POLITICS

Man pleads guilty to falsifying background checks on federal employees, contractors

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - The backgrounds of countless federal employees and contractors has come under question after a man formally employed to perform background checks and interviews on them admitted to fraudulently reporting that he had completed them.

Brian T. Rapier, 34, a former background investigator who did work under contract for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), pled guilty Thursday to a charge stemming from his falsification of work on background investigations of federal employees and contractors, said officials from the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Inspector General for the Office of Personnel Management.

According to a statement, Rapier was employed by USIS, formerly known as U.S. Investigations Services Inc., as an investigator under contract to conduct background investigations on behalf of OPM’s Federal Investigative Services.

Between June 2009 and April 2010, in more than four dozen reports on background investigations, Rapier reported that he had interviewed a source or reviewed records regarding a person being considered for direct employment or contract work with the federal government.

"In fact, he had not conducted the interviews or obtained the records of interest," said Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

"These reports were utilized and relied upon by the agencies requesting the background investigations to determine whether the subjects were suitable for positions having access to classified information, for positions impacting national security, or for receiving or retaining security clearances," Miller explained.

As a result of Rapier’s false representations, Miller said the federal government has been forced to reopen and rework numerous background investigations that were assigned to him during the time period in question - at an estimated cost of nearly $175,000 to the U.S. government.

Miller also said Rapier's case is just one of numerous cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia since 2008 involving false representations by background investigators and record checkers working on federal background investigations.

In addition to Rapier, 17 other background investigators and two record checkers have been convicted of charges, Miller said.

Rapier is expected to be sentenced in July.

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