oversight

Closing Reports of Investigation (ROI) for Fourteen (14) Department of Education (ED) Office of Inspector General (OIG) closed investigations, 2017-2019

Published by the Department of Education, Office of Inspector General on 2020-05-11.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

Description of document:                  Closing Reports of Investigation (ROI) for Fourteen (14)
                                          Department of Education Office (ED) of Inspector General
                                          (OIG) closed investigations, 2017-2019

Requested date:                           10-March-2020

Release date:                             01-May-2020

Posted date:                              11-May-2020

Source of document:                       OIG FOIA Coordinator
                                          U.S. Department of Education
                                          Office of Inspector General
                                          400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
                                          Washington, D.C. 20202-1500
                                          Fax: (202) 245-7039
                                          Email: oig.foia@ed.gov




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                         UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                                         OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL




                                                                                                                     May 1, 2020




RE: FOIA Request No. 20-01206-F



This is in response to your March 10, 2020, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the
United States Department of Education (ED) Office oflnspector General (OIG) for copies of the
following Closing Reports oflnvestigation (ROI): 15-020723, 16-000777, 17-000787,
il7MAR30695, 117MAR00791, 117MAR00793, 117MAR00806, 117SER42115, 117WES30292,
117SOU42161, 118EAS00381, 118EAS00522, 118TCD02528, and 118EAS03180.

We have redacted some information pursuant to Exemptions (b)(5), (b)(6), and (b)(7)(C).
Information withheld pursuant to Exemption (b)(5) protects intra-agency records subject to the
deliberative process privilege, including draft work product that is pre-decisional. Information
withheld pursuant to Exemptions (b )(6) and (b )(7)(C) protects personal privacy interests, including
names and other personally identifying information.

For your information, Congress excluded three discrete categories oflaw enforcement and national
security records from the requirements of the FOIA. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(c) (2006 & Supp. IV
2010). This response is limited to those records that are subject to the requirements of the FOIA.
This is a standard notification that is given to all our requesters and should not be taken as an
indication that excluded records do, or do not, exist.

If you are not satisfied with my action on this request, you may file an administrative appeal by
writing within 90 calendar days of the date of this letter to:

Inspector General
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
ATTN: FOIA Appeals
Washington, DC 20202-1500

A copy of your initial request, a copy of this letter and your statement of circumstances, reasons,
and arguments should accompany your appeal letter.

You also have the right to seek assistance and/or dispute resolution services from our OIG FOIA
Public Liaison or from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS). The OIG FOIA
Public Liaison is responsible, among other duties, for assisting in the resolution of FOIA

                               400 MARYLAND AVENUE, S.W., WASHINGTON, DC 20202-1510

               Promoting the efficiency, effectiveness, and integrity of the Department's programs and operations.
Page 2 - FOIA Request No. 20-01206-F


disputes. OGIS, which is outside the Department of Education, offers mediation services to
resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies as a non-exclusive alternative to
appeals or litigation.

You may contact the OIG FOIA Public Liaison or OGIS as follows:

                     Carla McKenzie                    Office of Government Information
  Mail
                     OIG FOIA Public Liaison           Services
                     Office of the Inspector General   National Archives and Records
                     U.S . Department of Education     Administration
                     400 Maryland Ave., SW             8601 Adelphi Road
                     Washington, DC 20202-1500         Room 2510
                                                       College Park, MD 20740-6001
                     carla.mckenzie@ed.gov             OGIS@nara.gov
  E-mail
                     215-656-6027                      301-837-1996; toll free at 1-877-684-6448
  Phone
                     202-245-7039                      301-837-0348
  Fax

Seeking assistance from the OIG FOIA Public Liaison or OGIS does not affect your right, or the
deadline, to pursue an appeal .

Sincerely,
                                                Digitally signed by Antigone
Antigone Potamianos                             Potamianos
                                                Date: 2020.04.30 20:03:57 -04 00      1   1

Antigone Potamianos
Counsel to the Inspector General

cc: FOIA Service Center
                      UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                           OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL


                                                                 CLOSING
                                       REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

          (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                        ((b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                       OF ST.
                                                                   KITTS)

                                                              15-020723


                                                          MAY 10, 2018

                                                             Table of Contents
                  Summary ......................................................................................................... 1
                  Potential Violations ......................................................................................... 1
                  Predication ...................................................................................................... 2
                  Narrative ......................................................................................................... 2
                  Prosecutive/Administrative Status .................................................................. 3
                  Subject of Investigation ................................................................................... 3
                  Witnesses and Evidence .......................................Error! Bookmark not defined.
                  Exhibits ............................................................................................................ 4



Report by:                                                                   Approved by:




Distribution:
              -
              (b) (6), (b)
              (7)(C)
              Special Agent
                                                                                                       Geoff Wood
                                                                                                       Special Agent in Charge



New York
File




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY: This report is the property of the Office of Inspector General and is loaned to your
agency; it and its contents may not be reproduced without written permission. The report is FOR OFFICIAL USE
ONLY and its disclosure to unauthorized persons is prohibited. Public availability to be determined by 5 U.S.C. 552.

OIG Form 302R (May 17)
                                              CLOSING
                                  REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                                       (                                              OF ST.
          (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)           (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)



                                                KITTS)


                                              SUMMARY

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Criminal Investigations (CID) and the United States
Attorney’s Office (USAO), Southern District of New York (SDNY) were conducting a criminal

former
       -
investigation involving (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
               ,
        (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                 (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
transactions. It was alleged that(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                         St. Kitts, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)    , and his
                                                  for various questionable financial and gift

received federal financial aid to attend Harvard University (Harvard) and Columbia University
(Columbia) and his student financial aid documents may have contained false statements.


The investigation determined that (b)
                                  (6)
                                      -   attended Harvard and Columbia from 2010-2015 and
received approximately $70,000 in federal student financial aid to attend both institutions. His


                                                                      (b) (7)(C)
                                                                                  -
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) allegedly contained false statements that did
not properly document assets and the financial status of his parents. (b) (6), also allegedly
provided the IRS with false statements on her annual tax returns in which she misrepresented
income and investments.


In September of 2015, Senior Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) and Tax Coordinator in
the Complex Frauds and Cybercrimes Unit from the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern
District of New York Stanley O’Kula (O’Kula) requested that the United States Department of
Education (ED), Office of Inspector General (OIG) join the investigation. Also in September of
2015, Special Agent (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)        traveled to St. Kitts with agents of the Internal Revenue
Service, Criminal Investigation Division and AUSA O’Kula to meet with high-ranking government
officials of St. Kitts including (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) and their legal counsel. AUSA O’Kula and the
agents provided them with a brief summary of the allegations and requested their assistance in
obtaining information related to the foreign investments held by (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)              .




(b) (5)
                (b) (7)
                              -
Based on the financial information provided by the IRS CID, it appeared that the FAFSAs filed in
connection with (b) (6), attendance at Harvard and Columbia contained false statements.
Without conferring with ED/OIG and the USAO, the IRS closed their case in September of 2016
                            .


OIG Form 302R (continuation)               FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                       1
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                       St. Kitts)                                                     15-020723


The USAO, SDNY declined to prosecute the case in May of 201 (b) (5)



                                       POTENTIAL VIOLATIONS
The activities identified in this report are potential violations of:

    •    20 USC 1097 Student Financial Aid Fraud (After October 1, 1980)


                                                PREDICATION
This matter was predicated upon a referral from AUSA O’Kula and the IRS CID who were
actively investigating (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)   . The referral suggested that (b)
                                                                            (6)
                                                                                       -
                                                                                  may have
received federal financial aid under false pretenses by listing false statements on his FAFSA.


                                                  NARRATIVE
The USAO, SDNY and the IRS CID requested the assistance of ED OIG in the investigation on
September 1, 2015.

              (6)
                 -
Special Agent (b) gathered information on (b)
                                          (6)
                                                       -
                                               from databases such as the National
Student Loan Database System, Common Origination and Disbursement, and ODAS for the
USAO and IRS CID.



(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                            -
                                          (b) (7)
                                                   --
IRS CID had previously requested student files with a Grand Jury subpoena from Harvard
University and Columbia University for (b) (6), They also interviewed (b)
                            under a proffer agreement (EXHIBIT 1 & 2). (b)
                                                                               (6)
                                                                                (6)
                                                                                        and
                                                                                              (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)


                                                                                         explained that he
and (b) (6), prepared his financial aid applications together. (b) (6), stated that (b) (6),
                                                                                                                  ,




-                                                 -
      (b) (7)(C)                                                      (b) (7)                    (b) (7)(C)
filled out the financial aid forms for her college and medical school. (b) (6), was not sure if



                                             ---
(b) (6), participated in the preparation of the forms. She also assumed       (b) (7) (b) (6),
                                                                                    that                    would
(b) (7)                                                                                  (b) (7)(C)
have prepared the financial aid forms for    (b) (6), (b) , (b) (6), (b) (6),   received financial aid but
                                             (7)(C)         (b) (7) (b) (7)
she was not a subject of ED OIG’s investigation since her FAFSAs were filed between 1992-2000
and were out of statute.



(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                               --
AUSA O’Kula, Special Agents of the IRS CID, and Special Agent (b) traveled to St. Kitts on
                                                                   (6)
September 22, 2015 to meet with high ranking officials of the St. Kitts government including the
                                          , and private counsel hired by (b) (6), In the meeting,
                                                                           (b) (7)
officials for the United States (U.S.) government provided a brief synopsis of the allegations
involving (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)     . U.S. officials also requested a list of documents to further the
investigation. The trip also included the conducting of surveillance and documenting the
number of properties owned by the (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)          .




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
                                            -
On December 1, 2015, Special Agent (b) and Assistant Special Agent in Charge (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                   (6)                                       (C)
met with AUSA O’Kula and Special Agents of the IRS CID. AUSA O’Kula requested that the IRS


                                                                                                                  2
                                    St. Kitts)                                         15-020723



CID request additional tax return information and Specia l Agentlllll create a spreadsheet
comparing information listed     09      FAFSA to known incom~ assets (EXHIBIT 3).

In August of 2016, AUSA O' Kula advised that he was being reassigned and the case would be
transferred to AUSA Patrick Egan (Egan).

In September of 2016, the IRS CID advised that they were closing their case




Special Agentlllll drafted a Report of Investigation as well as created the spreadsheet that
was originally~ested by AUSA O'Kula.




Attempts made to speak with AUSA Egan were met with negative resu lts until April of 2017.
AUSA Egan advised that he was unaware that the case was reassigned to him. He was also
unaware of the status of the case and that the IRS CID had closed their case. AUSA Egan
advised that he wou ld make a decision on how to move forward after reading the IRS CID
declination report and speaking with his superiors.

Future attempts made to speak with AUSA Egan were also unsuccessful until May of 2018 when
he declined to prosecute the cas


Civi l and administrative remedies were considered but not warranted.

All evidence, documents and information gathered in connection with this investigation
including electronic data has been returned and/or destroyed pursuant to ED OIG policy.

This investigation is deemed closed.


                        PROSECUTIVE ADMINISTRATIVE STATUS
The USAO SONY requested the assistance of ED OIG in September of 2015. The case was
declined on May 8, 2018.


