- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 20, 2015

The personnel vetting company that screened whistleblower Edward Snowden and Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis will forfeit $30 million to settle federal fraud charges.

The Department of Justice announced Wednesday that U.S. Investigations Services Inc. (USIS) and its parent company, Altegrity, have agreed to forego payments owed to them by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

The Falls Church, Va.-based USIS — the largest private background check firm used by the government — allegedly carried out a plot to “flush” or “dump” individual cases that they deemed to be low-level in order to meet internal goals, turning over incomplete background checks to OPM.

“Contractors who do business for the federal government have a responsibility to provide the goods and services that they promise,” said acting U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen Jr. of the District of Columbia, in the Justice Department’s statement. “This particular company failed to meet its obligations of comprehensively reviewing the backgrounds of current and prospective federal employees. This settlement demonstrates our commitment to holding government contractors accountable.”

The Justice Department began investigating the case last year when a whistleblower complained about USIS‘ questionable practices.

According to the federal charges, USIS officials knew of the dumping scheme, which allegedly took place from March 2008 until September 2012, according to federal court documents.

The company came under scrutiny after Mr. Snowden leaked thousands of top-secret National Security Agency files and Mr. Alexis killed 13 people in a 2013 shooting rampage at Washington’s Navy Yard.

Both USIS and Altegrity filed for bankruptcy in February.

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