Background check firm USIS (United States Investigations Services) has struck a deal with The Justice Dept. after evidence claimed it cut corners when it vetted federal employees. USIS Inc. was responsible for a background check on Edward Snowden. The company has agreed to settle for $30 million which resolves the claim over it’s background check investigations.
On Wednesday the justice department confirmed the settlement with United States Investigation Services and Altegrity Inc. it’s parent company. This resolves the claim over it’s background check services and the failure to to carry out quality control checks. This settlement encompasses a broader deal around Altegrity’s bankruptcy proceedings. The company filing in February for Chapter 11. It also resolves a whistle blower claim within a 2011 lawsuit joined later by The Justice Dept.
This case was asides from their review of Edward Snowden now living in Russia or the technology contractor Aaron Alexis who in 2014 murdered 12 people in Washington. The firm had been the subject of heightened interest, they had been the largest provider (private) of background check and security reports on individuals to the government. The justice Dept. stated that any company entrusted with background check investigations of federal employees who cut corners is unacceptable. Altegrity offered no response by way of comment.
USIS sought to knowingly circumvent quality control of background check investigations solely to increase profits and revenue, this practice continued from early 2008 to at least late 2012. USIS carried on with internal practices known as “flushing” or “damping”. This involves releasing a background check on an individual marked as complete when this was not the case. USIS therefore fraudulently received revenue from the government it would not have otherwise received.
USIS together with Altegrity agreed not to take payments to the value of $30 million. This amount being what they claimed they were owed by The OPM. The claim by The Justice Dept. was originated by a former executive of USIS called Blake Percival in 2011. This lawsuit was brought about by The False Claims Act, a law which allows individuals to collect a reward for whistle blowing on fraudulent acts against government. The settlement share in favour of Blake Percival has not yet been determined.
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