Timecard Fraud Leads to FBI Investigation and Clearance Revocation
Claiming hours worked when you don’t actually perform the work is never a good idea, yet it happens quite frequently with defense contractors working on government projects. A Raytheon systems engineer, who had a Secret clearance, had a habit of disappearing every Friday even though he claimed to be working during that time. As a result, Raytheon began an internal investigation for timecard fraud. During the course of their investigation, they reviewed network history logs and suspected the engineer had downloaded classified and proprietary information and taken it home without authorization. When he was brought in and questioned about it, he denied having done so.
Suspecting possible espionage, Raytheon reported the information to the FBI, and throughout their investigation he continued to deny the allegations. The FBI requested he turn over his computer and external hard drives for a forensic inspection. He delayed in fulfilling the FBI’s request. Little did he know the FBI was monitoring his activities during this time and they followed him to a local library where he searched for information on how to wipe his computer and external hard drive clean. Eventually, the FBI executed a search warrant on his house and computer and found thousands of electronic files belonging to the company and government, of which 570 contained classified information.
After the FBI completed the investigation, he was picked up, charged with, and eventually pled guilty to willfully retaining national defense information without authorization and was sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined $10,000. Needless to say, you can bet his security clearance was revoked pretty quickly when the investigations started. To think, this all started because he decided he was going to take Fridays off and charge the government for it. You never know when Uncle Sam is watching, best to play it straight and by the rules.