RECENT FINANCIAL CASE VICTORIES

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security clearance expertU.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “E” and “F” (November 30, 2021)

Our client in this matter was a DoD contractor who was issued a Statement of Reasons for approximately $30,000 in delinquent debt and for allegedly falsifying his SF-86 by omitting several of the debts.  We prepared a robust case to demonstrate that the client had resolved most of his debts, was in the process of resolving the others, and that he had acted reasonably under the circumstances.  We further demonstrated that the circumstances creating the debt were outside our client’s control, that our client had taken remedial measure to prevent recurrence, and that the omissions from the SF-86 were inadvertent.  After reviewing our pre-hearing submissions, the government opted to withdraw the SOR instead of requiring a hearing.  Security clearance granted.  

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (November 8, 2021)

Our client in this matter was a DoD contractor who was issued a Statement of Reasons for a number of delinquent consumer debts and mortgage loans.  We worked through a massive volume of paperwork to identify and present to a DOHA Judge key evidence of the client’s responsible efforts to resolve her debts.  We then worked with the client to establish other key elements of mitigation, including a budget and evidence of financial education, and supplemented it with a strong “whole person” case.  So convincing was our case, that the Judge agreed to issue a summary decision in favor of our client.  Security clearance retained. 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (August 24, 2021)

Our client in this matter was a DoD contractor who was issued a Statement of Reasons for a number of delinquent consumer debts.  The client had taken positive step to resolve the debts, but he had been defrauded by the company he hired to help him and was buried in a mountain of paperwork.  We worked extensively with the client to distill the documentation, prepare dozens of hard-hitting and well-organized exhibits for the Judge, and present his story in a compelling way.  We also prepared a favorable “whole person” case for the client and worked with him to establish other key elements of mitigation.  The result of our efforts was a favorable decision following a hearing before an Administrative Judge. Security clearance granted. 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (June 7, 2021)

Our client in this matter was a U.S. Army soldier who received a request for information (RFI) from DoD CAF regarding a number of delinquent debts.  An RFI is often a precursor to a Statement of Reasons (SOR), so we approached the case with an eye toward preventing more serious problems.  We worked with the client to prepare a detailed demonstration of her debt resolution efforts to-date, including a budget and evidence of a systematic approach to repairing her finances.  We then assisted the client in obtaining free financial education – proof of which we provided to the CAF – and helped her explain the underlying circumstances behind the debts in a way that demonstrated her personal responsibility and garnered sympathy. The result was a successful re-adjudication of her case with no further proceedings.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (March 5, 2021)

In this matter, we represented a DoD contractor issued a Statement of Reasons for several delinquent student loans.  We worked with the client to develop a plan of action for resolving the debts that would be acceptable to security officials.  We then prepared a comprehensive written response to the SOR outlining the efforts the client had made in accordance with that plan, as well as additional mitigating context.  Our defense carried the day; we succeeded in having the SOR withdrawn in a matter of weeks – and with no hearing necessary.  Security clearance granted.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (September 24, 2020)

Our client in this matter was a U.S. Army Major with a history of late-filed tax returns. In her defense, we demonstrated that the late-filings were caused by circumstances unlikely to recur; that she had acted reasonably under those circumstances; and that compelling evidence showed this situation to be an anomaly, not representative of larger issues with inability or refusal to comply with regulations. Combined with a favorable whole person case and evidence of financial education, our efforts clearly demonstrated that this client posed no national security risk. Clearance retained.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (August 26, 2020)

Our client in this matter was a U.S. Army soldier whose history of financial delinquencies resulted in a Request for Information (RFI) – a potential precursor to an SOR – issued by DoD CAF. We outlined compelling circumstances in mitigation that demonstrated the financial situation was beyond the client’s control. However, we also demonstrated that the client had acted reasonably under the circumstances; that the debts are resolved or are being resolved; and that the client had engaged in significant self-help efforts to ensure her financial future was more stable moving forward. Security clearance retained.