                                 SUBJECT OF INVESTIGATION



SSN: Not applicable
Address: Saint Kitts and Nevis




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                          3
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                    St. Kitts)              15-020723


(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




                                                    EXHIBITS
1. (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)      MOI

2. (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) MOI

3. (b) (6), (b) (7)      Spreadsheet
    (C)
4. IRS case closing report

5. Declination letter




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                 4
                      UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                           OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL


                                                                 CLOSING
                                       REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                             (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                                                           (EMPLOYEE)

                                                              16-000777


                                                            JULY 9, 2018

                                                             Table of Contents
                  Summary ......................................................................................................... 1
                  Violations ........................................................................................................ 2
                  Predication ...................................................................................................... 2
                  Narrative ......................................................................................................... 2
                  Administrative Status ...................................................................................... 3
                  Subject of Investigation ................................................................................... 3
                  Exhibits ............................................................................................................ 4



Report by:                                                                   Approved by:
              (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                                      GEOFFREY WOOD
              Special Agent                                                                            Special Agent in Charge


Distribution:
File




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY: This report is the property of the Office of Inspector General and is loaned to your
agency; it and its contents may not be reproduced without written permission. The report is FOR OFFICIAL USE
ONLY and its disclosure to unauthorized persons is prohibited. Public availability to be determined by 5 U.S.C. 552.

OIG Form 301R (May 17)
                                                CLOSING
                               REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                       (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                               (EMPLOYEE)


                                                SUMMARY
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) received a referral from the Office of General Counsel
(OGC) alleging an Office of Management (OM) or Executive Management Staff (EMS) employee
altered an OGC employee appointment memo resulting in a loss of benefits and an



                                 - -
appointment extension for the OGC employee. The original memo signed by former General
Counsel James Cole indicated (b) (6), (b) would be hired as a (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                              (7)(C)
term appointment. The altered memo indicated
under a temporary time-limited appointment. The
                                                 (b) (6),
                                                 (b) (7)
                                                                                         under a
                                                          would be hired as a General Attorney
                                                     allegations were partially substantiated.

A review of Department email for several key employees revealed that an Office of Human
Resources (OHR) Specialist requested EMS employee, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) , to make changes to
the superior qualifications memorandum (SQ memo) signed by the General Counsel. The OHR
Specialist requested the changes so that the information in the SQ memo relating to the
appointment type would match the EP-8 Form, Position Authorization and Description, which
indicated the new position was for a General Attorney under a temporary time-limited
appointment.



                                  -
During an interview with OIG, (b) (6), admitted she made the changes to the memo by using a
                                (b) (7)(C)
cut and paste from a Word document

                                                            -
                                          and copying it into the PDF memo, which created a new
memo that contained a photo copy of Cole's signature. (b) (6), did not submit the revised SQ



-
memo to Cole for his signature. The revised memo was (b)

                                                           -
                                                               (7)(C)
                                                            used  to process the direct hire packet.
(b) (6), 's alteration of the SQ memo did not cause (b) (6), to be hired under a different
(b) (7)(C)                                             (b) (7)
appointment type.



-
(b) (6),
(b) (7)(C)
            transferred from ED to the (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)        prior to the resolution of the OIG
investigation. OIG furnished a report of investigation to the Department pursuant to the
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017, which requires the Department
to make a permanent notation in the official personnel file of an employee who resigns prior to


opposed to separation from federal service,
in (b) (6),
   (7)(C)
            (b)
personnel file.
                                                 -
the resolution of a personnel investigation, which results in an adverse finding. OIG received a
response from OHR indicating that due to (b) (6), (b) transfer to another federal agency, as



 -
                                               (7)(C)



                                                                            -
                                                  ED was not required to make a permanent notation
                official personnel file. No permanent notation was placed in (b) (6), (b) official
                                                                               (7)(C)




OIG Form 301R (continuation)                 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                 1
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)   (EMPLOYEE)                                                           16-000777


                                           VIOLATIONS
Our investigation substantiated employee misconduct by the subject identified in this report.
Her actions were in violation of the following ED Policies and Regulations:

    •    ED HUMAN CAPITAL POLICY 751-1, Discipline and Adverse Actions

         •    Misrepresentation, falsification, or forgery in connection with official government
              records or business.
         •    Conduct unbecoming a Federal employee.


                                          PREDICATION
This investigation was initiated based upon information that a memo signed by the General
Counsel was subsequently altered or substituted by an unknown OM or EMS staff employee.
The altered version of the memo contained the General Counsel’s signature, which was copied,
altered or forged on the new memo. The altered version of the memo allegedly affected the
benefits and length of service for a new OGC hire.


                                            NARRATIVE
OIG received a referral from OGC that alleged a possible instance of forgery, fraud, or
“alteration” of a document that originated in their office and was signed by the General
Counsel. Former General Counsel James Cole signed a memo entitled, “Request for Pay Rate
above the Minimum” (also known as the superior qualifications memo – SQ memo) for an OGC
hire. OGC claimed after the memo was sent to EMS, it was altered or another document was
substituted for it that may have contained a forged signature. It was also alleged that the
altered memo changed the employee,(b) (6), (b) (7)(C) hiring appointment from term to
temporary. When the memos were compared, it was that clear that the second memo
contained the following changes: appointment type, job title, deletion of a portion of the footer
on page 1, typing errors with extra spacing, and an additional paragraph that references a
different employee, and an incorrect salary.



would be hired under a temporary time-limited appointment, not to exceed one year      -
OIG reviewed Department email for several individuals involved in this matter. The email
review revealed the original EP-8 Form from the hiring packet. The EP-8 confirmed (b) (6),
                                                                                  (b) (7)
                                                                                      and a day
and not a term appointment. However, the original SQ memo signed by the General Counsel



             -
indicated the hire was under a term appointment. The OHR Specialist handling the appointment
requested (b) (6), to modify the SQ memo because it incorrectly stated the employee was
receiving a(b) (7)(C)
            term   appointment when in fact he would be hired under a temporary appointment.

OIG interviewed supervisors (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
(7)(C)



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
                                            -
                                            (b) (7)(C)
                                                         make(7)
                                                                                          -
                                                                   . Those interviews revealed
(b) (6), (b) alteration of the SQ memo did not change (b) (6), appointment type. Both (b) (6),
             stated it was inappropriate for (b) (6), to (b)     changes to the SQ memo by(b)cutting
                                                                                           (C)
                                                                                               (7)



                                                                                                       2
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)   (EMPLOYEE)                                                             16-000777


and pasting information into the SQ memo and then using a copy of the General Counsel’s
signature instead of getting him to sign an updated version of the memo.


She conceded that     --
OIG interviewed (b) (6), (b) (6), admitted she altered the SQ memo per the request of OHR.
                 (b) (7)(C) (b) (7)(C)
                    she cut and pasted the requested changes into the original memo instead of
creating a new memo and submitting the new memo for the General Counsel’s signature. She
claimed she did it that way because it was the most expeditious way to get it done.


                                            -
Based on the results of this investigation, (b) (6), committed a misrepresentation, falsification
                                            (b) (7)(C)
or forgery in connection with official government     business. Although she was requested by OHR
to make changes to the SQ memo, she did not get the edited memo signed by the General
Counsel but instead used a copy of his signature. That action may also be viewed as conduct
unbecoming of a Federal employee.


-
(b) (6), transferred from ED to the (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
(b) (7)(C)
no longer employed by ED. His temporary appointment expired September 21, 2017. (b)
                                                                                           -
                                                                 effective June 10, 2017. (b) (6), is
                                                                                           On(7)
                                                                                               May




                                   -
another federal agency, as opposed to separation from federal service, ED
                                                                            -
17, 2018, OIG referred this matter to OHR pursuant to the NDAA requirement (Exhibit 1). On
May 17, 2018, OIG received a response from OHR indicating that due to (b) (6), (b) transfer to
                                                                             (7)(C)
                                                                                was not required to

2). Therefore, a permanent notation

This matter is closed.                                    -
make a permanent notation in (b) (6), (b) official personnel file, as per OPM guidance (Exhibit
                               (7)(C)
                                      was not placed in (b) (6), (b) official personnel file.
                                                          (7)(C)




                                   ADMINISTRATIVE STATUS
An administrative referral was furnished to the Department pursuant to the National Defense
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, Sec. 2, Division A, Title XI, Subtitle C, § 1140 (Pub. L. No.
114-328) (codified at 5 U.S.C. § 3322). This statute requires the Department to make a
permanent notation in the official personnel file of an employee who resigns prior to the
resolution of a personnel investigation, which results in an adverse finding.


                                   SUBJECT OF INVESTIGATION
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




FBI No: N/A




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                   3
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)   (EMPLOYEE)              16-000777


                                   EXHIBITS
1. Referral Memo

2. OHR Response




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                4
                      UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                           OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL


                                                                 CLOSING
                                       REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                                  (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                                                      (EMPLOYEE)

                                                              17-000787


                                                        APRIL 12, 2018

                                                             Table of Contents
                  Summary ......................................................................................................... 1
                  Violations ........................................................................................................ 1
                  Predication ...................................................................................................... 2
                  Narrative ......................................................................................................... 2
                  Administrative Status ...................................................................................... 2
                  Subject of Investigation ................................................................................... 2
                  Exhibits ............................................................................................................ 2



Report by:                                                                   Approved by:
              (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                                      GEOFFREY WOOD
              Special Agent                                                                            Special Agent in Charge


Distribution:
File




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY: This report is the property of the Office of Inspector General and is loaned to your
agency; it and its contents may not be reproduced without written permission. The report is FOR OFFICIAL USE
ONLY and its disclosure to unauthorized persons is prohibited. Public availability to be determined by 5 U.S.C. 552.

OIG Form 301R (May 17)
                                                 CLOSING
                               REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                           (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                           (EMPLOYEE)


                                                 SUMMARY
OIG received several anonymous complaints alleging the following: (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) ,
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                                      -
                                                                                         (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




                                , Office of Innovation & Improvement (OII), sexually harassed
female Department employees by showing them pictures of his genitalia on his cell phone; he
smokes marijuana in the men's room; he boasted about setting his car on fire and capitalizing
on insurance fraud; and he has a criminal history, which includes being arrested and charged
for arson.


-
(7)(C)
          supervisor also reported to OIG that she believed he altered the date on several
(b) (6), (b)
helpdesk ticket emails so that it would appear he was teleworking on a date when she was
unable to reach him.




      -                                            -
The allegations were partially substantiated. (b) (6), (b) criminal history was confirmed and
                                              (7)(C)
included a 2016 arrest and guilty plea for insurance fraud. Additionally, when interviewed by
OIG, (b) (6), admitted altering the dates on the helpdesk ticket emails that he forwarded to his
     (b) (7)
supervisor.




                         -
On October 2, 2017, an administrative referral was submitted to OII. On April 3, 2018, OII issued
a decision to suspend (b) (6), for 35 calendar days.
                         (b) (7)


                                                 VIOLATIONS
The activities identified in this report are violations of:

         •     STANDARDS OF ETHICAL CONDUCT
               • 5 C.F.R. § 2635.101(5): Employees shall put forth honest effort in performance
                  of their duties.
               • 5 C.F.R. § 2635.705(a): An employee shall use official time in an honest effort to
                  perform official duties.
         •     ED HUMAN CAPITAL POLICY 751-1, Discipline and Adverse Actions
               • Misrepresentation, falsification, or forgery in connection with official
                  Government records or business.
               • Conduct unbecoming a Federal employee.




