FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

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FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:04 pm

I have to undergo a background check for an AUSA position. I do not have any skeletons in the closet, but I mistakenly misreported income on a tax return several years ago. When notified, I immediately paid the taxes owed, and also corrected the corresponding state return.

I have disclosed all this, but do I have anything to worry about regarding my suitability determination? The whole thing was genuinely a misunderstanding, but I'm fearful it will not come across as so.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:17 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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lacrossebrother

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby lacrossebrother » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:11 pm

The mods here refuse to encrypt this board. Not sure why you would ask this question on this site when the FBI can read everything you post here.

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby trl47 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:17 pm

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:24 pm

I'm disclosing everything honestly, so that's not really an issue. I'm just looking for a sanity check while I wait.

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:29 pm

I was told that the only dealbreakers were post-bar drug use, default on student loans, and failure to pay taxes. But I'm sure an honest mistake that you took responsibility for and fixed isn't going to be a problem (or to put it another way, if the IRS is okay with you, I'm sure the USAO will be too.)

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby andythefir » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:39 am

Check out the ALJ decisions re security clearances. http://www.dod.mil/dodgc/doha/industrial/. SUPER helpful in getting your arms around what kinds of things pass/fail. From what I've read, you're 100% fine on the background check front.

A more worrisome question I have is what effect, if any, the trump hiring freeze may have on post-offer-pre-background check DOJ personnel.

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:57 am

Those decisions are reassuring, but those are all for contractor positions. Isn't the DOJ suitability decision different?

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:I have to undergo a background check for an AUSA position. I do not have any skeletons in the closet, but I mistakenly misreported income on a tax return several years ago -- I received a school stipend that a university financial aid officer told me I did not need to report. I did not do so, and later received an adjustment from the IRS for the unreported income. I immediately paid the taxes owed, and also corrected the corresponding state return.

I have disclosed all this, but do I have anything to worry about regarding my suitability determination? The whole thing was genuinely a misunderstanding, but I'm fearful it will not come across as so.


Not directly related to your question about whether or not you have anything to be concerned about. My feelings is that you will be fine considering you paid the taxes owed and amended your state return.

I have had two friends go the AUSA route and I was contacted by an investigator to do a character and fitness interview for both friends. Each time the investigator wanted to meet me in person and do the interview. They asked about financial matters but in a very broad and general sense. Also asked a lot of questions about foreign travel, which I wasn't expecting. They wanted a lot of specifics on that.

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby andythefir » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:I have had two friends go the AUSA route and I was contacted by an investigator to do a character and fitness interview for both friends. Each time the investigator wanted to meet me in person and do the interview. They asked about financial matters but in a very broad and general sense. Also asked a lot of questions about foreign travel, which I wasn't expecting. They wanted a lot of specifics on that.


It's my understanding that for top secret, but not for secret (USAO level) they ask for people you knew in common, interview them, ask them for people you knew, interview them, and so on. Did they do any of that? I did an interview for someone's secret clearance 10 years ago, and I remember lots of absurd questions (why yes, Mr FBI agent, my 17 YO friend did knowingly engage in terrorism). Other than travel, finance, terrorism, what other questions do you remember?

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby andythefir » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:Those decisions are reassuring, but those are all for contractor positions. Isn't the DOJ suitability decision different?


They are the same standard, and they are done by the same people.

Be aware that there is a massive difference between secret and top secret clearances. Most, if not all, members of the military have secret security clearances, and how many knuckleheads do you know in the military?
Last edited by andythefir on Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:38 pm

Whether it's DOJ or OPM, someone does (or may) send people to where you lived to ask about you for an AUSA position before you start. My interviewer told he he wasn't going to be doing that for where I lived because it was an apartment complex that doesn't let investigators in to talk to renters. (Also I told him no one there would know me - I was clerking and had lived in the city for like 4-5 months and it was a big anonymous complex.) But it was clear he would have. They also contacted all the people I listed as contacts in previous years/cities before I started.

They asked one of my friends a lot about my (non-existent) travel to China.

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby andythefir » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Whether it's DOJ or OPM, someone does (or may) send people to where you lived to ask about you for an AUSA position before you start. My interviewer told he he wasn't going to be doing that for where I lived because it was an apartment complex that doesn't let investigators in to talk to renters. (Also I told him no one there would know me - I was clerking and had lived in the city for like 4-5 months and it was a big anonymous complex.) But it was clear he would have. They also contacted all the people I listed as contacts in previous years/cities before I started.

They asked one of my friends a lot about my (non-existent) travel to China.


Do you know what they asked the people they did find in prior places you lived? Did they ask your friends for more contacts or interview people you didn't provide as references?

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:56 pm

andythefir wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Whether it's DOJ or OPM, someone does (or may) send people to where you lived to ask about you for an AUSA position before you start. My interviewer told he he wasn't going to be doing that for where I lived because it was an apartment complex that doesn't let investigators in to talk to renters. (Also I told him no one there would know me - I was clerking and had lived in the city for like 4-5 months and it was a big anonymous complex.) But it was clear he would have. They also contacted all the people I listed as contacts in previous years/cities before I started.

They asked one of my friends a lot about my (non-existent) travel to China.


Do you know what they asked the people they did find in prior places you lived? Did they ask your friends for more contacts or interview people you didn't provide as references?

I think the people in the prior places were just to confirm I actually did live there (because I had put my co-clerk for one city and she told them she couldn't confirm where I lived literally since she'd never been to my apartment). I don't believe they interviewed anyone who I hadn't listed, though. At least, no one told me they did.

