Former OPM Investigator Pleads Guilty to Falsifying Employee Background Checks

Lied About Conducting Interviews in Connection with 30 of 67 Background Checks of Current and Prospective Government Employees and Contractors

APRIL 25, 2008

Greenbelt, Maryland - Former Office of Personnel Management (OPM) employee Mario A. Marsans, age 28, of Silver Spring, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to making false statements in an employment background investigation he was assigned to conduct, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

OPM’s Federal Investigative Services Division (FISD) conducts background investigations of individuals employed by or seeking employment with federal agencies and government contractors. The background investigations determine an individual’s suitability to work in positions having classified information, eligibility for positions impacting national security and suitability to be granted or retain security clearances. FISD agents interview individuals with knowledge of the subject of the investigation and obtain documentary evidence, such as employment records.

According to the plea agreement, on July 4, 2005, Marsans, an FISD agent, sent to OPM a report he prepared on a background investigation of an individual. In the report, he falsely stated that he had interviewed three others about the individual and reviewed records provided by another, when he in fact had not.

Marsans provided falsified information to OPM in 30 of the 67 background investigations he was assigned to conduct, resulting in a loss of approximately $101,032 to the government. The loss represents the percentage of his salary during the time of the falsified investigations and the cost of reopening and reworking the falsified investigations.

Marsans faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for August 4, 2008 at 3:00 p.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Office of Personnel Management - Inspector General and Office of Personnel Management - Federal Investigative Services Division for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Michele W. Sartori, who is prosecuting the case.



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