OIG Form 301R (continuation)                FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                              1
(b) (6), (b) (7)      (Employee)                                                          17-000787
(C)

                                         PREDICATION


                                                             -
This investigation was initiated based upon information that (b) (6), sexually harassed female
                                                             (b) (7)(C)
Department employees by showing pictures of his genitalia on his cell phone; smoked
marijuana in ED men’s rooms; and boasted of setting fire to his car to collect the insurance
money.


                                         NARRATIVE


                                         -
This investigation (Exhibit 1) confirmed (b) (6), (b) criminal history, which was not reported to
                                         (7)(C)
OII management. Most recently, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit insurance fraud in
the Circuit Court for Charles County, Maryland on August 12, 2016, and was sentenced to serve
three years of probation. In 2005, he pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana.


                                   -
The investigation also revealed (b) (6), altered the dates on several helpdesk ticket emails and
                                (b) (7)



                                                         -
forwarded the emails to his supervisor in an attempt to show that he was teleworking when he
was absent without leave. During an interview with OIG, (b) (6), admitted altering the dates on
                                                         (b) (7)
the emails that he forwarded to his supervisor and admitted he was not working on the date in
question.


                                   ADMINISTRATIVE STATUS
On October 2, 2017, an administrative referral was submitted to OII. On April 3, 2018,
                                                                                       •
                                                                                       (b) (6), (b)




                         OII issued (b) (6), a Decision to Suspend Memorandum (Exhibit 2).
                                    (b) (7)
The decision was made to suspend (b) (6), for 35 calendar days, effective April 16, 2018
                                   (b) (7)
through May 20, 2018.


                                   SUBJECT OF INVESTIGATION
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




                                          EXHIBITS
1. Referral Memo/Administrative Report of Investigation

2. Decision to Suspend




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                 2
-
                                      UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                                           OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
j..JP.!11,t    :
   ',,. OIG ./ ~
   ,, ,, ., .,.,,.,~• ., '_,

                                                                                 CLOSING
                                                       REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                                               ED SECURITY OFFICE (EMPLOYEE)

                                                                         I17MAR30695


                                                                      JANUARY 7, 2019

                                                                             Table of Contents
                                  Summary ......................................................................................................... 1
                                  Violations ........................................................................................................ 1
                                  Predication ...................................................................................................... 2
                                  Background Information ……………………………………………………………………………… 2
                                  Narrative ......................................................................................................... 2
                                  Prosecutive/Administrative Status .................................................................. 3
                                  Subject of Investigation ................................................................................... 4
                                  Exhibits ............................................................................................................ 4



               Report by:                                                                    Approved by:




               Distribution:
                               -
                               (b) (6), (b)
                               (7)(C)
                               Special Agent
                                                                                                                       Geoffrey Wood
                                                                                                                       Special Agent-in-Charge



               HQ
               File




               FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY: This report is the property of the Office of Inspector General and is loaned to your
               agency; it and its contents may not be reproduced without written permission. The report is FOR OFFICIAL USE
               ONLY and its disclosure to unauthorized persons is prohibited. Public availability to be determined by 5 U.S.C. 552.

               OIG Form 302R (May 17)
                                            CLOSING
                               REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                        ED SECURITY OFFICE (EMPLOYEE)


                                             SUMMARY
While investigating an unrelated employee matter, allegations were brought to the attention of
the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office of Inspector General (OIG) that ED Security
Office personnel were carrying firearms in ED buildings without proper authorization. After
contacting the U.S. Marshal Service’s (USMS) Special Deputation Unit, it was revealed that the
special deputation, which authorized them to carry firearms, of Christopher Strambler, Director




-
Security and Law Enforcement Division, had expired in 2015, and the deputation for (b)
            , (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                                                       -
of Physical Security and Law Enforcement Division, and Jerry Shepherd, Regional Director of
                                                                                           (6),
                                                                         , had expired in 2013.
Interviews conducted with ED Office of Management administrators indicated that a direct
                                                                                           (b)

order was given to the ED Security Office to disarm and lock up their firearms in August 2016.
Interviews with ED Security Office personnel revealed they were instructed by Ron Luczak,
Director of Security, Facilities, and Logistic Services, to continue to carry their firearms despite
the fact they admitted knowing their deputation had expired and acknowledged without it they
were not legally authorized to carry firearms. An interview conducted with Luczak confirmed
that an order was given to him to have the ED Security Office disarm, but he admitted that he
did not give those instructions to his employees. They continued to carry firearms until
October 2016, and continued to qualify with ED owned firearms up until December 2016.

Subsequent to the OIG referring the results of the investigation to ED’s Office of Management,
Luczak was removed from the ranks of the Senior Executive Service and from his position as



                                                   -
Director of Security, Facilities and Logistic Service, Office of Management. The remaining
employees of the ED security office, Strambler, (b) (6), (b) , and Shepherd, each received a
letter. The letter outlined alternative discipline(7)(C)
                                                    requirements in lieu of formal discipline
consisting of two training classes related to ethics and internal controls.




                                           VIOLATIONS
The activities identified in this report are potential violations of:

        •




OIG Form 302R (continuation)
                                        -
            18 USC-912 – False Personation of Officer or Employee of the United States
            (Shepherd, Strambler, and (b) (6), (b) )
                                        (7)(C)


                                        FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                      1
ED SECURITY OFFICE (EMPLOYEE)                                                        I17MAR30695


       •

       •
       •
                                               -
           18 USC 930 (a) – Possession of Firearms and Dangerous Weapons in Federal
           Facilities (Shepherd, Strambler, and (b) (6), (b) )
                                                (7)(C)
           DC Code 22-4405 – Carrying a Concealed
           ED Policies and Regulations                                       -
                                                       Weapon (Strambler and (b) (6), (b) )
                                                                               (7)(C)




                                                    -
           o Possession of a firearm while on government property, unless specifically while
               performing official duties (Strambler, (b) (6), (b) , Shepherd)
           o Failure to follow instructions (Luczak) (7)(C)
           o Deliberate refusal to carry out a proper order (Luczak)

                                                                             -
           o Misuse of official government credentials (Shepherd, Strambler, (b) (6), (b) )



               -
           o Conduct unbecoming a federal employee (Luczak, Shepherd, Strambler,
               (b) (6), (b)
               (7)(C)
           o Lack of candor (Luczak and Shepherd)
                                                                                  (7)(C)




                                       PREDICATION
Allegations arose during an unrelated employee misconduct investigation that members of the
ED Security Office may be carrying firearms in violation of ED management directives and
federal law. It was alleged by Office of Management officials that ED Security Office personnel
lost their U.S. Marshal special deputation authority to carry firearms in August 2016. In
addition, the ED Security Office employees lost the Office of Management authorization as well.


                                BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Title 28 U.S.C. 566(c), 561(a), 509 and 510, and 28 C.F.R. 0.111, 0.112 and 0.19(a)(3), confers
the authority to the USMS to deputize select persons for the purpose of enforcing U.S.C., Title
18, Federal Crimes and Criminal Procedure. (including for the protection of those covered
under federal assault statutes). The authority is limited by the special deputation solely in
furtherance for the mission for whom the individual has been specifically deputized and only
while the special deputation is in effect. Those authorities terminate at the expiration of the
term of the special deputation, which ranges from one to three years.


                                         NARRATIVE
ED OIG initiated an investigation into potential criminal and administrative violations
committed by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Security. A review of USMS
deputation records revealed that the special deputations for ED Security Office personnel,
Christopher Strambler, Director of Physical Security and Law Enforcement Division, and Jerry
Shepherd, Regional Director of Security and Law Enforcement Division, had expired in 2015.
The deputation for (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) , (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
had expired in 2013.

Numerous interviews were conducted during the course of this investigation. The investigation
concluded that ED Security employees were carrying firearms in ED buildings without proper

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                             2
ED SECURITY OFFICE (EMPLOYEE)                                                            I17MAR30695


authorization. Though their USMS Special Deputation had expired (Exhibit 1), these employees



                                                   -
knowingly continued to carry their ED issued firearms without legal authority until at least
October 2016. The OIG interviews of Strambler, (b) (6), (b) , and Shepherd (Exhibits 2, 3, 4)
                                                  (7)(C)
disclosed their actions in connection with Ron Luczak,   Director of Security, Facilities and Logistic
Service, Office of Management (SES). Luczak was aware of the special deputation expirations
and continued to allow the ED Security Office employees to carry their firearms without legal
authority during this time (Exhibit 5). Luczak intentionally disregarded two direct orders in
August 2016 by OM’s Deputy Assistant Secretary Denise Carter to have the ED Security Office
employees lock up their firearms and credentials in August 2016 (Exhibit 6).

In October 2016, Carter discovered that Shepherd, Strambler, and (b) (6), (b) were still carrying
their firearms despite the direct orders given to Luczak. Strambler(7)(C)
                                                                    and (b) (6), (b) turned their
                                                                        (7)(C)
firearms over to the OIG at that time (Exhibit 7).

Also, in October 2016, the OIG contacted Shepherd to arrange taking possession of his firearm,
but he knowingly provided false information claiming his special deputation did not expire until
February 2017. Luczak knowingly disregarded a direct order by Carter and Andrew Jackson,
Assistant Secretary of Management in October 2016 to have Shepherd turn in his firearm to the
OIG. Luczak also demonstrated a lack of candor when answering questions during an OIG
interview about the collection of Shepherd’s firearm. Shepherd’s firearm was not turned into
the OIG until March 2017 when Carter was informed by the OIG that Shepherd’s firearm was
not turned over to the OIG.




                        PROSECUTIVE/ADMINISTRATIVE STATUS
On July 14, 2017, the USAO for the District of Columbia declined this case for prosecution.

On October 25, 2017, the OIG referred the results of the investigation to ED’s Office of
Management via an Administrative Report of Investigation (Exhibit 8).

On December 14, 2017, a notice of action was received for Ron Luczak, which included a
decision to remove Luczak from the ranks of the Senior Executive Service and from his position
as Director of Security, Facilities and Logistic Service, Office of Management, effective January
21, 2018 (Exhibit 9).



Shepherd (Exhibit 10). Each of them received an Alternative Discipline Letter
                                                                               -
On October 11, 2018, the OIG received a memorandum from A. Bianca Green , ED’s Chief
Human Capital Officer, detailing the actions taken by ED against Strambler, (b) (6), (b) , and
                                                                            (7)(C)
                                                                               which outlined
requirements for each to complete two training classes related to ethics and internal controls,
in lieu of formal discipline.




