USIS Whistleblower Finally Compensated for Doing the Right Thing
The man who blew the lid off of security clearance fraud committed by former OPM Contractor USIS finally got compensated for his perseverance and courage to speak up and do the right thing. An article in the Washington Post detailed how Blake Percival, a former USIS Director of Fieldwork Services, went from an extravagant office in western Pennsylvania making $110,000 a year, to getting fired and his family having to live at his parents’ house in Alabama with barely enough money to feed his family. Percival filed a civil lawsuit against USIS and after 4 and-a-half years of dealing with the justice system, Percival was awarded a little bit over six million dollars–of which he will get 3.3 million after paying off all of his legal fees.
Percival was fired by USIS after he refused an order to continue the practice of dumping cases. Prior to this, he had conducted some inquires and discovered the office he had just taken over had been committing fraud by claiming it had reviewed completed investigations before sending them back to OPM, when it had not. USIS senior management were aware of and condoned the practice, filling the company coffers with millions of dollars in performance bonus payouts. Had not the Justice Department joined in the lawsuit in 2013 who knows if USIS would have been forced out of the security clearance business or if Percival would have been able to fight and win his case. Although the road for Percival was hard, financially, emotionally, and professionally, it shows that at the end of the day doing the right thing is the right thing to do.