Security clearance with shoplifting charges nole prosequi

Hi, I have been offered a job by an organization that will be filing Security clearance. I was reviewing the SF86 form to just get information, where I learned that I must disclose if I was charged eve, In October 2016, I was charged with my wife for shoplifting, later this was nolle prosequi at the court by the judge. we got the charges expunged immediately/on the same day of the court decision in January 2017.

The incident took place at Walmart, when my wife failed to scan of the items from the shopping cart, I was no where near her when this happened, later she was asked to go to the room, where I accompanied her considering her health and unaware of the situation at all, The store office called the police and the Police officers at Walmart charged me on the recommendation of the Walmart employee, since I was trying to intervene and help my wife. BTW, the items were in the amount of $236.

What are the things I should do? Should I reveal the incident to employer before joining? Am I still eligible to get security clearance? any other things I should consider or keep in mind?

Also, If I get contingent employment letter based on interim security clearance, if it passes, will I be good to get the final security clearance?

I would really appreciate your timely help

Absolutely report. Missing an item worth $2.36 is one thing. Accidentally missing $236 worth of items…quite another. If your wife did this accidental or otherwise…it doesn’t matter. You were both charged so in the eyes of the law you have that charge. It is possible Walmart looked at the tape and it appeared less convincing. Maybe it beeped but didn’t add to the receipt? Still it begs the question, how did you not notice the price difference? So I would treat this as reportable and somewhat serious. I would expect the interim being denied. You may wish to explain the circumstance to HR. If you absolutely maintain you and your spouse are innocent of this accusation and charge, state that to HR. You are letting them know there is a situation, but it isn’t valid. Expunged events still must be reported.

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Yes . . . Expunged charges must still be reported . . . But, I would be careful telling HR or anyone else that you maintain your innocence. Admitting guilt and taking responsibility for your actions are a HUGE part of mitigating them. If you believe that you are innocent just keep your mouth shut on that aspect of the incident. Just address the facts. The investigator and adjudicator are not interested in retrying your case.

Hi thanks for your responses.
Based on your responses, It appears that I have to do the following

  1. Report to HR
  2. Don’t try to convince the HR that I am innocent despite that is the case.

If it comes along continue with the employment/hiring process with the company and my fate will be decided by investigator after filing SF86 QIP ? However, if HR conveys that it is not going to fly forget about the position and start looking for other positions?

I researched several posts online associated with SC and there are cases where 1st misdemeanor is not considered absolute ground for denial but I cannot vouch for it since each story is unique.

In conclusion, I must inform HR before getting too deep into the hiring process and if possible request for contingent offer letter that If I get interim clearance then only I can join?

Does that sound like a correct approach?

I wouldn’t advise you to report this to HR unless you were specifically asked about it on one of those employment forms.

As for the SF-86, you’ll need to list it since there exists a police record. You can explain it on the form as well. As for interim clearance eligibility, it’ll be a tough call given the amount and recency of it. Nonetheless, I’m confident that you’ll be granted full clearance eligibility if this is the only issue.

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Thanks @AWoodhull. I understand your point. I am on catch 22, I don’t want to loose my current employment until I am 100% sure that I will be good to get full clearance. I remember the hiring manager explicitly mentioned that to he would get me an interim clearance at the earliest so I can help the team. Does it make sense to ask them offer letter with contingency to get interim clearance? Does interim clearance also required to file sf86?
Once again thank you very much for your help.

You wont get any interim without filing out the SF86. You have to be completely honest filing out the form. Answer the questions with candor and any explanations to mitigate any concerns.

Do not try to cover anything up, it will be revealed. With the revelation of the charge of shoplifting, you will not get an Interim. Be prepared for a delay in your final clearance and possibly the job being rescinded. But you do have a chance if you can mitigate the issue if its the only one.

Not good news, I know but its important for you to know this.


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I agree with @AWoodhull, I would not volunteer this information to HR unless specifically told to do so. As for the offer letter, if it states specifically that the job is contingent on receiving an interim, there’s your answer. Also, if it states that your employment is “at will,” this does not guarantee your employment and they can essentially terminate your employment at any time. Good luck.