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                3
ED SECURITY OFFICE (EMPLOYEE)                                          I17MAR30695




                                SUBJECT OF INVESTIGATION
NAME: Ronald Luczak
ADDRESS: (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
DOB: (b) (6), (b)
      (7)(C)
SSN: (b) (6), (b) (7)
     (C)
NAME: Christopher Strambler
ADDRESS: (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
DOB: (b) (6), (b)
     (7)(C)
SSN: (b) (6), (b) (7)
     (C)
NAME: (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
ADDRESS: (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
DOB: (b) (6), (b)
      (7)(C)
SSN: (b) (6), (b) (7)
     (C)
NAME: Jerry Shepherd
ADDRESS: (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
DOB: (b) (6), (b)
      (7)(C)
SSN: (b) (6), (b) (7)
     (C)


                                            EXHIBITS
1. USMS letter, June 16, 2015

2. Interview with (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) , June 8, 2017

3. Interview with of Christopher Strambler, June 8, 2017

4. Interview of Jerry Shepherd, June 27, 2017

5. Interview of Ron Luczak, August 2, 2017.

6. Interview of Denise Carter, April 14, 2017

7. 301A- AIGI Jordan- Discussion with Denise Carter, March 21, 2017

8. Administrative referral Report of Investigation, October 16, 2017

9. Notice of Action – Luczak, December 14, 2017

10. Memorandum – Administrative Action Taken by ED, October 11, 2018



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                            4
                       UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                            OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL


                                                                REFERRAL
                                        REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                               (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                                                          (EMPLOYEE)

                                                          I17MAR00791


                                                           JUNE 12, 2018

                                                              Table of Contents
                   Summary ......................................................................................................... 1
                   Violations ........................................................................................................ 1
                   Predication ...................................................................................................... 2
                   Narrative ......................................................................................................... 2
                   Administrative Status ...................................................................................... 8
                   Subject of Investigation ................................................................................... 9
                   Exhibits ............................................................................................................ 9




Report by:                                                                    Approved by:
(b) (6), (b) (7)                                                              Geoffrey Wood
(C)
Special Agent                                                                 Special Agent in Charge




Distribution:
Chief Operating Officer, Federal Student Aid
Human Resources Director, Federal Student Aid
Assistant General Counsel, Office of General Counsel – Ethics Division
File




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY: This report is the property of the Office of Inspector General and is loaned to your
agency; it and its contents may not be reproduced without written permission. The report is FOR OFFICIAL USE
ONLY and its disclosure to unauthorized persons is prohibited. Public availability to be determined by 5 U.S.C. 552.

OIG Form 301R (May 17)
                                                    REFERRAL
                                  REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                            (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                                      (EMPLOYEE)


                                                     SUMMARY
This matter came to the Washington Field Office U.S. Department of Education Office of
Inspector General (ED OIG) as a referral from the ED OIG Technology Crimes Division (TCD).
Initially, an OIG hotline complaint was filed by (b) (6), (b) (7) in February 2016 which alleged
                                                             (C)
that Department of Education (Department) employee,                      (b) (6), (b) , accessed (b) (6), student
loan information without her knowledge or consent and(7)(C)               provided said information   (b) (7)(C)
                                                                                                              to her
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C) It was further alleged that               (b)     and  (b) (6),    (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) were
                                                              (6)          (b)(b)
                                                                               (7)(C)
involved in a romantic relationship. During an extraction of                       (6),   Department email, TCD
                                                                              (b) (b)
                                                                                   (7) (7)
uncovered that on June 3, 2015, Department employee (b) (6),                                  sent (b) an email
                                                                         (C) (b) (6),
containing the identical student loan payment information                                submitted(6)in her hotline
                                                                             (b)  (7)
complaint. On August 13, 2015, (b) sent an email from her Department email account to
                                          (6)
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)          which contained       the identical student loan payment information
submitted by      (b) (6),  in her hotline complaint. During interviews of (b) (6), (b) (7) on June 16,
                  (b) (7)                                                                 (C)
2017 and June 20, 2017 with ED OIG, (b) (6), recalled pulling loan servicer                       information at (b) (6),
                                                 (b) (7)                                                           (b) (7)
request and forwarding the said information to (b) via Department email. (b) (6), claimed
she was unaware of the purpose for the inquiry(6)               at the time. During an interview      (b) (7)
                                                                                                            with ED OIG
on August 2, 2017,       (b)     acknowledged having a relationship with                (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                         (6)
               . (b) admitted        to requesting (b) (6), (b) (7) student loan information from two
                 (6)                     (b) (7)(C) (C)
Department employees,           (b) (6),                                         (who was a Department
contractor at the time).        (b)    stated that     (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)    pulled (b) (6), student loan history
information from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) (b)
                                (6)
                                                                                        and(7)(C)
                                                                                             (b) (6), (b) (7) provided
(b) (6), student loan payment information from a loan servicer data system.                  (C)
                                                                                                        The
(b) (7)(C)
aforementioned information was subsequently provided to (b) (6), (b) by (b)
                                                                            (7)(C)             (6)


                                                    VIOLATIONS
Our investigation substantiated misconduct by the subjects identified in this report.

(b) (6), (b)    actions are evidence of the following violations:
(7)(C)

         •     5 C.F.R §2635.101(b)(9), Standards of Ethical Conduct – Employees shall protect and
               conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.

OIG Form 301R (continuation)                      FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                  1
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C) (Employee)                                                                 I17MAR00791


        •    5 U.S.C § 552a(b)(1), Records maintained on individuals, Conditions of disclosure –
             no agency shall disclose any record which is contained in a system of records by any
             means of communication to any person, or to another agency, except pursuant to a
             written request by, or with the prior written consent of, the individual to whom the
             record pertains, unless disclosure of the record would be to those officers and
             employees of the agency which maintains the record who have a need for the
             record in the performance of their duties.
        •    ED Human Capital Policy 751-1’s prohibition of abuse of position, conduct
             unbecoming a Federal employee, and lack of candor.

In conjunction with (b) (6), violations, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) and (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)    actions are
                    (b) (7)
evidence of the following:

        •    Rules of Behavior violations regarding access to computer data systems
            o Pennsylvania’s Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) computer system
               ((b) (6),
                (b) (7) (b) (6),
            o NSLDS      (
                         (b) (7)(C)



                                            PREDICATION
This investigation was initiated based upon information from an OIG hotline complaint filed by
(b) (6), (b) (7) in February 2016 which alleged that Department employee, (b) (6), (b) , accessed
(C)                                                                        (7)(C)
(b) (6), student loan information without her knowledge or consent and provided        said
(b) (7)(C)
information to her (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) . It was further alleged that (b) and  (b) (6),   (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)

                                                                     (6)      (b) (7)(C)
            were involved in a romantic relationship.


                                              NARRATIVE
A review of (b) (6), Department emails for the period of January 1, 2015 through February 29,
            (b) (7)
2016 revealed   two email messages of note:

                 On Wednesday, June 3, 2015, Department employee (b) (6), (b) (7) sent
                                                                        (C)
                 (b)    an email message (Exhibit 1) from her Department    email account
                 (6)
                 ((b) (6), (b) (7)(C)      at approximately 14:13:07 EDT with the subject,
                 “info.” The text of the email contained identical student loan payment
                 information which (b) (6), (b) (7) submitted in her hotline complaint
                                      (C)
                 (Exhibit 2).

                 On Thursday, August 13, 2015, (b) sent an email message (Exhibit 3)
                                               (6)
                 from her Department email account  ((b) (6), (b) (7)(C) ) to Yahoo email
                 account (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)  with the subject, “Info as of June” at
                 approximately 21:33:23 EDT. The text of the email contained the
FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                      2
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C) (Employee)                                                                 I17MAR00791


                 identical student loan payment information (b) (6), (b) (7) submitted in
                                                            (C)
                 her hotline complaint (Exhibit 2).

On March 6, 2017, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) of the ED OIG TCD determined that Department employee,
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C) , accessed (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) student loan information in NSLDS at 0753 hours on
May 6, 2015. The Internet Protocol (IP) address captured during this transaction returned to
the U.S. Department of Education.

On June 16, 2017, Department employee, (b) (6), (b) (7)         was interviewed by ED OIG and
provided the following information (Exhibit(C)4):
                 (b) (6),was shown a copy of the email message, dated June 3, 2015, that
                 (b) (7)
                 contained (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) student loan payment information which was
                 transmitted from (b) (6), Department email to (b) (6), (b) Department
                                     (b) (7)(C)                       (7)(C)
                 email (Exhibits 1 and    5). Upon review of the email    containing the student
                 loan information,   (b) (6),  stated she did not recall who the borrower was
                                     (b) (7)
                 or the circumstances     behind sending the student loan information to
                 (b)    (b) (6), stated she received many requests for student loan
                 (6)    (b) (7)
                 payment   information from several people on a daily basis. (b) (6), did not
                 question requests for information from Federal Student Aid(b)       (7)
                                                                                   (FSA)
                 employees but would ask for additional information if the request came
                 from a contractor. (b) (6), did not keep a log of FSA employees or
                                       (b) (7)
                 contractors from whom        she received information requests.
                 (b) (6),  advised that although it was not entirely uncommon, it was rare
                 (b) (7)
                 for (b)     to ask her for information in general and even rarer for (b) to
                 request student loan payment information from a loan servicer. (6)
                      (6)                                                             (b) (6),
                                                                                      (b) (7)
                 verified that she pulled student loan payment information (belonging       to
                 (b) (6), (b) (7) ) and transmitted said information via email to (b)   based
                 (C)                                                              (6)
                 on being shown a copy of the sent email message from her Department
                 email account to (b) (6), Department email account (Exhibits 1 and 5).
                 (b) (6), believed the(b) (7)
                                          student loan payment information was accessed
                 (b) (7)
                 from PHEAA’s system for which (b) (6), had access.
                                                    (b) (7)
On the evening of June 16, 2017, (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                contacted ED OIG Special Agent (SA) (b)
                                 (C)                                                (6),
      via telephone and provided the following information (Exhibit 6):
                                                                                                (b)
                        recalled a telephone conversation with (b) pertaining to Parent
                 (b) (6),
                 (b) (7)
                 PLUS loans and who was responsible for paying(6)        the loans if there was a
                 divorce. (b) (6), advised that she informed (b) that the borrower who
                          (b) (7)                                 (6)
                 signed the  master promissory note was responsible           for payment as far as
                 FSA was concerned.     (b) (6), also recalled discussing repayment plans and
                 loan amounts with (b)(b) (7)According to (b) (6), (b) asked (b) (6), to look
                                      (6)                    (b) (7)(b) (6),
                                                                        (6)           (b) (7)
                 up student loan information     after providing             with a social  security
                                                                   (b)  (7)
                 number.   (b) (6), looked up the student loan information for the social
                            (b) (7)
FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                    3
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C) (Employee)                                                                   I17MAR00791


                 security number provided and sent the data to (b) via Department
                                                                    (6)
                 email upon (b) (6), request. (b) (6), did not recall   seeing the borrower’s
                             (b) (7)             (b) (7)
                 name attached to the student loan information she researched but knew
                 she was looking at (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) loans based on a conversation with
                 (b)   at the time she was pulling the information for (b)        (b) (6),
                 (6)                                                       (6)    (b) (7)
                 claimed “(b) was (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) .
                            (6)
On June 20, 2017, ED OIG requested a written statement from (b) (6), (b) (7) in order to
receive clarification from the telephone conversation between(C)       (b) (6), and SA (b)   on the
                                                                       (b) (7)         (6)
evening of June 16, 2017 (Exhibit 7).       (b) (6), provided a written statement confirming that she
                                            (b) (7)(b)
pulled the student loan data and sent it to             via Department email (Exhibit 8). (b) (6),
                                                   (6)                                     (b) (7)
advised that she inferred that the student loan payment information she pulled and           sent to
(b)   belonged to   (b)  or (b) (6), (b) (7)   based on a conversation she had with   (b)
(6)                  (6)     (C)                                                         (6)
(b) (6),  was interviewed on three separate occasions. During the initial interview, (b) (6), could
(b) (7)                                                                                           (b) (7) (b)
not recall the specifics behind pulling the student loan payment information belonging                   to
(b) (6), [Agent’s note: The student loan payment information was pulled two years prior (6)                 to
(b) (6), initial interview with ED OIG.] During the second and third interviews with ED OIG,
(b)
(b) (7)
    (6), recalled conversations with (b)            pertaining to Parent PLUS loans and who was
(b) (7)                                      (6)
responsible for paying the loans if there was a divorce. (b) (6), also stated that (b) mentioned
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)            during the conversation. In the (b)    (7)
                                                                   second  interview, (b) (6),(6)claimed this
                                                                                         (b) (7)
conversation occurred at the same time (b) (6), was pulling the student loan                 payment
                                                   (b) (7)
information for     (b)     and based on that conversation with       (b)    (b) (6),   was able to deduce
that the student(6)  loan payment information she was pulling(6)             (b) (7) (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                       belonged    to                  . In the
                                                                                      (C)
third interview,    (b) (6),   claimed the conversation with     (b)    may have occurred during the same
                    (b) (7)                                      (6)
time  (b)  (6),  was pulling the student loan payment information for (b) or shortly thereafter.
      (b)  (7)
(b) (6), also claimed she inferred that the student loan payment information   (6)
                                                                                             she pulled
(b) (7)
belonged to either      (b)  (6), (b) (7)(C)     based on her conversation with     (b)
                                                                                (6)
A review of (b) (6), Talent Management System (TMS) training history revealed that (b) (6),
received annual training in IT Security/Cyber Security and Privacy Awareness, Internal(b)
            (b) (7)(C)                                                                    (7)
                                                                                       Controls,
and Records Management covering the timeframe in which (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) student loan
information was accessed.

