Security Clearance Denial

Money Laundering and Foreign Influence Concerns Sink Clearance Applicant

I don’t know many people who would willingly hand over their personal bank account information to their nephew in order for him use it to transfer money in and out for the purpose of manipulating the foreign exchange rate for profit. This would obviously be a money laundering operation and to not recognize that, someone would really have to lack common sense. A DOD security clearance applicant was denied eligibility for exactly this reason. Here are the highlights of the case:

The applicant is a naturalized U.S. citizen, originally from Nigeria, and works as a database administrator for a federal contractor. The background investigation results came back with issues concerning foreign influence, foreign preference, and personal conduct. Specifically of concern was the fact he had allowed his nephew in Nigeria to use his U.S. bank accounts to move over $500,000 in and out of the U.S. for profit. The applicant claimed the nephew told him the money was going to be used to renovate the palace in the village where the nephew lived, but he later learned the nephew had lied and admitted it was to make a profit on the foreign exchange rates. The applicant also admitted to having transferred money to various business entities in Nigeria, and even to the nephew’s ex-wife, all at the request of his nephew. The foreign influence concerns stemmed from the applicant having multiple friends and family members who were Nigerian citizens living in Nigeria.

The Defense Office of Hearing an Appeals judge in this case noted the applicant, using common sense, should have known the nephew was complicit in a money laundering operation and ceased allowing his bank accounts to be used for that purpose. The fact that he continued this for a year and a half lends one to believe the applicant was aware of the true nature of the money transfers. The judge upheld the denial based on personal conduct and foreign influence concerns.


  1. Wow. A Nigerian scam. Whodathunk?