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:01 pm

I know a lot about this process. If that's the only thing, you're fine. Ever lived with a foreign national? Have relatives in other countries? Ever been a regular drug or alcohol user? Those are the main types of concerns.

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know a lot about this process. If that's the only thing, you're fine. Ever lived with a foreign national? Have relatives in other countries? Ever been a regular drug or alcohol user? Those are the main types of concerns.


I don't want to go too in-depth into the situation, but I have heard through the grapevine that someone got an offer after being fired for sexual misconduct on company time 5 years ago. Situation got messy and made region-wide news and news reports of the incident are the bulk of the hits when you google his name. He landed on his feet, obviously since he got a DOJ offer, but would that pose a problem?

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby Voyager » Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have to undergo a background check for an AUSA position. I do not have any skeletons in the closet, but I mistakenly misreported income on a tax return several years ago -- I received a school stipend that a university financial aid officer told me I did not need to report. I did not do so, and later received an adjustment from the IRS for the unreported income. I immediately paid the taxes owed, and also corrected the corresponding state return.

I have disclosed all this, but do I have anything to worry about regarding my suitability determination? The whole thing was genuinely a misunderstanding, but I'm fearful it will not come across as so.


Dude. No one will care about this. At all.

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:50 pm

andythefir wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have had two friends go the AUSA route and I was contacted by an investigator to do a character and fitness interview for both friends. Each time the investigator wanted to meet me in person and do the interview. They asked about financial matters but in a very broad and general sense. Also asked a lot of questions about foreign travel, which I wasn't expecting. They wanted a lot of specifics on that.


It's my understanding that for top secret, but not for secret (USAO level) they ask for people you knew in common, interview them, ask them for people you knew, interview them, and so on. Did they do any of that? I did an interview for someone's secret clearance 10 years ago, and I remember lots of absurd questions (why yes, Mr FBI agent, my 17 YO friend did knowingly engage in terrorism). Other than travel, finance, terrorism, what other questions do you remember?


They asked about alcohol use, drug use, any criminal convictions or arrests. I think they asked about people they associated with and if I knew they or if they were upstanding citizens. There was a question about ever sharing thoughts about acting out against the government or if they ever acted out against the government. Questions about where they had lived previously. How I knew the person, how well I knew them and for how long. The interview ended both times asking if I would recommend or hire them for the job.

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby andythefir » Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:They asked about alcohol use, drug use, any criminal convictions or arrests. I think they asked about people they associated with and if I knew they or if they were upstanding citizens. There was a question about ever sharing thoughts about acting out against the government or if they ever acted out against the government. Questions about where they had lived previously. How I knew the person, how well I knew them and for how long. The interview ended both times asking if I would recommend or hire them for the job.


Thanks for answering my questions. Do you know if you were a "person who knows you well" reference or a "list someone who new you when you lived [wherever]" reference?

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:37 pm

Just make sure you give anyone who you list as a reference a heads up that the FBI may be reaching out to them and that they need to take it seriously. For whatever reason, I had a friend who decided to treat the FBI investigation as a bit of a joke, which may have caused some issues for the applicant. Admittedly this was in undergrad, so the friend probably didn't realize how important the background check process was, but still...

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:11 pm

Just to throw in my data point. I recently started as an AUSA. For my initial background check, no one contacted me or any of my references. But I got cleared in like 3 weeks. Granted I was clerking, and was a state government worker prior to that.

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:24 pm

I was paid in cash under the table for a year at some shit job I had before law school, and didn't file or pay taxes that year. After getting my AUSA offer, I filed retroactively and paid all back tax, penalties and interest. It just required an explanation during my FBI interview, but it didn't disqualify me. You should be fine if that's your only issue.

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby Nebby » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:56 pm

lacrossebrother wrote:The mods here refuse to encrypt this board. Not sure why you would ask this question on this site when the FBI can read everything you post here.

You are a fucking loony bird

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was told that the only dealbreakers were post-bar drug use, default on student loans, and failure to pay taxes. But I'm sure an honest mistake that you took responsibility for and fixed isn't going to be a problem (or to put it another way, if the IRS is okay with you, I'm sure the USAO will be too.)


Hate to be hyper-technical here, and people may not have any idea (but maybe there is a CFR or something that spells this out): are these only federal loans? I never defaulted on any federal loans, but once took out a 1k loan to buy a computer through the school directly, and paid it back a few months late. I think they technically considered it in default. Stupid, but would be incredible if that were disqualifying.

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Re: FBI Background Check For AUSA Position

Postby andythefir » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hate to be hyper-technical here, and people may not have any idea (but maybe there is a CFR or something that spells this out): are these only federal loans? I never defaulted on any federal loans, but once took out a 1k loan to buy a computer through the school directly, and paid it back a few months late. I think they technically considered it in default. Stupid, but would be incredible if that were disqualifying.


Seriously, check out the ALJ decisions on point: http://www.dod.mil/dodgc/doha/industrial/. Defaulting on a loan isn't the deal-breaker, it's having gigantic unpaid liabilities hanging over your head. They're trying to find out if you have anything anyone could leverage to make you tell them secrets. So if you owe $30k and have no realistic way of paying it back, the person you owe might try to blackmail you.

A question I have is what how long of a delay you'll see when flags come up but don't qualify for denying a clearance. For those of us trying to figure out when to move out/quit our current jobs etc it's brutal not knowing how much time we're looking at.



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