The culprits in this case had different motivations, methods and expectations but they shared one trait — they were united by their decision to commit fraud. Some were disgruntled employees at recruiting companies hoping to branch out and open their own businesses. Others were stressed-out recruiters who had unrealistic budgets and time constraints placed upon them. And still others were simply unscrupulous business owners trying to save a buck. The one thing they had in common was that they targeted the same victim.
Serve.com was founded by Linden McNally to provide online recruitment and related professional services to corporations. Serve established and maintained a network of 60 offices nationwide and employed 2,500 people; it was considered the nation's leading job portal. The client list included employers, screening companies, consultants and job seekers, and it was strictly an Internet business. It had a Web site on which corporate clients could place recruitment classifieds and it offered online tools for conducting searches in resume databases and applicant screening programs. These services required Serve's customers to be able to download large amounts of data from the Web site.
Serve also provided lists of consultants, including their addresses, the top 100 companies in the country, the industry leaders and so forth; these services were mainly used by individuals. Individuals made online payments and either downloaded the ...