Background Investigations

Another Background Investigator Caught Falsifying Records

There has been a slew of instances where federal background investigators have been indicted for falsifying their work in regard to completing records checks and interviews. The Department of Justice (DOJ) unveiled the latest occurrence in which Christopher Laughlin, a federal background investigator first with the Office of Personnel Management in 2018, then with the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA), was investigated in 2021 after an individual reported to DCSA that he had not been interviewed for his background investigation as was reported by Laughlin. As a part of their internal quality control processes, DCSA further investigated his submitted work and discovered numerous other individuals also had not been interviewed as was reported by Laughlin.

DCSA’s Office of the Inspector General opened an official investigation into Laughlin’s activities and discovered Laughlin fabricated at least 43 interviews that never took place. This resulted in costing DCSA $70,000 to complete the rework for those investigations. Laughlin pled guilty to the charge of making false statements, was sentenced to one year probation, and ordered to pay restitution of the costs back to DCSA. The DOJ summary does not go into details as to why Laughlin decided to do this or what his motivation was. His assigned area of responsibility was in Indiana, so I don’t think case overload would have been a factor. This type of conduct puts a black mark on all the other background investigators out there who are doing their job beating the pavement and putting in windshield time daily.


  1. I will never understand the appeal of this. It has to take more effort to falsify these interviews that to just complete the work in the first place.