Obtaining Security Clearance

Falsification on SF-86 Results in Federal Criminal Charges

It is a fairly good bet that not all security clearance applicants read the fine print in the instructions section before filling out the Questionnaire for National Security Positions (SF-86). Under the “Penalties for Providing False or Inaccurate Information” section it states the U.S. Criminal Code (title 18, section 1001) provides that knowingly falsifying or concealing a material fact is a felony which may result in fines and/or up to five (5) years imprisonment. In addition, Federal agencies generally fire, do not grant a security clearance, or disqualify individuals who have materially and deliberately falsified these forms, and this remains a part of the permanent record for future placements.

A DoD security clearance contractor got caught falsifying his SF-86 in 2018 when he had answered no on Section 29: Association Record which asks about belonging to organizations that advocate or practice acts of force or violence to discourage others from exercising their rights under the U.S. Constitution or that of any state of the U.S. with the specific intent to further such action. It turned out the applicant had belonged to two white supremacist groups as recently as 2017 and lied about it in order to obtain a security clearance and employment with a defense contractor.

The contractor came to the attention of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force because of his ties to the Vanguard America and Aryan Underground, which is how the federal investigation into his security clearance application started. He now faces up to five years in prison upon entering a guilty plea.