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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The U.S. Justice Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that a background check contractor agreed to settle allegations of allegedly failing to perform required quality control reviews on background check investigations for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in violation of the False Claims Act (FCA).

According to a press release on the DOJ website, U.S. Investigations Services Inc. (USIS) and its parent company, Altegrity, have agreed to forgo their right to collect payments valued at least at $30 million that they claim were owed to them by OPM in exchange for a release of liability under the FCA.

The government claimed USIS allegedly circumvented required quality reviews of completed background check investigations from at least March 2008 to at least September 2012 through a practice referred to as “dumping” or “flushing” which involved releasing cases to OPM as complete when, in fact, they were not.

By relying upon the alleged false representations made by USIS, the government contended that OPM issued payments and contract incentives that would not otherwise have been issued had OPM been aware that the background check investigations had not gone through the required quality review process.

“Shortcuts taken by any company that we have entrusted to conduct background investigations of future and current federal employees are unacceptable,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, stated in the DOJ press release.

The DOJ press release also stated that the “claims resolved by the settlement agreement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.”  The case is United States of America, ex rel., Blake Percival, v. U.S. Investigations Services, LLC, No. 14-cv-00726-RMC (D.D.C.).

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