RECENT FOREIGN INFLUENCE / FOREIGN PREFERENCE CASE VICTORIES

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security clearance expertU.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” and “C” (April 17, 2017)

Our client in this matter was a DoD contractor accused of presenting a foreign influence risk due to multiple relatives in India, as well as possession of real estate and a bank account in that country. Although we typically request that clients divest from their foreign real estate holdings, this particular client was unable to do so and we were forced to prepare a case for mitigation based solely upon countervailing considerations – namely, the strength of his ties in the United States. Our experienced attorneys were able to do just that, successfully arguing that the client’s assets in India constituted only a small fraction of his net worth (thereby eliminating their potency for economic coercion), and his relationships with his U.S. family members far outweighed his relationships with extended family in India. This was a challenging case, but ultimately the judge sided with our client in a lengthy and favorable opinion. Security clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” and “C” (March 28, 2017)

Our client in this matter was a DoD contractor accused of: using an Israeli passport while a U.S. citizen; serving in the Israeli military for two years; voting once in Israel while a U.S. citizen; and, having several relatives who are citizen-residents of Israel. The client opted to respond to the Statement of Reasons pro se (without legal representation), but retained us for a subsequent DOHA hearing. Immediately, our attorneys began preparing a strong defense on both the facts and the law. We highlighted the client’s strained relationship with his Israeli relatives, the close relationship between the two countries, and the unusual circumstances surrounding the passport use and voting. Our efforts, coupled with the client’s compelling testimony, resulted in a favorable decision on all counts for our client. Security clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE; GUIDELINE “B” (February 13, 2017)

In this matter, we represented a U.S. State Department contractor accused of presenting a security risk due to relatives and a bank account in Pakistan. We prepared a strong case that highlighted our client’s decades of honorable service, his deep ties to the United States, and the marginal nature of his relationships in Pakistan. An extensive “whole person” analysis cemented the fact that no reasonable likelihood existed of our client being pressured or coerced to betray the United States as a result of his minimal ties to Pakistan. Security clearance granted.

U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT; GUIDELINE “B” (February 6, 2017)

In this case we represented a USAID contractor accused of presenting a foreign influence risk due to familial and financial ties in Egypt. Our attorneys prepared a strong response to the Statement of Reasons, which we then followed with an aggressive defense at a DOHA hearing. We presented powerful evidence regarding the client’s extensive pro-U.S. career history, her counter-veiling ties in the United States, and the favorable nature of U.S. – Egyptian military relations. The result was a win for our client on all counts. Security clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “B” (January 31, 2017)

Our client in this matter was a DoD contractor alleged to present a security risk due to numerous familial ties in Colombia. Our attorneys prepared a strong defense which we were prepared to litigate before a DOHA Administrative Judge. However, as a result of our pre-trial efforts, the government agreed to drop the case against our client just days before a scheduled hearing. Security clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” and “C” (January 24, 2017)

Our client in this matter was a DoD contractor accused of being a security risk due to numerous relatives in India and his ownership of a property in that country valued at $75,000. The client responded to the Statement of Reasons (SOR) pro se, but retained our firm for the subsequent hearing. In the interim, our attorneys crafted a strong defense. We worked collaboratively with the client to establish evidence of the client’s ties in the U.S., researched case law, and presented a compelling case to the government in informal negotiations pre-trial. Ultimately, our efforts persuaded the government to drop the case without the need for a hearing. Security clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” and “C” (January 3, 2017)

Our client in this matter was a DoD contractor accused of posing a national security risk due to multiple relatives in Egypt and her decision to vote in that country’s 2012 election. The client responded to her Statement of Reasons pro se (without counsel), but hired us for her DOHA hearing. Prior to the hearing, we worked extensively with the client to obtain evidence of mitigation. We meticulously researched the U.S.-Egypt relationship and prepared a motion for Administrative Notice that identified favorable factors regarding diplomatic and military ties between the two governments. At hearing, our client was well-prepared to testify and eloquently explained both the negligible bonds to her Egyptian family members and the strong connections she had in the United States. Combined with other favorable evidence regarding her decision to vote in 2012, our case was strong enough to convince a judge that our client poses no security threat. Security clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “B” (December 20, 2016)

