Former Federal Background Investigator Sentenced for Falsifying Background Investigation Reports

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. House Judiciary Committee Oversight Hearing on Department of Justice in Washington

            WASHINGTON – Michelle Layton, 57, a former background investigator for the National Background Investigations Bureau, now the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, was sentenced today to three years of probation and ordered to pay more than $100,000 in restitution for falsifying reports of investigation she submitted as part of background investigations of individuals seeking national security clearances. 

            The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA).

            Layton, of Phoenix, Arizona, pleaded guilty in November 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to making a false statement. She was sentenced by the Honorable James E. Boasberg. As part of her plea, Layton resigned her position. She also must pay $101,344 in restitution to the government, representing the cost to rework numerous background investigations. The judge also ordered her to perform 200 hours of community service.

            As part of her plea, Layton admitted to falsifying multiple reports of investigation for background investigations over the course of a year, between February 2018 to February 2019.  Layton admitted that she would submit reports in which she claimed she had interviewed a source about a background investigation subject or that she had collected records about the subject when she had not.  Layton falsified reports of investigation in background investigations for individuals seeking national security clearances, including Top Secret clearances, and the U.S. Department of Defense relied on the falsified reports to determine whether a subject was eligible for a security clearance.

            DCSA has a robust integrity assurance program which uses a variety of methods to ensure the accuracy of reported information. The falsification of investigative work was detected through that program.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency.  He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amanda R. Vaughn and Veronica Sanchez and Paralegal Specialist Quiana Dunn-Gordon. 


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