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Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Guilty Plea in Falsifying U.S. Background Checks

WASHINGTON (CN) - A former government contractor faces prison time after pleading guilty Thursday to falsifying background checks on various applicants, including those seeking classified work.

Brian Rapier, 34, is the 18th background investigator to be convicted on charges of making false representations in federal background checks. Two record checkers have also been convicted, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

USIS, formerly known as U.S. Investigations Services Inc., had employed Rapier as an investigator to do background checks for the Federal Investigative Services, an office of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Between June 2009 and April 2010, in more than four dozen reports on such work, the Sumter, S.C.-based Rapier "represented that he had interviewed a source or reviewed a record­ regarding the subject of the background investigation," prosecutors said.

"In fact, he had not conducted the interviews or obtained the records of interest," the statement continues. "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."

Rapier pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to a charge of making a false statement.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell will sentence Rapier on July 25. Rapier faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. As part of his plea, Rapier has agreed to pay the government $173,446 in restitution.

This figure will cover the cost that Federal Investigative Services now faces in having to reopen and rework the various background investigations that had been assigned to Rapier.

Federal Investigative Services has a staff of approximately 7,600, including 6,100 field investigators. It conducted more than 2.3 million investigations during the 2013 fiscal year "for numerous federal agencies and their contractors, on individuals either employed by or seeking employment with those agencies or contractors."

"More than 700,000 of these investigations involved applicants for access or continued access to classified information," the U.S. Attorney's Office added.

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