Our client in this matter was a senior defense contractor accused of presenting a security risk due to numerous family ties in Egypt. We worked extensively with the client to gather mitigating evidence of both his patriotism and his deep ties in the United States. We then prepared a strong defense on the allegations, highlighting the nature of the client’s relationships, the employment and social status of those involved, and the low visibility of these individuals to a foreign government. Ultimately, the totality of our substantive and ‘whole person’ defense was enough to convince the government to withdraw the case against our client without the need for a hearing. Security Clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” and “C” (December 14, 2016)

In this matter, we represented a DoD contractor accused of presenting a security risk due to his exercise of dual U.S.-Taiwan citizenship and the existence of familial and financial ties in Taiwan. We aided the client in appropriately divesting from the foreign country and mitigating his other ties. We then prepared a compelling defense that highlighted the Client’s strong U.S. ties and the unusual situation surrounding his foreign property. At trial, we successfully convinced a judge that our client presented no national security risk to the United States. Clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” and “C” (December 12, 2016)

Our client in this matter was a DoD contractor accused of presenting a security risk due to his exercise of dual U.S.-Chinese citizenship and the existence of familial and financial ties in Hong Kong. In preparing a defense, our attorneys quickly discovered that the government’s case was premised on partially inaccurate information. We then worked with the client to obtain extensive mitigating information and evidence of his patriotism. At trial, we successfully convinced a judge that our client presented no national security risk to the United States. Clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” and “C” (December 12, 2016)

In this matter, we were privileged to represent a DoD contractor in Japan. The client was accused of presenting a security risk due to dual U.S.-Japanese citizenship, acceptance of public benefits in Japan, and a variety of familial ties in that country. Our attorneys worked extensively with the client to prepare a strong defense on both the facts and the law. We leveraged our knowledge of DOHA case law to set the stage for victory, and we clinched it with a variety of compelling evidence that stood in stark contrast to the government’s depiction of the client. At trial, we succeeded in convincing a judge that our client poses no national security risk. Clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “B” (November 13, 2016)

In this matter, we were privileged to represent a respected scientist with family in South Korea. The government alleged that those familial connections, along with other social contacts in South Korea, made our client a security risk on foreign influence grounds. We prepared a comprehensive defense that highlighted the strength of the client’s ties in the United States, his diligence in reporting his foreign contacts, and his favorable reputation in the community. The totality of the evidence was enough to persuade a judge that our client presents no security risk to the United States. Security clearance granted.

U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT; GUIDELINES “B” and “C” (November 3, 2016)

In this matter, we represented a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) employee issued a Statement of Reasons due to relatives, property, and other connections in Russia. We prepared a strong defense to the allegations, highlighting the nominal strength of the ties, the compelling circumstances, and the Applicant’s overwhelming evidence of loyalty to the United States. We also identified numerous inaccuracies in the agency’s report of investigation – issues that were critical to the defense. As a result of our efforts, we were successful in obtaining a withdrawal of the SOR without the need for a hearing.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” and “C” (October 18, 2016)

Our client in this matter was a senior nuclear scientist with an impressive track record of service to our country. Nonetheless, his allegiance was called into question as a result of his dual citizenship with Italy, his ownership of two properties there, and his maintenance of an Italian bank account. Bigley Ranish, LLP Attorney Aileen Xenakis worked extensively with the client to develop mitigating evidence and prepare a response to the allegations. Although the allegations were factually correct, we provided strong legal and “whole person” arguments that ultimately carried the day. So strong was our case that the government opted to simply withdraw the Statement of Reasons (SOR) without the need for a hearing. Security clearance retained.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “C” (September 29, 2016)

We represented a U.S. Army officer accused of exhibiting foreign preference due to his possession of a Croatian passport. Our defense identified numerous mitigating factors and highlighted “whole person” evidence that tended to establish a clear preference for the United States over any foreign country. Ultimately, we proved that the Croatian passport was a situational necessity at one time – and that the soldier no longer needed it or maintained possession of it. In light of the record as a whole, a favorable decision was rendered for our client.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “B” (September 19, 2016)

We represented a first generation immigrant from India accused of presenting a security risk due to relatives and a residential property in that country. In rebuttal, we offered a detailed analysis of the client’s stronger ties to the United States. We also highlighted recent positive improvements in U.S-India ties and prepared the client to testify in an adversarial proceeding. As a result of our efforts, after a formal hearing a judge found in our client’s favor. Security clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “B” (September 12, 2016)

