Justice Department Charges Background Checks Contractor With Fraud
Last week the Justice Department filed a civil complaint in U.S. District Court in Alabama alleging that United States Investigations Services (USIS), the government’s largest background investigations contractor, of filing at least 665,000 flawed background checks between March 2008 and September 2012.
USIS is the background investigation firm that conducted checks of Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency leaker, and Aaron Alexis, the contractor who killed twelve people at September’s Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C.
The complaint alleges forty (40) percent of USIS background check submissions during the time period were flawed, allowing them to collect millions of dollars for investigations that had not been subject to a quality review process, as required by their contract with the government.
The Justice Department accused USIS senior managers of directing a practice of “dumping” or “flushing” cases, meaning they transmitted background checks to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that had falsely been presented as completed.
"USIS management devised and executed a scheme to deliberately circumvent contractually required quality reviews of completed background investigations in order to increase the company's revenues and profits," the Justice Department filing stated.
The Justice Department joined a whistleblower lawsuit initiated by former USIS employee Blake Percival under the False Claims Act. The case is United States Of America ex rel. Blake Percival vs U.S. Investigations Services, Case No. 11-cv-527, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama (Northern Division).
OPM is in the process of determining whether it will suspend or debar USIS, according to a Federal News Radio report.
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