Security Clearance Denial

A DOHA Appeal Involving Rarely Used Allegiance Guideline

The national security adjudicative guideline for allegiance is rarely used in security clearance denials, in fact, I have only come across it used less than a handful of times over the years. Now, one has popped up in a Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals case for a defense contractor. The contractor was initially denied clearance eligibility by the DoD based on concerns involving allegiance and personal conduct. He subsequently appealed to DOHA. Here is a summary of the case.

The contractor submitted his Questionnaire for National Security Positions (SF-86) and answered “no” to the question that asked, “Have you EVER associated with anyone involved in activities to further terrorism?” During the course of the background investigation, it was discovered the contractor had several suspicious wire transfers into and out of his bank account. When asked about this by the investigator during his interview, he acknowledged making four deposits of $15,000 and then transferring $14,500 back out each time, before the bank froze his account. He then filed a false police report claiming he was the victim of a scheme and that it was for a legitimate business venture.

After some more probing by the investigator, it eventually came out that the contractor had been contacted by a Ms. C who solicited him to set up an LLC and move money around for her using his bank account and Western Unions. He eventually realized it was a money laundering scheme, but he kept doing it anyway for the money. The contractor also confessed that the U.S. Secret Service had contacted him after his account was froze and told him the funds went to ISIS. Later on, in another interview with the background investigator, he changed his story to say he was told the funds went to an Eastern European country. Despite his claim he did not provide false information on the SF-86, the judge was not swayed and ruled against him for both allegiance and personal conduct. This is a classic case of someone who should not be applying for jobs that require a security clearance.