PSH-19-0055 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On January 17, 2020, an Administrative Judge issued a Decision in which he determined that an individual's access authorization should be restored. The Individual is employed by DOE in a position that requires him to hold a security clearance. During an investigation, Guideline F (Financial Considerations) derogatory information relating to the Individual’s finances was discovered. Specifically, the Individual made a number of electronic banking transactions totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, many of which were not honored by the transferring bank. The LSO could not determine where the Individual would have acquired such a sum and was not able to ascertain that it came from a legal source. The LSO also alleged that the Individual incurred a significant tax debt in 2016 and that seven of his monthly payments on the debt were dishonored and that the Individual’s credit report showed him owing over $700,000 in debt, with payments surpassing $9,000 per month. Through testimony from the Individual and his wife as well as other documentary evidence, the Administrative Judge determined that the Individual had satisfactorily explained the source of the money involved in the questioned transactions and demonstrated that the sum involved came from a legal source. Additionally, the Individual established that his total debt was significantly lower than was reported by the LSO and that most of the dishonored payments resulted from his wife’s errors in designating bank accounts for payment. At the time of the hearing, the Individual was current on all debt repayment and his tax debt had been fully resolved. Given the evidence in the record, the Administrative Judge found that the Individual had mitigated the Guideline F concerns. OHA Case No. PSH-19-0055 (Richard A. Cronin, Jr.).