In addition to examining (b) (6), training history, a copy of (b) (6), signed Rules of Behavior
                          (b) (7)(C)                          (b) (7)(C)
form for access to PHEAA’s    computer system was obtained from      FSA’s Business Operations
Security Division (Exhibit 9). Section 5 of the Rules of Behavior regarding “Unofficial use of
government equipment” states:

                 Users should be aware that personal use of information resources
                 is not authorized unless sanctioned by management. Do not
                 utilize corporate/Government resources for commercial activity
                 or any venture related to personal profit or gain. Do not utilize
                 corporate/Government resources for behaviors that are unethical
                 or unacceptable for the work environment.
FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                        4
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C) (Employee)                                                                    I17MAR00791


(b) (6), actions in using the PHEAA computer system and providing the subject
(b) (7)(C)
information to (b) demonstrates personal use of the system, which was not
               (6)
authorized, thereby  violating the system’s rules of behavior.

On August 2, 2017, Department employee, (b) (6), (b) was interviewed by ED OIG (Exhibit 10).
(b)  provided the following information: (7)(C)
(6)
                 (b)     met (b) (6), (b) in December 2014. (b) and (b) interactions
                 (6)
                 progressed(7)(C)
                                from a friendship to a current (6)              (6)
                                                                     romantic relationship.     (b)
                                                                                                (6)
                 provided counsel to     (b)   while he was going through        (b) (6), (b)  with
                                         (6)
                 (b) (6), (b) (7) . During that time, (b) asked (b)              (7)(C)
                                                                             questions related to
                 (C)                                      (6)          (6)
                 student loans and divorce. Specifically,          he asked  what his rights were as
                 (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)               student loans and what effect divorce would
                 have on payment of student loans. (b) was concerned that his (b) (6),
                                                              (6)
                 was not paying (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)         student   loans. (b) asked (b) (b)if(7) she
                                                                             (6)           (6)
                 had the ability to obtain     (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) student loan information, but did
                 not specifically direct   (b)     to obtain the information for him.
                                          (6)
                 (b)     initially denied asking a Department employee to research (b)
                 (6)
                 (b) (6), student loan information. (b)                              (6)
                                                             was provided documentation
                 (b) (7)(C)                             (6)
                 from the original hotline complaint representing  (b)    (b) (6), student
                                                                   (6)    (b) (7)(C)
                 loan information pulled from NSLDS and an email containing      (b)
                 (b) (6), student loan payment information in the body of the    (6)
                                                                                   message
                 (b) (7)(C)
                 (Exhibit 2). After reviewing the documentation from the original hotline
                 complaint, (b) admitted to printing the student loan documents
                 depicted in(6)
                              the original hotline complaint and taking them home.
                 (b)  claimed she asked Department employee, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) , to
                 (6)
                 research (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) student loan information in NSLDS because (b)
                 knew (b) (6), had access. (b) did not have access to NSLDS. (b) (6)
                      (b) (7)                   (6)
                 requested  that (b) (6), print     said information to a Department (6)
                                                                                      printer.
                 (b)  picked up(b) the(7)requested student loan information from the printer
                 (6)
                 and took it to her residence. (b) believed (b) (6), was unaware that
                 she was researching (b) (b) (6)   (6),    student (b)
                                                                   loan(7)
                                                                         information.
                                      (6)     (b) (7)(C)
                 (b)     asked Department employee, (b) (6), (b) (7) , to look up (b)
                 (6)                                     (C)
                 (b) (6), student loan payment information                           (6)
                                                                  in a loan servicer database
                 (b) (7)(C) (b)
                 because         knew (b) (6), had access. (b) did not have access to loan
                 servicer data. (b) (b)
                            (6)           (7)
                                      stated   that she asked(6)(b) (6),
                                                                         questions related to the
                                 (6)                            (b) (7)
                 responsibilities of co-signers of student loans either prior to requesting
                 the student loan payment information or during the time (b) (6), was
                                                                              (b) (7)
                 researching the information. (b) advised that she requested         that
                                                 (6)
                 (b) (6), print the aforementioned   information to a Department printer.
                 (b) (7)
                 (b)     claimed she picked up the student loan payment information from
                 (6)
                 the printer and took the paperwork home. (b) believed (b) (6), was
FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                              (6)               (b) (7)                5
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C) (Employee)                                                                I17MAR00791


                 unaware that she was researching (b)        (b) (6), (b)   student loan
                                                  (6)        (7)(C)
                 information.
                 (b)     was shown a copy of an email message depicting (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                 (6)
                 student loan payment information being transmitted from (b) (6),
                 (b) (6), Department email to (b) (6), Department email (Exhibit   (b) (7)
                                                                                           1).
                 (b) (7)(C)                         (b) (7)
                 Upon review of the aforementioned          email transmission, (b) admitted
                                                                                (6)
                 that she received (b)      (b) (6), student loan payment information          from
                                    (6)     (b) (7)(C)
                 (b) (6), via Department email. (b)         added that once she received said
                 (b) (7)                             (6)
                 information from (b) (6), she printed       the information on a Department
                                    (b) (7)
                 printer and took it home.
                 (b)   was shown a copy of an email message depicting (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                 (6)
                 student loan payment information being transmitted from (b) (6),
                                                                              (b) (7)
                 Department email to the email address (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)        (Exhibit 3).
                 Upon review of the aforementioned email transmission,     (b)     admitted
                                                                           (6)
                 that she forwarded (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) student loan payment information to
                 her personal email address,(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)       .
                 (b)    requested the student loan information for (b) (6), (b) (7) from
                 (6)                                                   (C)
                 Department employees because (b) was concerned            that (b)  was not
                                                     (6)                        (6)
                 paying   (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)  student loans. (b)   added that the student
                                                              (6)
                 loan information was going to come out during       the discovery segment of
                 the(b)  (6), (b) (7)(C)      anyways.  (b)   stated that the documents did
                                                        (6)
                 not contain personal identifying information and claimed that she did not
                 think what she did was wrong.

                 When (b) was initially asked how the NSLDS and email message with
                        (6)
                 student  loan payment information ended up at the (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                , (b) stated that she printed the information and took it
                 home. After (6)  some persistence, (b) acknowledged that she may have
                 handed (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) student (6)
                                                      loan information to (b) (6), (b) . (b)
                                                                          (7)(C)
                 completed a signed affidavit in which she admitted to       requesting(6)and
                 receiving  (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) student loan information which was disclosed
                 during (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                               (Exhibit 11).

A review of (b) (6), TMS training history revealed that (b) received annual training in IT
            (b) (7)                                       (6)
Security/Cyber   Security and Privacy Awareness, Internal     Controls, and Records
Management covering the timeframe in which       (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) student loan information
was accessed.

In December 2017, FSA Director of Workforce Relations, Amandeep Gill was contacted
to request guidance on any FSA policy applicable to access to systems information and
misuse of said information. Gill was unable to locate any FSA policy applicable to access

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                   6
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C) (Employee)                                                             I17MAR00791


to systems information and misuse of said information but provided the zero tolerance
memo authored by James Runcie on October 2, 2012 (Exhibit 12).

On January 26, 2018, Department employee, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) was interviewed by ED
OIG and provided the following information (Exhibit 13):
                 (b) (6), had access to various Department databases including NSLDS.
                 (b)
                 (b) (7)
                     (6), received requests for information from Department databases
                 (b) (7)
                 on a weekly basis from other FSA employees. (b) (6), did not keep a log
                                                               (b) (7)
                 of FSA employees from whom she had received     information requests.
                 (b) (6), was unaware of an FSA policy that required documenting
                 (b) (7)
                 information requests from Department systems.

                 When (b) (6), was shown a copy of the printout of (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                 NSLDS(b)   (7)
                         student loan history (Exhibit 14) and informed that she researched
                 and provided the aforementioned loan history information to (b) for a
                                                                                 (6)
                 non-work related purpose, (b) (6), maintained she was unaware.
                 (b) (6), claimed (b)        (b) (7)
                                         requested   information from her on a regular basis
                 (b) (7)           (6)
                 and it was therefore not unusual for (b) to ask (b) (6), for information
                                                        (6)         (b) (7)
                 from NSLDS.

                 (b) (6), did not recall having a conversation with (b) regarding (b) (6),
                 (b) (7)                                               (6)
                 boyfriend, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                     student loans; (b) (b) (7)
                                                                                   (6)
                 (b) (6), or (b) (6), (b) (7) at any time while researching information  in a
                 (b) (7)     (C)
                 Department system for       (b)
                                          (6)
                 (b) (6), did not know anyone named (b) (6), (b) (7) . (b) (6), also did not
                 (b) (7)                                     (C)             (b) (7)
                 recall pulling (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) student loan history information from
                 NSLDS.

A review of (b) (6), (b) TMS training history revealed that (b) (6), received annual training in IT
            (7)(C)                                             (b) (7)
Security/Cyber   Security and Privacy Awareness, Internal Controls,     and Records Management
covering the timeframe in which    (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) student loan information was accessed.

In addition to examining (b) (6), (b) training history, a copy of (b) (6), (b) signed NSLDS User
                          (7)(C)
Participation Rules of Behavior   form was obtained from FSA’s(7)(C)
                                                                   Business Operations Security
Division (Exhibit 15). The NSLDS User Participation Rules of Behavior form states:

                 For Official, Approved Use Only - NSLDS computing resources are
                 funded by the Government to support various programmatic
                 efforts needed to accomplish the NSLDS mission. As such, these
                 resources are to be used only for official Government business.
                 Users should remember that when they use the NSLDS computing
                 resources, they are acting in their employment capacity on behalf
                 of ED. Unless approved in writing by management, any activity
FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                 7
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C) (Employee)                                                         I17MAR00791


                 outside that employment capacity, or which could bring harm or
                 embarrassment to the NSLDS/ED/Contractor must be avoided.

                 Privacy Expectations - This system contains personal information
                 protected by the Privacy Act of 1974 (as amended). If you access
                 NSLDS production information, you are explicitly consenting to be
                 bound by the Act’s requirements and acknowledge the possible
                 criminal and civil penalties for violation of the Act.

