require money. He and other employees said that coins were handled less carefully than bills. After nine months, it estimated roughly $9 million was missing across Garda’s vaults, according to the document. A Tampa Bay Times investigation has found that Garda lost track of millions of dollars inside its vaults, then concealed the missing money from the banks that were its clients. FERNANDEZ, FELICIA, 91, of 6200 Central Ave., and formerly of Clearwater, died Saturday (March 9, 1985). The company already operated armored trucks in Canada when it entered the U.S. market in 2005. Thefts sometimes went unnoticed until a client pointed out that money was missing, making the crime harder to solve. Fink and Bolton both said Garda sometimes used it to cover shortages. Garda has also faced allegations that it uses deceptive financial practices in other areas of its business. Today, 51 percent of the company belongs to BC Partners, with Crétier and other top executives owning the rest. “What this really goes to is the state of the investment in the infrastructure of the company,” James said. James, the former vice president of finance, said the scale of the problem across the company meant the issue couldn’t be written off as a few bad employees. Can someone please advise TD bank is asking to transfer and close out their coin inventory from Stratford to LIC, but there is a big discrepancy and we need to get the bank an answer on when we can move the inventory to LIC. It said it has “industry-leading controls in place to monitor the constant movement of our clients’ money.” The company added that the banks’ assets are never at risk because the money is insured. Survivors include two cousins, Celia V. Krysiak, Seminole, and Selma Daniels, Bridgeport. In summary, $9,140,279 OOB conditions have been identified and many OOB’s date back to previous years. Since there has been no activity for quite some time, I would like to have the remaining coin inventory transferred to LIC as soon as possible. “It’s a working-capital business,” he said in a January interview with the podcast Speaking of Business. All rights reserved. “Technically, in a cash industry, there should be no leftover money.”. “At the end of the night, I would be freaking out about thousands (of dollars) missing, and other people weren’t,” Bolton said. One focus area was around controls and the mandate to balance each vault and every customer inventory nightly. Additionally, it was identified that strict adherence to dual control and documented control procedures were not being followed. Manipulating these numbers — called “reserves” — can alter a company’s financial outlook. 225 N. Ft. Harrison Clearwater, Fla. 446-0531 467 U.S. Highway 19 N. Palm Harbor, Fla. 785-7002 GREATER CLEARWATER CHAMBER of COMMERCE What costs less than a roll of film, exposes you to all the local news, and prints information on special events? employees responsible be identified and held accountable. HOLT, BONNIE B., 72, of 250 Rosery Road, Largo, died Monday (March 11, 1985). It is not clear which of those banks currently use Garda’s vaults, whether any knew about issues in Garda’s vaults or whether any money is missing today. Other divisions of the company provide college campus security and carry out sensitive defense contracts, including protecting the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. A judge dismissed the criminal charges against the employees.

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