U.S. COAST GUARD; GUIDELINES “E” and “F” (August 7, 2020)

Our client in this matter was a U.S. Coast Guardsman accused of presenting a security risk for failing to timely pay his income taxes over several years, and for allegedly failing to accurately answer pertinent questions on the SF-86 form. We prepared a compelling case on both counts, demonstrating that the individual relied in good faith on advice from Coast Guard payroll officials regarding his withholding; that he was currently in compliance with a payment plan; that he acted responsibly under the circumstances; and that he had no intent to deceive on his SF-86. After a hearing before the Coast Guard’s Chief Security Officer, it was determined that our client did not pose a threat to national security. Security clearance reinstated with condition of continued compliance with IRS payment plan.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (August 4, 2020)

Our client in this matter was a DoD contractor and Navy veteran accused of failing to timely file and pay his income taxes for a number of years. We prepared a comprehensive defense to the allegations that highlighted the circumstances contributing to the late filing: two heart attacks, a parental kidnapping episode by a non-custodial parent, and an employer that failed to correctly report payroll data to the IRS. We also demonstrated that the client had filed and paid all back taxes; filed and paid his taxes on time for the last three years; taken a financial education course; was living within a budget; and has learned an expensive lesson. Coupled with favorable whole person evidence, our case carried the day. Security clearance retained.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE; GUIDELINE “F” (July 7, 2020)

Our client in this matter was a State Department contractor currently working overseas in a war zone. The Department raised suitability concerns about our client on the basis of her significant, and purportedly unresolved, personal debt. We prepared a detailed and compelling response, outlining the unusual circumstances that led to the debt being accrued, how our client acted responsibly under the circumstances, and how she has resolved virtually all of the outstanding liabilities. After reviewing our response, the Department’s Contractor Review Panel (CRP) opted to overturn the initial adverse findings and grant our client a favorable suitability determination to continue work.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (May 15, 2020)

Our client in this matter was a DoD contractor accused of failing to timely file federal and state income tax returns for several recent years. We worked extensively with the client to gather appropriate evidence of unusual mitigating circumstances, as well as evidence of his good character. We then prepared a compelling presentation demonstrating the client’s current compliance with all filing requirements; the fact that he had significantly overpaid his taxes, resulting in refunds; and that the circumstances under which the late filing occurred were out of the client’s control and unlikely to be repeated. Following a hearing before a DOHA judge, our client received a favorable decision continuing his access to classified information required to perform his job.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (April 29, 2020)

Our client in this matter was a DoD contractor accused of demonstrating financial irresponsibility for failing to repay a loan guaranteed on behalf of a cousin after the cousin defaulted. We prepared an aggressive defense that demonstrated a variety of mitigating factors, including the reasonableness of the client’s decision not to pay in light of unusual circumstances. A DOHA judge ruled against our client, but we appealed the decision based on several significant errors in the judge’s analysis and a procedural ruling contrary to DoD policy. In what appears to be an unprecedented action, the government opted to withdraw the case against our client instead of filing a reply to our appeal. Security clearance reinstated.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (March 3, 2020)

Our client in this matter was a DoD contractor who had declared bankruptcy several times over the preceding two decades. Although the repeated filings created an initial appearance of financial irresponsibility, we demonstrated that the truth was anything but. We argued that our client’s financial history was a combination of youthful mistakes – which he has since outgrown – and a significant history of medical troubles and unemployment/ underemployment that were outside his control. Despite these difficulties, our client had made good on repayment promises with a number of creditors and had only availed himself of bankruptcy protection as a last resort. Since the most recent filing, he had accrued no new delinquent debt and was now living within a budget. Combined with a compelling “whole person” case, our presentation succeeded in convincing a DOHA judge that our client did not pose a security risk. Security clearance retained.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (February 10, 2020)

In this matter we were privileged to represent a U.S. Army Captain accused of accruing $22,000 in delinquent debt. We demonstrated that the client had accrued the debts under reasonable circumstances, acted prudently in resolving them, and that he had, in fact, resolved much of the debt prior to the SOR being issued. We then established a strong “whole person” case and other mitigation in the form of a budget and completion of a personal financial course. After the client was unsuccessful in representing himself at the SOR stage, we succeeded in having the original DoD CAF revocation decision reversed on appeal. Security clearance reinstated.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “F” and “J” (December 19, 2019)

Our client in this matter was a DoD civilian employee accused of mortgage fraud and a history of “deceptive financial practices”. Our team prepared a comprehensive defense to the allegations, refuting the factual predicate for the claims and demonstrating that our client had acted both reasonably and in good faith under the circumstances. When combined with a strong whole person case, our rebuttal was sufficient to demonstrate that our client’s actions had been significantly misconstrued and did not pose a security risk. Security clearance retained.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (November 8, 2019)