                 Accepted User Principles – Computer security personnel
                 recognize users of NSLDS information systems and associated
                 data as an integral part of the overall ED computer security
                 program. Users’ access to computing resources indicates a level
                 of trust bestowed on them by their management and ultimately
                 by ED. Users are responsible for their actions and need to be
                 aware of and acknowledge their responsibilities.

         actions in using NSLDS and providing the subject information to (b)
(b) (6), (b)
(7)(C)                                                                   (6)
demonstrates a violation NSLDS’ rules of behavior.

On March 8, 2018, FSA Management and Program Analyst, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) provided
verification that (b) never had access to NSLDS. (b) (6), claimed (b) had NSLDS
                  (6)                             (b) (7)          (6)
access only as a student and was therefore only able to view her personal  student loan
information. Additionally, on March 9, 2018, PHEAA Senior Special Agent (6), (b) (7)
                                                                          (b)
                                                                          (C)
verified that (b) never had access to PHEAA’s loan servicer systems.
               (6)
On March 12, 2018, (b) (6), former supervisor, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) , was interviewed by ED
                   (b) (7)
OIG and provided the following information (Exhibit 16):
                 (b)    supervised (b) on FSA’s Direct Loan team from 2012 until 2016.
                 (6)               (6)
                 (b)    did not recall whether (b) had access to NSLDS but confirmed
                 (6)
                 that (b)   did not have access(6)to any of the loan servicer databases.
                       (6)
                 (b)   claimed there were instances when FSA employees would share
                 (6)
                 information retrieved from Department databases but it would be
                 determined on a case by case basis. (b)    had no knowledge of a written
                                                       (6)
                 FSA policy regarding the sharing of information between FSA employees
                 when said information was accessed from Department databases. (b)
                                                                                  (6)
                 was also unaware of a written FSA policy requiring FSA employees to
                 document information requests from Department systems.

                 Although (b)    was unaware of any written guidance related to
                          (6)
                 information requests, she claimed that FSA employees are expected to
                 ask questions of those FSA employees requesting information from
                 databases for which they do not have access.

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                            8
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C) (Employee)                                                             I17MAR00791


                  (b)   claimed that it was her understanding that access to and
                  (6)
                  information sharing from Department managed systems was governed by
                  the rules of behavior for the individual systems. (b)    added that FSA is
                  very strict in regards to how employees manage (6)data from Department
                  systems.
                  (b)     advised that FSA employees are only granted access to Department
                  (6)
                  systems necessary to perform their job responsibilities. According to (b) (6),
                                                                                              (b) (7)
                  (b)     “typically” was not authorized to request information from Department
                  (6)
                  systems for which she did not have access. (b)        claimed that if a situation
                                                                 (6)
                  arose in which    (b)   needed information from a Department system for which
                                    (6)
                  she did not have     access, the appropriate action would be to send a referral to
                  the FSA team leader whose team has access to said information. According to
                  (b) (6), once a complaint or issue is referred to a different team who can access
                  (b) (7)
                  the needed information, said team usually resolves the complaint or issue
                  instead of providing the information back to the original requester. (b)
                                                                                            (6)
                  claimed that (b) was not authorized to view information from Department
                                 (6)
                  systems for which     she did not have access.

                  (b)   claimed (b) should know the difference between accessing Department
                  (6)           (6)
                  systems for work  related purposes and personal use because (b) was involved
                                                                              (6)
                  in developing rules for safeguarding borrower information and therefore should
                  understand that these rules apply to FSA employees.


                                    ADMINISTRATIVE STATUS
On April 20, 2017, Emily Miller, Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney’s
Office for the District of Columbia, declined this matter (b) (5)
                                            This matter will be referred to FSA for possible
administrative action.



                                  SUBJECTS OF INVESTIGATION
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)



(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)


FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                   9
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C) (Employee)                                                             I17MAR00791


                                               EXHIBITS
1. Email message sent from (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) Department email to (b) (6), (b)      Department
                                                                   (7)(C)
   email

2. Original hotline complaint filed by (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                         (C)
3.   Email message sent from (b) (6), (b)      Department email to (b) (6), (b)   personal email
                             (7)(C)                            (7)(C)
4. Memorandum of Interview from June 16, 2017 interview of (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                (C)
5. Email message contained in original hotline complaint filed by (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                  (C)
6. Memorandum of Interview from June 16, 2017 telephone interview of (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                             (C)
7. Memorandum of Interview from June 20, 2017 interview of (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                (C)
8. Affidavit, (b) (6), (b) (7)
               (C)
9. Rules of Behavior form for PHEAA system access signed by (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                              (C)
10. Memorandum of Interview,   (b) (6), (b)
                               (7)(C)
11. Affidavit, (b) (6), (b)
               (7)(C)
12. FSA Zero Tolerance Policy authored by James Runcie on October 2, 2012

13. Memorandum of Interview, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)

14. NSLDS loan history contained in original hotline complaint filed by (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                            (C)
15. NSLDS Rules of Behavior form signed by (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)

16. Memorandum of Interview, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                               10
                                                             REFERRAL
                                     REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                                    (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                                               (EMPLOYEE)

                                                       I17MAR00793


                                                  FEBRUARY 8, 2019

                                                           Table of Contents
                Summary ......................................................................................................... 1
                Violations ........................................................................................................ 2
                Predication ...................................................................................................... 2
                Narrative ......................................................................................................... 2
                Prosecutive/Administrative Status .................................................................. 4
                Subject of Investigation ................................................................................... 4
                Exhibits ............................................................................................................ 4

                                                                                                                               Digitally signed by
                                                                                        Geoffrey                               Geoffrey Wood
Report by:                                                                 Approved by:                                        Date: 2019.02.11
                                                                                        Wood                                   11:43:46 -05'00'
             (b) (6), (b) (7)                                                                        GEOFFREY WOOD
             (C)
             Assistant Special Agent in Charge                                                       Special Agent in Charge


Distribution:
Headquarters, Investigation Services
Director, Office of Human Resources
File
                                           REFERRAL
                           REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                          (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                    (EMPLOYEE)


                                                SUMMARY
On March 3, 2017, OIG was contacted by U.S. Department of Education (ED) Office of Security
Services, regarding (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) , ED Federal Student Aid (FSA). (b) (6), supervisor
                                                                        (b) (7)
received a voicemail from Warrenton Police Department, Warrenton, VA,       advising that an ED
issued computer was seized during the execution of a search warrant on (b) s property.
                                                                           (6)
OIG met with Warrenton Police Department who disclosed that (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
was working as (b) (7)(C), (b) (6)                                                         ,
Warrenton, VA, for years. While in this capacity for over 2 years, (b) drafted and cashed
                                                                   (6)
checks made payable to (b) without authorization. It was communicated     that (b) actually
                          (7)
                           (b)                           (b)                   (6)
was present onsite when          worked for the company.      was also employed    full time by ED
          (b) (7)(C),      (7)                           (6)
FSA as an              on permanent telework.
          (b) (6)
On October 27, 2017, prior to the completion of the OIG investigation, (b)       resigned from FSA.
                                                                         (6)
In December of 2017, (b) entered a guilty plea to one count of violation of VA Code § 18.2-
                       (6)
111, embezzlement (felony).  In February of 2018, (b) was sentenced to 10 years’
                                                  (6)
incarceration, 8 years suspended, and 4 years of supervised probation in Fauquier County
Circuit Court. The Fauquier County Circuit Court also ordered restitution of $79,300 to
(b) (7)(C), (b) (6)                     .

OIG’s investigation revealed the following regarding (b) (6), conduct:
                                                     (b) (7)
   x   Violated ED’s supplemental agency ethics regulations for failing to obtain prior approval
       for outside activities.

   x   A potential ethics violation regarding conflicting outside employment and activities, and
       teaching, speaking and writing, respectively.

   x   Time and attendance falsification; working a second job while on duty for FSA.

   x   Embezzled money from (b) secondary employer while on duty for FSA.
                                (7)
                                          VIOLATIONS
OIG’s investigation substantiated employee misconduct by the subject identified in this report.
The activities identified in this report are congruent with the following offenses under ED
Human Capital Policy 751-1, Discipline and Adverse Actions:

       x   Falsifying attendance record for self (See also 5 CFR part 2635.705)
       x   Violating the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Executive Branch Employees, and/or
           the Department’s supplemental standards on outside activities (See also 5 CFR part
           2635.802 and/or 2635.807, 5 CFR part 6301).
       x   Conduct prejudicial to the Federal Government
       x   Conduct unbecoming a Federal employee


                                         PREDICATION
This investigation was initiated based upon information from the Warrenton Police Department
that (b) was under investigation for embezzling funds from (b) (7)(C), (b) (6)
     (6)
              while serving as its (b) (7)(C), . The information indicated (b) may have done
                                   (b) (6)                                 (6)
this while on-duty for FSA.


                                          NARRATIVE
On March 3, 2017, OIG was contacted by ED Office of Security Services, regarding (b) (7) ED FSA.
(b) (6), supervisor received a voicemail from Warrenton Police Department advising (C)
                                                                                     that an ED
(b) (7)                                                                 (b) (6),
issued computer was seized during the execution of a search warrant on           residence.
                                                                           (b) (7)
On March 13, 2017, OIG met with Warrenton Police Department. Warrenton Police disclosed
that (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)               was working as an (b) (7)(C), (b) (6)
                     Warrenton, VA, for years. While serving in this capacity for over 2 years, (b)
drafted and cashed unauthorized checks made payable to (b) beyond (b) authorized $200(6)
                                                              (7)            (7)
weekly salary. It was communicated that (b) actually was        present onsite     when (b) worked
                                             (6)                                        (7)
for the company. (b) was also employed full time by ED FSA as an (b) (7)(C), that           was on
                      (6)
permanent telework.       OIG secured possession of the ED Department(b)       (6)
                                                                           computer   from Warrenton
Police Department
(b)  was arrested by Warrenton Police Department and charged in the Fauquier County Circuit
(6)
Court with a violation of VA Code § 18.2-111, embezzlement (felony).

The ED computer was submitted to OIG’s Technology Crimes Division (TCD) for analysis. TCD
advised that the computer appeared to have never been connected to the ED network and
therefore never downloaded the McAfee administration keys/accounts that are used to decrypt
the laptops. It was determined that .          had no user profi le eliminating the need to image the
hard drive of the computer.

On April 19, 2017, ASAC-        provided FSA with documentation of the crim ina l matter
involving " " ' Subsequent to this notification, FSA placed . on indefinite suspension.

In an August 31, 2017 interview of                      ,       of
             ,.       provided that        worked in a               capacity for his company
since 2009 (S      x ibit 1 and Attac   ent 1)~        communicated that he could say with 95
percent of the t ime, up until February 2017,         as present on the prem ises every Friday;
usually 12 noon to 3pm or 5pm.       1111
                                        woul     sue payroll checks to company employees.
           wed llll to issue theffl'ichecks and sometim~ s       would sign -         name. -



•        wi
           auth~      to pay payroll and company debt.
          ersonal and business taxes.
            ekly. l stated that th~
                                          1111was author d to write a salary check
                                             y other authority he ~
                                                                                       forll
                                                               was also r e s ~ for filin'lg'TT7T

                                                                           to write a ch
payable to               for.    $500 annual bonus. Accord ing to -       any other check(s)
made paya                by .     was not authorized by him.

