AZ business admits to hiring ex-cons; BBB revokes accreditation - WNEM TV 5

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AZ business admits to hiring ex-cons; BBB revokes accreditation

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Jeff Stephan, the CEO of Capitol Processing Network, said the convicted felons his company employs "have access only to public information." Jeff Stephan, the CEO of Capitol Processing Network, said the convicted felons his company employs "have access only to public information."
Capital Processing Network processes credit cards and handles sensitive information. Capital Processing Network processes credit cards and handles sensitive information.
© The Better Business Bureau revoked its accreditation of Capital Processing Network. © The Better Business Bureau revoked its accreditation of Capital Processing Network.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The CEO of Capital Processing Network admits he hires ex-cons to work at his company. But what may come as a surprise is that the company processes credit cards and handles sensitive information.

CBS 5 Investigates looked into the company after people came forward with allegations that CPN employees were given access to customers' personal information and that some of those employees were felons.

"It was a very scary place to work," said one former employee, who asked not to be identified.

"A lot of the team members are convicted felons," said Audrey Groteboer, another former employee.

Our investigation exposed that roughly 20 percent of the Phoenix staff at CPN have committed crimes ranging from identity theft to manslaughter to forgery.

After our investigation, the Better Business Bureau revoked CPN's accreditation.

The CEO of Capital Processing Network initially refused to answer our questions. But now, months later, he agreed to talk about his practice of hiring felons.

"Those employees have access only to public information," said CEO Jeff Stephan.

Stephan gave CBS 5 investigators a tour of his company, which processes credit card transactions for small businesses. Stephan refused to let cameras come along.

"The last thing we want is the public to know the design and the layout of our facility," Stephan said.

During the tour of CPN, it appeared to be a typical boiler room call center. Stephan was quick to point out the paper shredders and the locked room where he said sensitive files are kept.

"Our industry is extremely difficult to understand," said Stephan, who tells us he's appealing the BBB's decision.

The Arizona BBB would not discuss the case on camera; however, CBS 5 learned one reason the company's rating was revoked was due to "involvement in activities that reflect unfavorably," according to the BBB's website.

"We've always had an 'A' rating, and then the day after your program aired, our rating got revoked," Stephan said. "So it's a mystery to us."

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