So Much for Security Clearance; Background Checks Were Falsified

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — So much for secure security clearances.

Catherine G. Webb, 47, who worked as Special Agent of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), pled guilty Wednesday in Washington federal court to falsifying work on background investigations for agencies trying to determine if people were fit for jobs that would give them access to classified information, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. said.

Authorities say Webb admitted that she falsified work on background investigations of federal employees and contractors between March 2009 and March 2010 in more than a dozen reports.

Webb lied when she indicated that she had interviewed a source or reviewed a record involving the subject of the background investigation when she in fact had not, authorities said.

The background checks were conducted for agencies trying to determine if these people were fit for jobs that would give them access to classified information “for positions impacting national security, or for receiving or retaining security clearances.”

Her deception has prompted OPM’s Federal Investigative Services to redo numerous background investigations, authorities said.

Authorities said Webb was among a number of people prosecuted by the D.C. U.S. Attorney in the last three years involving false representations by background investigators and record checkers working on federal background investigations. Seven background investigators and two record checkers previously were convicted of charges, authorities said.


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