Security Clearance Denial

Lottery Winner Denied Clearance Due to Financial Concerns

You would think that a person who won $100,000 in a lottery would use that money to pay off any outstanding debts and still have a little left over, right? A recent Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) case showed that is not necessarily the case. A contractor was denied eligibility for a security clearance by the DoD and subsequently appealed to DOHA. Here are the relevant issues in the case:

  • Subject is a military veteran, is twice divorced, and pays $1,394 a month in child support for five children
  • Started incurring some of the delinquent debts identified in his SOR as early as 2009 (vehicle repossession, involved in a car accident with no insurance, credit card)
  • Won $100,000 in a lottery in 2016 and used some of it to pay child support arrears, buy a new truck, pay off loans from family members, and resolve other debts owed to the government

Even after paying off some of his debts with his lottery winnings he still owed over $13k for the car repossession, $2,150 to settle a court judgment awarded against him for damaging a rental apartment, $2,000 in student loans that were in deferment, a $1,427 telephone service bill, a court judgement for $3,186 when he bought new tires and rims, and another judgement in the amount of $3,821 for furniture purchases. These were just the highlights in the SOR, I am sure I missed a few others. This is a classic case of a failure to live within one’s means, satisfy debts, and meet financial obligations. This particular contractor definitely did not get or take sound financial advice after his lottery windfall.

Can you guess the end result in his appeal?