In an October 26, 2017 meeting with -          supervisor,                      ,
communicated that llll came to hi rWTrr'iite 2014/ear ly 2015 to report that         a aving
health issues and du~     those health issues, it would be advantageous for       o telework (See
Exhibit 1 and Attachment 2). FSA and -          informally allowed what amo ted to permanent
telework until late summer/early fall ~         when llll was granted a reasonable
accommodation and had a formal permanent te le~            greement in place (See Exhibit 2).
Prior to the reasonab le accommodation and the forma l telework agreement, telework was
norma l practice for .     unless a specific work demand requi red" "to be onsite at FSA.

On _           , 2017, .          provided that .    resigned from FSA on -             2017.

On              2017,      1111
                            entered a gui lty plea to one count of violation of VA Code § 18.2-
111, embezzlement (fe~     . In-   signed stipulation of      facts,1111
                                                                       adm itted that since at least
2011,     generally worked one~    a week, generally Friday fr~       :30pm to 4:30pm, for
                                        performing                                     (See Exhibit
1 and Attachment 3).

ED OIG analysis of-          work history/records, WebTA time and attendance records and
relevant bank info~         n (See Exhibit 1) revea led the following:

    •   •        WebTA time and attendance records from pay period 8 2015 (3/22/15 to 4/4/15)
          r gh pay period 6 2017 (2/19/ 17 to 3/4/17) reported that llll claimed 46 Fridays
        worked during this t ime. -    hours logged were mostly 6:~      to 3 :00pm; some
        days t ill 4:00pm or 4:30p~
    x   Between 2015 and early 2017, on five occasions (b) deposited unauthorized
        (b) (7)(C), (b) (6)                            (6) (b)
                                               checks into     bank account during (b)
        reported ED working hours (See Exhibit 1 and Attachments 4 through 12). (7)
                                 1                         (7)


On February 5, 2018, ED Office of General Counsel, Ethics advised that (b)                  failed to seek the
                                                                       (6)
required guidance/approval for her secondary employment.


                              PROSECUTIVE/ADMINISTRATIVE STATUS

Prior to the resolution of the OIG investigation and subsequent administrative referral to the
Department, (b) separated from service with ED FSA on (b) (6), (b) 2016, while on indefinite
              (6)                                            (7)(C)
suspension. This  report is being furnished to the Department     pursuant to the National Defense
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, Sec. 2, Division A, Title XI, Subtitle C, § 1140 (Pub. L. No.
114-328) (codified at 5 U.S.C. § 3322). This statute requires the Department to make a
permanent notation in the official personnel file of an employee who resigns prior to the
resolution of a personnel investigation, which results in an adverse finding.

In (b) (6), of 2018, (b) was sentenced to 10 years’ incarceration, 8 years suspended, and 4
   (b) (7)(C)          (6)
years   of supervised probation in Fauquier County Circuit Court.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court also ordered restitution of $79,300 to (b) (7)(C), (b) (6)
                   .


                                        SUBJECT OF INVESTIGATION
Subject: (b) (7)(C), (b)
Address:(6)
          (b) (7)(C), (b) (6)


Telephone: (b) (7)(C), (b) (6)




    1. OIG 301A Investigative Analysis

        Attachment 1 – OIG 301

        Attachment 2 – OIG 301 (b) (7)
                                        (C) (b)
        Attachment 3 - (b) (6), guilty plea agreement and stipulation of facts
                              (b) (7)


1
  Due to the sensitivity of financial information,    ’s and (b) (7)(C), (b) (6)                        account
information will not be provided with this Report of Investigation. Further, OIG’s investigation revealed that none
of (b)    referenced deposits were made electronically.
       Attachment 4 - 12-29-15.   's Deposit Information (Redacted)

       Attachment 5--        WebTA pp 02-2016

       Attachment 6-1-11-16.        Deposit Information (Redacted)

       Attachment 7--        WebTA pp 03-2016

       Attachment 8-1-15-16.        Deposit Information (Redacted)

       Attachment 9- 7-29-16.       Deposit Information (Redacted)

       Attachment 10--        WebTA pp 17-2016

       Attachment 11-10-7-16.        Deposit Information (Redacted)

       Attachment 12--        WebTA pp 22-2016

2. •     Telework Agreement
                      UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                           OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL


                                                                 CLOSING
                                       REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                       (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                                       (FORMER EMPLOYEE)

                                                         I17MAR00806


                                                    JANUARY 19, 2018

                                                             Table of Contents
                  Summary ......................................................................................................... 1
                  Violations ........................................................................................................ 1
                  Predication ...................................................................................................... 1
                  Narrative ......................................................................................................... 1
                  Prosecutive Status ........................................................................................... 2
                  Subject of Investigation ................................................................................... 2
                  Exhibits ............................................................................................................ 2



Report by:                                                                   Approved by:
              (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                            GEOFFREY WOOD
              Special Agent                                                  Special Agent in Charge


Distribution:
File




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY: This report is the property of the Office of Inspector General and is loaned to your
agency; it and its contents may not be reproduced without written permission. The report is FOR OFFICIAL USE
ONLY and its disclosure to unauthorized persons is prohibited. Public availability to be determined by 5 U.S.C. 552.

OIG Form 301R (May 17)
                                              CLOSING
                               REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                     (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                  (FORMER EMPLOYEE)


                                              SUMMARY
OIG received a referral memorandum from the Office of General Counsel, Ethics Division.
According to the Ethics Division, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                                            failed to file his
combined Annual/Termination Public Financial Disclosure Report, OGE Form 278e, and
payment of the $200 late filing fee. The Ethics Division exhausted its efforts to procure
(b) (6), (b) compliance with this filing obligation and referred this matter to OIG for appropriate
(7)(C)
remedial action.


                                             VIOLATIONS
The activities identified in this report are violations of:

         •    5 U.S.C. app. §104 Failure to File or Filing False Reports



                                            PREDICATION
This investigation was initiated based upon information that former Department employee,
              , failed to file his Annual/Termination Public Financial Disclosure Report as
(b) (6), (b) (7)
(C)
required under 5 U.S.C. app. §101, Persons Required to File.


                                             NARRATIVE
OIG received a memorandum from the Office of General Counsel, Ethics Division indicating
               failed to file his combined Annual/Termination OGE Form 278e on or before the
(b) (6), (b) (7)
(C)
thirtieth day after he terminated his employment with the Department on July 1, 2016
(Attachment 1). (b) (6), was required to submit a combined report because he had failed to
                  (b) (7)
submit his Annual OGE Form 278e, which was due May 25, 2016, and he anticipated leaving the
Department within 60-days of the due date for his Annual OGE Form 278e. (b) (6), (b) combined
                                                                            (7)(C)
Annual/Termination OGE 278e Report was due July 11, 2016. On June 30, 2016, (b) (6), signed
                                                                                 (b) (7)
a memo acknowledging his filing obligation. On August 2, 2016, the Ethics Division sent (b) (6),
                                                                                         (b) (7)
a letter via United Parcel Service, which advised him that he was required to submit the OGE
278e before 11:59 pm on August 10, 2016, to avoid paying the $200 late filing fee. (b) (6),
                                                                                      (b) (7)
OIG Form 301R (continuation)               FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                      1
(b) (6), (b) (7)     (Former Employee)                                               I17MAR00806
(C)

failed to submit his Combined Annual/Termination OGE Form 278e and failed to pay the $200
late filing fee.

OIG contacted the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO), Civil Division, Washington, DC. On
May 12, 2017, the USAO issued a civil demand letter to (b) (6), which notified him of his
                                                           (b) (7)(C)
requirement to file his OGE Form 278e and the assessment of a late filing penalty of $200
(Attachment 2). (b) (6), paid the $200 late filing fee on November 8, 2017. He filed his
                (b) (7)
Combined Annual/Termination OGE Form 278e through Integrity.Gov on December 6, 2017
(Attachment 3). The OGE Form 278e was reviewed and certified by the Ethics Division on
January 17, 2018. (b) (6), has satisfied his filing requirement.
                        (b) (7)


                                         PROSECUTIVE STATUS

On April 4, 2017, this matter was presented to the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO), Civil
Division. The USAO issued a demand letter to (b) (6), on May 12, 2017. (b) (6), submitted his
                                                 (b) (7)                 (b) (7)
late filing fee to the USAO and submitted his OGE 278e electronically through the Integrity.Gov
system. (b) (6), has satisfied his filing requirement.
          (b) (7)


                                     SUBJECT OF INVESTIGATION
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




                                              EXHIBITS
1. Referral Memorandum

2. USAO Demand Letter

3. (b) (6),        OGE Form 278e
    (b) (7)




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                              2
                       UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                             OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL



                                                                 CLOSING
                                       REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                                             (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




                                                              16-042115


                                                          JULY 23, 2018



                                                            Table of Contents
                   Summary....................................................................................................... 1
                   Predication.................................................................................................... 2
                   Narrative ....................................................................................................... 2
                   Prosecutive Status ....................................................................................... 10
                   Subject(s) of Investigation ........................................................................... 10
                   Exhibits ....................................................................................................... 10




Report by:                                                                  Approved by:
(b) (6), (b) (7)                                                            Neil E. Sanchez
(C)
Special Agent                                                               Special Agent in Charge


Distribution:
Headquarters, Investigation Services
File




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY: This report is the property of the Office of Inspector General and is loaned to your
agency; it and its contents may not be reproduced without written permission. The report is FOR OFFICIAL USE
ONLY and its disclosure to unauthorized persons is prohibited. Public availability to be determined by 5 U.S.C. 552.

OIG Form 302R (May 17)
                                                CLOSING
                               REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                                  (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




                                                SUMMARY
On August 26, 2016, (b) (6), (b) (7) , the Board of Regents, University System of Georgia, (b)
                         (C)                                                                      (6)
                                                     filed a formal complaint with (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
((b) (6), (b) (7)(C) , United States Department of Education (ED), Federal Student Aid (FSA),
Atlanta School Participation Division, regarding (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)             alleged misconduct and
misuse of her position (Attachment 1). FSA referred the complaint to ED, Office of Inspector
General (OIG). ED OIG’s investigation revealed an additional complaint by the (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                                          (C)
                  at Darton State College (DSC), (b) (6), (b) . (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                       (7)(C)
                                                  , allegedly misused her government position by
attempting to influence her      (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)            financial aid process at the University of
West Georgia (UWG) and DSC, respectively. Moreover, she allegedly used her government
email account to address her concerns with the schools regarding (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
financial aid.

The investigation revealed that (b) (6), (b) (7) misused her position with (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                  (C)
                        , West Georgia University; (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                 , University System of Georgia; and (b) (6),
(b) (6), (b) (7) denied misusing her position with (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                 (b) (7)
                                                                                . (b) (6), (b) (7) stated
(C)                                                                               (C)
she sent emails from her ed.gov email account at the direction of her supervisor, (b)
                                                                                           (6),
                                                                                           (b) (7)
A review of the applicable federal regulations and Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees
of the Executive Branch disclosed, in part, that an employee shall not use or permit the use of
his/her government position, title, or any authority associated with his/her public office to
coerce or induce another person…to provide any benefit, financial or otherwise, to himself or
to friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental
capacity. Furthermore, employees should avoid any actions that appear to violate the law or
the ethical standards, and to ensure that the performance of his/her official duties does not
seem as public office for private gain or of giving preferential treatment. An employee whose
duties would affect the financial interests of a relative with whom he/she is affiliated with in a
nongovernmental capacity shall comply with any applicable requirements of Section 2635.502.

