HELP! - Security Clearance Denial Due to FINCEN Record

Hello All,

I urgently need some advise and if possible help from one of the senior forum members with my Wife’s T-5 security clearance.

She is a US Army AMEDD Reserve Soldier and DOD has been conducting background check on her for past 3 years. Her SSBI Investigation was started in December 2015 and till now we have not received any update from DOD CAF on her background check.

After waiting for 3 years, we sought help our Senator office to get a response from DOD. Following an inquiry from the Senator’s office, DOD responded that she has failed her background checks and did not provide any reason in the letter.

We then filed a FOIA request to get the exact reason on why she failed her background check. In response, they mentioned that her name was found in FinCen Data base and they are declining her security clearance as they think that she might have been involved in suspicious criminal financial activity. Further they have declined to tell her what exactly is in the FinCen Reports and they are trying to discharge her from Army because of this reason. She went through two extensive interviews with FBI and CAF investigators and none of them ever raised any question about this issue. They didn’t even mention this in the interview.

Both of us have been law abiding residents and have never been involved in any malicious financial activities. We have never been contacted by any investigators nor we knew anything like this existed. We are both highly educated and we keep all our financial matters in check.

In 2017 we filed a FOIA request with Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to obtain a copy of her background report and in response we received a few records which included a letter from FinCen stating that our FOIA request to FinCen was denied. At that time we were not aware of that what those records meant and we decided not to follow-up on that. Now that we knew that her security clearance is being denied by DOD because of these records, we sent a letter of appeal to FinCen requesting them to release the records, so we can defend ourselves. But last month our appeal was denied as well.

I’ve tried talking to several lawyers to see if we can get the records from FinCen but almost all of them have told us that we cannot the information contained in FinCen records. Further, the lawyers even mentioned that just having a record in FinCen doesn’t mean anything. Banks submit all financial activities which they think are suspicious to FinCen and more than 90% of those are never followed up on. Banks file more than 3 million of such records every year, so its not surprising to find her record over there.

I have gone though several cases/threads on this portal and I am not able to find anything related to this issue. This has really become a catch 22 phrase for us. We don’t know what we are accused of and no one will tell us what we are accused of, because of which we are not able to defend ourselves.

I need help from the lawyers, investigators and senior members from this forum on how we can approach this issue and get this resolved. I never wanted to bring this to a public forum, but trust me I’ve knocked on every possible door with no success.

I will truly appreciate if anyone can please guide us with this issue.

Thank you!

First, let me say that FINCEN records are rarely, if ever, released to applicants of background investigations. Some of these records contain sources and names of other parties involved with years long investigations and stings involving the FBI. Just because her name may be mentioned in a record does not mean it was derogatory. Second, this is your wife’s responsibility to obtain information about why she was denied. She would not be denied a clearance without having a Statement of Reasons (SOR) issued which would specifically outline the reasons for the denial with a chance to respond with mitigation and appeal. You most probably don’t have all the facts and if she doesn’t understand the clearance process then she is not giving you accurate information. You claim she got a letter from the DOD CAF stating her clearance application was denied, but not why. I would suggest going back to your political representative if this is truly the case.No one on this forum can provide you the answers.

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Hello @Marko - Thanks for the prompt response. As I mentioned in my post, she has still not been contacted by DOD for her clearance results. We only know that she received an unfavorable result through the congressional inquiry. Please see below a paragraph from DOD’s response:


Its been more than 3.5 years and our frustration is that they have completed the investigation back in 2017, but they have still not provided us the results / SOR. Because of this we cant even appeal our case.

Is there a way we can ask DOD to provide a SOR, so we can appeal our case?

This letter sounds like the CAF is the process of preparing the SOR/decision. How long has it been since you received this letter?

We received this letter back in October 2018. We talked with the S-2 in her unit but they are clueless about this and they always ask us to wait. At this time we just want DOD to tell us what it is so we can either defend it or take an knee and move on with our lives.

This whole process has been a roller coaster ride for us and now the wait is just killing us.