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@hdub thanks. I haven’t received the offer letter yet, it will be issued on Monday , shall I request HR to add that contingency that upon successfully receiving interim only I will be able to join.
The reason for this request is to confirm that if I get the offer letter without the contingency they can let me go, in case interim doesn’t come positive. Which would be really bad situation for me since I will be leaving my current employment.
All I want to make sure is that I join only if the interim is successful.

Does it normal to ask this kind of request to HR? Or I am just over thinking.

I would not add that. That is in the favor of HR, not you. Perhaps you can work it out that you will have the position upon full clearance? Keep your day job, don’t quit. I always advise people to keep working until they are cleared. It can takes 6 to 8 months. Had a Secret clearance take 18 months just the other day. I would anticipate not getting the interim unless you successfully nailed the mitigation part in the SF86. Hard to do really. Someone must adjudicate that and I think the answer will be " conduct a full BI and vet the info." There isn’t much shame in interim denial. That just means there is something they need look into. HR likely wants a butt in the seat fast, interim clearance granted, taking chances they don’t fully clear. People read into interim denials incorrectly in my estimation.

Hi @amberbunny, thanks.
I am not sure if I can workout the way you suggested since the full clearance could take anywhere between 1 to 2 years or more. The hiring manager wanted me to get started straight with interim clearance. Based on your feedback it appears that the interim is very unlikely to come through and I dont know what the hiring manager will do if it doesn’t come through. That is why I was thinking of joining only of interim comes through.
Also does the interim will trigger any interview at my current employer? If that is the case, I will have to think twice about it. I hope you understand my situation and concerns.

Once again, thank you very much for your help.

My recommendation would be to get up front with the company you are hiring on with. Explain that you are not likely to receive an interim and ask if they will wait and bring you on when the final clearance comes through. They already know what they will do. They have seen all of this before.

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I agree with Ed. Tell them it isn’t a negative item per say, just one requiring scoping and there is an easy, and reasonable explanation. But chances are they would want it scoped and adjudicated. If they agreed to submit and then let you know and start if you made that gate…more power to you. We ALWAYS advise our applicants not to quit an existing job waiting for this client’s clearance. They don’t allow interims so it will take 6 to 8 months for a Secret clearance.

They certainly will interview your current employer.

Hi @amberbunny, thanks for the response.
On the employment section of the sf86, it asks for last 10 years of information.

I had worked two places in parallel, where one allowed me to work from home and other required me to work couple of days from office.

I informed my 2nd employer about it at the time of joining that I help some organization.

It was non-compete business so they didn’t care.

At a same time I provided consullting service to a small firm which required me to work over the weekends for a few months for which I established a small business firm to take the tax advantage. I also registered this company to SAM to bid for government projects, but never bidded one. All this took place from September 2017 to August 2018.

How do I address this ? Will I have to explain anything specific about all of the above and if yes, what do I need to consider answering.

Once again, thank you very much for your help.

Not an issue, just a pain to show continuity of dates. When a person has multiple employments I am looking to make sure there are no gaps of more than 30 days not explained. supervisor name and title for each, and reason for leaving each. When they overlap it is hard to make sure each date set overlaps but happens all the time. As long as they can map out the full 10 year look back you are okay.

You list the correct dates and information for all of the employments. Be sure to annotate the PT or FT status of each job. You can leave information in the comments section but I would just leave it for the Subject interview. Having multiple jobs at the same time is not unusual anymore.

One note - if you are self employed - your “company” is your employer - not your customers. I see that often with self employed folks. Then the issue is the customers report to NBIB that you were never an employee.

Thank you very much for all your help. I was asked to let go because of lack of performance on one of the full time jobs in the month of August 2018 which I started it in November 2017.
Is there going to be road blocker ? How do I need to prepare for this.

I talked to the hiring manager annd asked what if the interim doesn’t come through, he said, he cannot decide but he needs help on cleared projects. He proposed checking up with security personal at the firm who will have better idea about if the interim will be successful or not based on the historical data that they have.
I will be talking to them. I don’t know but I just dont want to take a chance that if interim doesn’t come and I endup in a tough spot.

My interim was denied. Now, I am waiting for the final. Don’t know what happens now. Or how do I know the investigation is started and How long it could take to get the final decision?
The hiring manager has decided to keep me on unclassified work until then.