Screening News Update: USIS Guilty Plea | State Farm FCRA Decision | ICE Raids [Video]
- Guilty Plea for Another USIS Investigator
- Dutta v. State Farm Dismissal Upheld
- Results from Increased ICE Enforcement
Guilty Plea for Another USIS Investigator
A few years ago, USIS, the largest private firm doing security clearance checks for the federal government, was accused of billing hundreds of millions of dollars for poorly done and incomplete background checks. Both Edward Snowden and the Washington Naval Yard shooter received clearance during this time. Now, an ex-investigator for the company has pleaded guilty to falsifying reports, or “flushing” records. Sixty-two-year-old Rose Gross admitted to lying about interviewing sources during background investigations. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) had to rework dozens of the investigations that were assigned to her in 2013 and 2014. Gross has agreed to pay nearly $190,000 in restitution to the government and is facing 12 to 18 months in prison when she is sentenced in October. She is the 27th former USIS security clearance investigator to be punished for fudging clearance reports. The Department of Justice (DOJ) says 40% of the cases submitted by the company over 4 years were tainted.
Dutta v. State Farm Dismissal Upheld
An Appeals Court in the Ninth Circuit has upheld the dismissal of an FCRA lawsuit against State Farm. The plaintiff, Bobby Dutta, sued claiming State Farm violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) because hiring managers turned him down for a job after seeing inaccurate credit history information in his background check. The report showed that Dutta had an unpaid debt, but some of the details about the debt where incorrect. According to State Farm’s hiring criteria, just having this particular debt disqualified him from getting the position; the details where the mistakes were made didn’t even come into play. The lower court that heard the case determined that the inaccuracies in the report had nothing to do with the hiring decision and dismissed the case. The Appeals Court agreed saying the consumer lacked standing to pursue such a claim.
Results from Increased ICE Enforcement
More than 5,200 businesses were served with I-9 audit notices during a two-phase, nationwide operation by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The first phase of the operation ran from January 29th to March 30th of this year. The second phase was much shorter, from July 16th to the 20th. Out of the thousands of audits, a total of 93 arrests were made. The goal of the operation was to focus on criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly break the law by hiring people who are not legally allowed to work in the US. A press release from the department says these investigations often uncover other criminal activity such as human smuggling and trafficking, money laundering and worker exploitation.