Vest met her husband, Herb Vest
on a blind date, and the two of them built TRUE
(16m members) together in 2003.
"If we find [a member has] a felony conviction, we're going to turn [them] in for wire fraud," said CEO Herb Vest
uses a criminal screening company called "Rapsheets
," which has ~94% of U.S. felony convictions," said Vest
says Wells lives in a country that does not provide criminal data to certain companies.
says the sex offender registry isn't commercially feasible to use.Rapsheets
performs thousands of background checks instantaneously."There's no database, there's nothing I could do to possibly get all of the convicted felons," said Vest
...PRNEWSWIRE -- Aug 24 -- "We are so excited that TRUE has eclipsed the 10 million member mark and continues to maintain that growth, signing up nearly a thousand new singles per hour," says Herb Vest, founder and CEO of TRUE.Hitwise
the #1 site in the Lifestyle-Dating category for three months in a row, out of the more than 1,421 sites.By conducting criminal background screenings before allowing members to communicate with one another, TRUE
significantly reduces the number of felons on its site.TRUE
also works with Federal and State agencies, including parole boards, by notifying them that a member has misrepresented his
criminal or married status in order to improperly communicate with members."I can't guarantee that ex-felons and marrieds cannot get on TRUE; but, I can guarantee that they will be very, very sorry that they did," says Vest
...I do all I can do to prevent that," said Herb Vest, TRUE.com CEO.
So far, California, Florida, Texas and Michigan have considered (background checks) legislation.
"I am very, very concerned that Internet dating sites in general do not take this criminal situation seriously," said Vest
, who is advocating legislationrequiring dating sites to disclose on their home pages whether they do background checks.
..."They're willing to do just about anything," says TRUE founder Herb Vest, "within the normal parameters."
...Herb Vest, CEO of TRUE, said the sheer number of singles participating online is a draw.
...Herb Vest, CEO of True.com, says background checks can help the online dating industry's credibility.
acknowledges that True.com's
system has holes, but says "I can't promise criminals that they can't get on" True.com
..."I make a promise to my members," said Herb Vest, TRUE's CEO.
..."When I founded this company, I made a commitment to our members that we would do our best to create a wholesome environment for courtship -- one that includes a safer dating experience," said Herb Vest, TRUE's founder and CEO.
...Herb Vest, Founder/CEO of TRUE, argued that it's still safer to perform background checks.
agrees that if a firm touts that it does background checks, it would be wrong to say that without also disclosing the inherent fallibility of those checks.
Approximately 5% of the site's applicants fail to pass the felony screening and another 4% fail the marriage screening, CEO Herb Vest
..."Sexual incompatibility is one of the top two causes of relationship conflict, making great sex a vital part of a successful long-term romantic relationship," said Herb Vest, CEO of TRUE.
Proponents like Herb Vest
, CEO of True.com, contend that checks will help weed out unsuitable mates.
...Mark Brooks, Editor of Online Personals Watch, interviews Herb Vest, True.com's CEO and Founder.
...BUSINESS WEEK -- May 9 -- The founder and CEO of True.com, Vest has been pushing several state legislatures to pass a bill mandating that all online-dating sites do background checks on their members or carry a disclaimer if they choose not to.
The legislation has been proposed in California, Michigan, Texas, and Virginia, but so far has gained the most momentum in Florida, but it ran out of time.Match.com
, and others are against it.The American Civil Liberties Union
contend it violates members' privacy.Vest
and Republican state legislators -- John Carona, Texas, Alan Cropsey of Michigan, and Ambler of Florida -- believe the Internet's current anonymity lulls people into a false sense of security.
...Before starting True.com, Vest owned a financial firm called HD Vest, a network of independent accountants who also gave financial-planning advice.
In the early 1990s, it was either illegal or against accounting rules to take commissions in 40 out of 50 states.Vest
ignored the rules.The FTC
backed Vest's stance and the American Institute of CPAs
reversed its anticommission stance, causing many of the states to follow suit.Vest's firm prospered and was sold to Wells Fargo
in 2001 for $127 million.No matter what happens on the state level with background checks, Vest
aims to be a thorn in the online-dating industry's side for years to come.FULL ARTICLE @ BUSINESS WEEK
..."We believe it's our mission to end the divorce rate in the U.S., so we have to provide a wholesome environment," said Vest, the CEO.
...True's CEO Herb Vest said, "we don't want criminals and married people preying on our members.
-- Apr 27 -- Herb Vest
, the Dallas entrepreneur who led the fight to reshape the accounting industry, is taking on a new set of opponents: massive technology companies.His
rivals oppose his
nationwide effort to require that users of online dating services undergo criminal background checks.His
last crusade roiled the accounting establishment, resulting in changes to state rules that broadened the profession's emphasis from independent audits to selling financial advice.When opponents say that he
is redeeming political chits to advance his
bill for criminal-background checks, Mr. Vest notes that his
opponents spend more on lobbyists, and donate more to politicians, than he
does.Mr. Vest founded True.com in 2003, after selling his share of the accounting business he founded, H.D. Vest Inc., to Wells Fargo in 2001 for ~$84 million.Mr. Vest
started the site because he
was concerned about the country's "prodigious divorce rate."True.com
features a compatibility test that Mr. Vest
says was developed by a psychological research firm."A 50% divorce rate leaves in its wake devastation among children," he
...LA TIMES -- Apr 25 -- True's founder and CEO, Herb Vest, believes that every online dating service should conduct background checks, as True does.
"The primary motivation is to protect people from criminal predation online.I can't imagine anyone with a hatful of brains being against that."Vest
spent $200,000 last year on lobbyists around the country.Although opponents charge that his
goal is to gain publicity for his
site, the legislation has met with at least some success in four states.
acknowledges that it's not clear whether a search of criminal records would have prevented any of several cited incidents.
, 60, defended his
plan, saying that it was born less of business interests than a personal crusade against violence.Shortly before his
second birthday in 1946, he
mother found his
father dead at his
cabinetry business.The death was judged a suicide, but recently, Vest
uncovered evidence that it was a homicide. (The case was featured on CBS-TV's "48 Hours" news program this year.) "The murder of my father certainly left its mark on me," Vest said."I believe that I perhaps have a great deal more compassion about these matters.Deep down, I want to protect people from criminals."There could be long-term economic benefits from standardized background checks for the entire industry, said Vest
, who founded a financial-services company that was sold to Wells Fargo
& Co. in 2001 for $127.5 million.
made it legal.
...Herb Vest, founder of the site, said the Michigan legislation would save lives, property and heartache.
"As an industry, we owe it to our members to inform them of the potential hazards," he
said.In a debate on the floor last week, Democratic Sen.
..."We believe this legislation would save lives and prevent rapes, robberies and assaults," Herb Vest, True CEO.
...Very smart PR campaign ... seems to be getting more traction than even the CEO, Herb Vest, expected.
...True's CEO Herb Vest warns: "If a person is married or a criminal, they best go somewhere else."
...So far, Vest (CEO True.com) has persuaded legislators in several states to sponsor l