Our client in this matter was a DoD contractor accused of presenting a security risk due to $19,000 in delinquent consumer debt. We prepared a robust response to the Statement of Reasons, laying out a case that the client had acted responsibly by consolidating her debt two years ago and making consistent payments with the consolidator. We also demonstrated that the circumstances under which the client accrued the debts were reasonable and that, when combined with a favorable whole-person assessment, no adverse inference regarding her judgment or reliability was warranted. SOR withdrawn and clearance granted without the need for a hearing.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (September 30, 2019)

In this matter, we were privileged to represent an Armed Forces veteran currently serving in a critical civilian capacity overseas. The government alleged that our client failed to file his income tax returns or pay his taxes since 2015. This would normally be a challenging case, however our team quickly determined that the government’s entire case was predicated on a clear misapplication of law. Specifically, since the client was serving in a designated combat zone, the Internal Revenue Code extended his filing and payment deadline to 180 days after his return from a combat zone. Our client had been continuously serving in a designated combat zone since 2015, so his filing obligation had never been triggered. After pointing out this clear error, we succeeded in obtaining a withdrawal of the Statement of Reasons (and thereby a favorable resolution for our client) within a matter of just weeks.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (August 19, 2019)

In this matter, we represented a DoD civilian employee accused of accruing thousands of dollars in delinquent debt and diverting her income to support a gambling habit. We prepared a strong case on both counts, demonstrating that the client had undertaken a credible debt consolidation and repayment plan, and that the gambling was a temporary escape from a difficult period in her personal life — not an addiction. Combined with a favorable whole person case, we succeeded in obtaining a favorable adjudication with only a response to the Statement of Reasons.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINES “E” and “F” (August 19, 2019)

Our client in this matter was a DoD civilian employee accused of a bizarre series of events involving PayPal transactions, a young woman, and purported adult-themed “web-cam” shows. The client, a well-respected and senior employee, was confronted with the financial transactions at issue and alleged to have lied about them in order to cover-up money laundering and/or behavior that potentially exposed the client to blackmail. Our attorneys prepared a devastatingly effective response to the allegations, demonstrating that they were entirely unsubstantiated; the product of a sloppy OPM investigation; and, most importantly, false. After significant efforts on our part to unwind the web of assumptions and inaccuracies that was woven in this case, we ultimately succeeded in demonstrating it was a house of cards. Security clearance retained.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (July 3, 2019)

Our client in this matter was a DoD contractor accused of failing to live within her means. The government alleged two bankruptcies – one in 2004 and one in 2013 – along with a number of other delinquent debts accrued even after the 2013 bankruptcy filing. In our client’s defense, we presented a strong case for mitigation based upon an unusual and unfortunate series of medical catastrophes. Those included a terminal diagnosis (fortunately a misdiagnosis) for the client’s then-minor daughter as well as a number of heart surgeries required by the client over a period of years. We demonstrated that the client’s financial troubles were the byproduct of circumstances entirely outside of her control and that the debts included in the bankruptcies were predominantly medical bills. Finally, we demonstrated that the client had acted responsibly under the circumstances and that her financial situation was now under control. Security clearance retained.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (June 19, 2019)

In this matter, we were privileged to represent a senior defense contractor who encountered financial difficulties due to a job layoff and an ailing parent who required financial support. Despite having incurred almost $20,000 in delinquent debt, we were able to demonstrate that the circumstances under which the client accrued the debt were not demonstrative of poor judgment or living beyond her means, and that she had taken reasonable steps to resolve the debt. Combined with an effective whole person case and the completion of a financial literacy course, our presentation was sufficient to result in a withdrawal of the Statement of Reasons without the need for a hearing. Security clearance retained.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; GUIDELINE “F” (March 13, 2019)

Our client in this matter was a DoD civil service employee accused of accruing thousands of dollars in delinquent, unresolved debt. We worked extensively with the client to obtain evidence that the circumstances under which the debt was accrued were reasonable and unlikely to recur. We then advised the client on the type of evidence that would be sufficient to demonstrate debt resolution and assembled a comprehensive SOR response highlighting the efforts undertaken to resolve the debts through consolidation. We also assisted the client in establishing a personal budget to provide the government and established a compelling “whole person” case. Within just two weeks, DoD CAF rescinded their proposed revocation of our client’s security clearance.

*Each case is unique. Representations of past success are not a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of future results.