We were privileged to represent a Department of Defense contractor accused of being a security risk due to several family members who were citizen-residents of India. Our Senior Counsel, Lee Schachter, worked extensively with the Client to obtain evidence of mitigation and prepare for a hearing. As a result of our pre-trial efforts, the government apparently realized that their case was not worth pursuing and opted to withdraw it just weeks before the scheduled court date. Security clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “B” (September 2, 2016)

We represented a DoD contractor accused of being a security risk due to familial relationships in Taiwan. We prepared a detailed response to the Statement of Reasons (SOR) that highlighted the tangential nature of the ties and the client’s deep, longstanding ties in the United States. So strong was our case that the government opted to simply withdraw the SOR without the need for a hearing. Security clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “B” (August 25, 2016)

We represented a DoD contractor accused of being a security risk due to the fact that his mother and sister are citizen-residents of Iran. We aggressively attacked the government’s case, outlining the client’s deep and longstanding ties to the United States, his exhibited patriotism, and the lack of any substantive relationship with his elderly mother and estranged sister. Using our unique expertise, we managed to win this case solely off a written SOR response without the need for a hearing.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “C” (August 25, 2016)

We represented a DoD contractor accused of being a security risk due to his possession and renewal of a Canadian passport. We prepared a strong response to the Statement of Reasons (SOR) that highlighted the client’s compelling and unique need for the passport, as well as his strict compliance with published rules of the Defense Security Service (DSS) regarding this issue. As a result, the government opted to withdraw the SOR and reinstate our client’s security clearance without the need for a hearing.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “B” (August 25, 2016)

We represented a DoD contractor accused of being a security risk due to family ties in India. Those ties included several immediate family members who are citizens and residents of India (including one who serves in that country’s military) and an Indian bank account with a balance of $9,000. At a hearing before a DOHA judge we highlighted the client’s extensive ties in the United States, her exhibited patriotism, and the marginal relationship she has with her relatives in India. As a result, the judge decided in our client’s favor and granted our client’s security clearance.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “C” (July 26, 2016)

We represented a military police officer accused of foreign preference for his purportedly stated desire to enlist in the military of a friendly foreign country. This was a bizarre case, but one which we were able to easily make in our client’s favor by addressing the gross misinterpretation of his comments and highlighting his strong and unwavering ties to the United States. Security clearance granted based solely on a written SOR response.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “C” (May 5, 2016)

Our client in this matter was an active duty Air Force officer denied a security clearance on the basis of dual citizenship with Cuba and possession of a Cuban passport. Using our significant prior experience in similar cases, we successfully mitigated all security concerns and obtained a favorable decision from the Air Force Personnel Security Appeals Board. Security clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “B” (April 20, 2016)

In this matter we represented a DoD contractor issued a Statement of Reasons (SOR) due to family ties in India, as well as his ownership of a bank account and apartment in that country. With solely a written SOR response we mitigated all security concerns and established that the client’s American allegiance could never be compromised by foreign influence. Security clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “C” (April 12, 2016)

In this matter we represented a DoD contractor accused of being a security risk due to dual U.S. – Ecuadorian citizenship, as well as his possession of a national identity card from Ecuador. With just a written response to the SOR we mitigated all concerns over the client’s allegiances. We proved that the client had obtained his national identity card for a benign purpose, and facilitated its destruction in accordance with federal regulations. Security clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” and “C” (March 25, 2016)

Our client in this matter – a DoD contractor – was accused of being a national security risk due to her purported ties with Israel. Specifically, it was alleged that the client is a dual citizen, maintained an Israeli passport, and had various relatives in Israel.

We presented a strong case for mitigation, proving that the client’s dual citizenship was merely a product of her ancestry, that the Israeli passport has been destroyed, and that her prior use of the Israeli passport was in compliance with applicable law. We also proved that, on balance, the client’s allegiance is unequivocally with the United States. As a result, the government withdrew the Statement of Reasons without the need for a hearing. Clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” and “C” (March 4, 2016)

Our client in this matter was a DoD contractor and a naturalized U.S. Citizen from China. The government alleged both foreign influence and foreign preference concerns based upon multiple relatives in China, ownership of property there, and possession of a Chinese passport. Despite the inherent difficulties of China foreign influence / preference cases, we were able to successfully mitigate all security concerns and prove that the client’s loyalties rest solely with the United States. Security clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “B” (January 25, 2016)

We represented a DoD contractor accused of being a security risk due to his ties with Pakistan. Despite having numerous relatives in Pakistan (including one who had previously worked for a foreign military), we proved that the client’s loyalties were solely to the United States and could not be swayed by foreign influence. Clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” and “C” (January 11, 2016)

In this matter, we represented a Department of Defense contractor charged under both Guideline “B” (Foreign Influence) and Guideline “C” (Foreign Preference). Despite allegations that the client had German relatives, owned a home in Germany, and had voted in a German election, we presented overwhelming evidence that the client’s ties to the United States were stronger and that she posed no national security risk. The Statement of Reasons was withdrawn by the government without the need for a hearing. 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” and “C” (December 17, 2015)

Our DoD contractor client was charged with both foreign preference and foreign influence concerns over her ties with the Republic of Georgia. Specifically, the government alleged that our client had numerous friends and relatives in that country, maintained a foreign passport, and had exercised other privileges of foreign citizenship.

We prevailed by countering the government’s allegations with mitigating evidence and by showing that the client’s stronger ties to the United States were clearly more indicative of her allegiance. Clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “C” (November 19, 2015)

We represented a DoD contractor charged with Italian foreign preference concerns under Guideline “C.” Despite the fact that the client holds dual U.S.-Italian citizenship and was born and raised in Italy, our detailed, thoughtful case strategy demonstrated that the client’s ties to the United States were stronger than his ties to Italy. We further mitigated security concerns by highlighting the favorable nature of the relationship between the two countries. Clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “C” (October 27, 2015)

Our client in this matter – a decorated U.S. sailor – was accused of being a security risk due to his possession of a foreign passport and his apparent dual citizenship with Ecuador. We presented a strong case that identified multiple mitigating factors and highlighted the strength of the sailor’s ties to the United States. The Statement of Reasons was withdrawn by the government before trial.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” and “C” (October 6, 2015)

The client in this case was a defense contractor accused of being a security risk due to her familial ties to South Korea, her contacts with representatives of the South Korean government, and her retention of a South Korean passport. We prevailed with an elaborate defense that proved, among other things, the incidental nature of the client’s government contacts, and the strength of her U.S. ties. Ultimately, we proved that the client’s loyalties are solely with the United States. SOR withdrawn / clearance granted before hearing.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “B” (September 18, 2015)

We were privileged to represent a DoD Contractor charged with foreign influence under Guideline “B.” The government indicated concerns regarding the client’s relatives in Pakistan and the extent to which the client might be placed in a position of divided loyalties because of them. At trial, we presented a detailed balancing of the facts that showed any potential foreign influence was highly unlikely. We also provided sufficient evidence to show that the client would resolve any dispute between the two countries in favor of the United States. Clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” and “C” (August 25, 2015)

We represented in this case a DoD contractor accused of being a security risk because of family and financial ties with India. We prepared extensive evidence regarding the client’s strong ties with the United States, instructed the client on divesting from property investments in India, and documented how the client’s minority status in India negated any foreign preference risk. Security clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” AND “C” (June 16, 2015)

We represented an extremely successful DoD contractor who was painted as a security concern by the government because of his financial generosity to family members in his home country. At an emotional hearing, we successfully proved that the applicant’s philanthropic heart does not reflect a lack of patriotism.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” AND “C” (June 5, 2015)

Our client, a decorated Airman, was accused of being a security risk due to family and financial ties with Pakistan. Despite numerous security allegations, we were successful in proving that the Airman is a patriot who would resolve any conflict between the two countries in favor of the United States. As a result, the Airman’s security clearance was restored and he now has a clear flight path for promotion (pun intended).

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “B” (May 15, 2015)

The government accused a respected research scientist of being a security risk due to his Iranian heritage and ties with that country. Despite the fact that our client still had family in Iran and owned property there – not to mention the general difficulty of foreign influence cases involving Iran – we prevailed on the evidence and won our case.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “B” (April 8, 2015)

Our client, a naturalized U.S. citizen from India, was accused of being subject to foreign influence from family members still living in that country. Notably, one of these family members is employed by the Indian government. We neutralized all foreign influence concerns with a strong legal case, and the security clearance was granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “B” AND “F” (February 9, 2015)

A DOD employee was accused of accumulating $42,000 in unresolved debt and of having numerous relatives living in a hostile foreign country. We were able to prove that the employee had taken responsible actions to address his debts. We also proved that the employee’s relatives were not a security risk. The employee’s security clearance was restored.

*Each case is unique. Representations of past success are not a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of future results. Cases involving multiple guidelines are reported under each guideline.