According to 5 C.F.R. 2635.502, Personal and Business Relationships, “where an employee
knows that a particular matter involving specific parties is likely to have a direct and predictable
effect on the financial interest of a member of his household, or …would cause reasonable


OIG Form 302R (continuation)               FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                             1
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                                            16-042115


person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question his impartiality in the matter, the
employee should not participate in the matter unless he has informed the agency designee of
the appearance problem and received authorization from the agency designee…”

According to (b) (6), (b) (7) supervisor, (b) (6), (b) (7) never approached FSA management with
              (C)                         (C)
any conflict of interest issues nor asked to be recused from either situation dealing with her
children and the schools they attended.


                                           PREDICATION
On August 26, 2016, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                          , University System of Georgia, (b)
                                                                                                 (6),
                                                    filed a formal complaint with the United States
                                                                                                 (b)
Department of Education (ED), Federal Student Aid (FSA), Atlanta School Participation Division
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)            regarding (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)          alleged misconduct and misuse of
her position. FSA referred the complaint to ED, Office of Inspector General (OIG). ED OIG’s
investigation revealed an additional complaint by the (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                  at Darton
State College (DSC), (b) (6), (b)  . (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                     (7)(C)
            allegedly misused her government position by attempting to influence the financial
aid process relating to (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)               at the University of West Georgia (UWG) and
DSC, respectively. Moreover, she allegedly used her government email account inappropriately
to address her concerns with the schools regarding her (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                financial aid.


                                            NARRATIVE
The ED OIG investigation revealed that in 2014, (b) (6), (b) (7) health started to decline. In
                                                 (C)
January 2016, (b) (6), (b) (7) experienced a medical condition that led her to file for disability
              (C)
retirement with ED and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). According to (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                                       (C)
and her supervisors, her medical condition affected her mental state, and as a result, her work
performance declined from exceptional to meets standards. (b) (6), (b) (7) was on Leave without
                                                                (C)
Pay (LWOP) status from August 2016 until January 23, 2018, when her request for disability
retirement was approved.

During her health battle, her work performance rapidly declined resulting in (b) (6), (b) (7) ‘s
                                                                                 (C)
placement on an Informal Assistance Plan (IAP). (b) (6), (b) (7) is unable to drive, fly, or sit for
                                                     (C)
extended periods of time, which makes it difficult for her to work. (b) (6), (b) (7) is heavily
                                                                       (C)
medicated on most days causing her to be in an altered mental state of mind most of the time.
She is lucid in the early afternoon to early evening. She usually takes her evening medication at
8:00 pm and is out for the evening by 9:00pm. (b) (6), (b) (7) is taking several strong narcotics to
                                                   (C)
cope with her illnesses that she repeatedly stated impair her mental state of mind. Her
illnesses affect her ability to cognitively analyze situations, cause extreme paranoia, cause the
inability to remember certain events or conversations, and to be a productive employee.

On April 12, 2017, ED OIG agents interviewed (b) (6), (b) (7) (Attachment 2). After the receipt of
                                             (C)
her Privacy Act Notice and Acknowledgement of Rights and Obligations (Kalkines), OIG Form

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                  2
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                                             16-042115


356(d), (b) (6), (b) (7) denied misusing her position while dealing with (b) (6), (b) (7) schools as it
          (C)                                                                (C)
related to their financial aid. She expressed difficulty separating her duties as a reviewer and as
(b) (6),     dealing with the financial aid issues at (b) (6), (b) (7) schools. She believed she had an
(b) (7)(C)                                            (C)
obligation to address her concerns about the schools because, in her opinion, they were
incompliance with ED regulations. According to (b) (6), (b) (7) the schools brought accusations
                                                     (C)
against her because she raised compliance issues against the schools. (b) (6), (b) (7) had also
                                                                              (C)
filed a complaint with the ED OIG involving alleged fraud perpetrated by one of the
complainants at the school. When asked about the call center phone conversation,
(b) (6), (b) (7) did not recall the August 5, 2016 call center interaction where she allegedly stated
(C)
that she worked for ED. (b) (6), (b) (7) also denied threatening any school official with a program
                            (C)
review.

The ED OIG investigation revealed the following three complaints against (b) (6), (b) (7) for
                                                                         (C)
allegedly misusing her position of a Senior Program Reviewer at ED:
(b) (6), (b) (7)   misused her position while dealing with (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                         at
(C)
                                                 UWG.

According to (b) (6), complaint in August 2016, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                ,
                 (b) (7)(C)
applied for financial aid in May 2016. The UWG financial aid office requested some additional
documents to process (b) (6), (b) financial aid. (b) (6), (b) (7) was unhappy about UWG’s
                             (7)(C)               (C)
additional request. During her conversations with UWG personnel, (b) (6), (b) (7) constantly
                                                                          (C)
referred to her position at ED and stated, “Now if I find anything through our conversation that
concerns me that might be out of compliance, I swore an oath of office to the US government
that I must report any irregularity and investigate the matter.” (b) (6), advised (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                     (b) (7)(C)    (C)
that she had crossed the line and terminated the phone call. On the same day, May 11, 2016,
(b) (6), (b) (7) emailed (b) (6), about a compliance issue from her government email address.
(C)                         (b) (7)(C)
The investigation confirmed (b) (6), (b) (7) sent an email to (b) (6), using her government email
                                    (C)                        (b) (7)(C)
address regarding this issue.

In an email, (b) (6), alleged four days later, (b) (6), (b) (7) threatened a UWG call center
              (b) (7)(C)                       (C)
employee. In his email, (b) (6), included the following call center entry, “(b) states she
                         (b) (7)(C)                                           (6)
works for fed dept of ed and knows (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) and he knows this. She states her
(b) (6), (b) classes had better not drop and needs confirmation from someone other than me
(7)(C)
[call center employee] there is nothing else needed for student to be awarded.”

On November 18, 2016, an ED OIG agent interviewed (b) (6), (Attachment 3). When
                                                               (b) (7)(C)
recounting his interactions with (b) (6), (b) (7) (b) (6), indicated that this was the first time he
                                    (C) (b) (6),     (b) (7)(C)
was threatened by an ED employee.                    believed that (b) (6), (b) (7) was using her power as
                                         (b) (7)(C)                   (C)
a program reviewer with ED to manipulate and threaten his staff. (b) (6), sent (b) (6), (b) (7) ,
(b) (6), (b) (7) supervisor, an email on August 5, 2016 stating that(b)         (7)(C)       (C)
                                                                            he received a call from
(C)
(b) (6), (b) (7) and that he felt she threatened a call center employee by using her official
(C)
position while conducting personal business. (b) (6), also reached out to (b) (6), to ensure
                                                    (b) (7)(C)                        (b) (7)
UWG’s proper business conduct.



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                    3
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                                                                                                                                             16-042115


ED OIG agents interviewed (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                 , FSA, Atlanta School Participation
Division, on October 11, 2016, and                 on October 20, 2016 (Attachments 4, 5).        was
                                                                                                                                                                                       (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                       (b) (6),
                                       (b) (7)
(b) (6), (b) (7) second-level supervisor.     Both         and          acknowledged receiving
                                                                                                  (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                               (b) (6),
(C) (6),                                                       (b) (7)
(b)          complaint alleging that (b) (6), (b) (7) threatened a UWG call center employee. After
(b) (7)(C)                           (C)
receiving the complaint,          sent (b) (6), (b) (7) an email on August 30, 2016, removing her
                                     (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)



                                         (C)
from working with any Georgia public institution.

Prior to her work reassignment,                learned that (b) (6), (b) (7) contacted Special Agent in
                                                             (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)



                                                              (C)
Charge (SAC) Yessyka Santana via email regarding a potential fraud referral at Albany State
University and DSC.. At this point,              was unaware of any specific issues with (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                  (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)



                                                                                              (C)
potentially misusing her position while dealing with the schools.                  was unaware that
                                                                                                                                              (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




                            attended colleges in Georgia until              received a phone call or email
                                                                                                                        (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
from UWG personnel concerning the call center employee incident.                       learned that
                                                                                                                                                         (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




                              applied to attend UWG. After this incident,             asked (b) (6), to
                                                                                                                                                        (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                                                              (b) (7)
counsel (b) (6), (b) (7) about abusing her official position. Prior to this incident, (b) (6), (b) (7)
           (C)                                                                             (C)
discussed potential issues with (b) (6), (b) (7) financial aid at UWG with (b) (6), If                knew
                                                                                                                                                                                     (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)



                                       (C)                                          (b) (7)(C)
that there was a problem,                would have assigned another employee from ED to deal with
                                           (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




any complaints. After              learned that (b) (6), (b) (7) possibly abused her position,
                             (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                                                                                                      (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)



                                                 (C)
contacted the ED Human Resources office. Human Resources advised that (b) (6), needed to
                                                                                      (b) (7)
discuss her performance with her, but due to (b) (6), (b) (7) LWOP status and union
                                                      (C)
representation, (b) (6), was not allowed to discuss the issues with her until she returned to
                    (b) (7)
work.            stated that (b) (6), (b) (7) completed required ethics training, which covers abuse of
       (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)



                             (C)
government position. Additionally,                was unaware of anything that requires a reviewer to
                                                                      (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




recuse themselves from official business other than the ethics training.

During (b) (6), (b) (7) interview, she advised that (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)           , applied to attend
          (C)
UWG, but did not meet the admission requirements to attend the school in the fall. UWG
conditionally admitted (b) (6), (b) to their summer IGNITE program. The IGNITE program is for
                           (7)(C)
high school students that do not meet the regular admission requirements to enroll at UWG
during the fall and must complete a summer program for admittance. (b) (6), (b) (7) assisted
                                                                              (C)
(b) (6), (b) complete the financial aid paperwork for school. (b) (6), (b) attended      the summer
(7)(C)                                                           (7)(C)
program and successfully completed the program.       (b) (6), (b) (7) had an ongoing problem with
                                                      (C)
the UWG’s financial aid office regarding (b) (6), (b) financial aid distribution. (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                            (7)(C)                                     (C)
believed that the financial aid was improperly distributed. (b) (6), (b) (7) explained that she has
                                                                 (C)
dealt with a lot of schools in the State of Georgia and was well known. (b) (6), (b) (7) contacted
                                                                               (C)
the school as (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)   to discuss the summer program payment. (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                                     (C)
questioned (b) (6), on how the financial aid would be packaged and told (b) (6), that he was
              (b) (7)(C)                                                           (b) (7)(C)
doing it wrong, which made him upset. (b) (6), (b) (7) advised that (b) (6), has a reputation as a
                                           (C)                          (b) (7)(C)
know-it-all.

According to (b) (6), (b) (7) UWG personnel knew that she was involved in the statewide audit
               (C)
from the University System of Georgia. After her initial discussion with (b) (6), (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                         (b) (7)(C) (C)
talked to (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                , to inquire about how UWG was packaging financial
aid for the summer school program. (b) (6), advised how the program should be packaged
                                     (b) (7)(C)
and that based on the facts presented by (b) (6), (b) (7) UWG was incompliant. (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                                            (C)                                                                                (C)

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                                                                                                                        4
                                                                                              16-042115


claimed she contacted- with her work email because the matter concerned official
compliance and she was directed to communicate w i t h - via email by her supervisor
-          According to                    never stated that he thought she was crossing the
 line. After this discussion,         attempted to discuss that UWG was incorrect on the
 packaging of students with                    said that she approached the situation with
-        as such: "my name is                                                  , is attending the
summer IGNITE program and e icl is not being packaged correctly." When asked about the
alleged threatening call to the call center,             did not reca ll if she identified herself as
working for ED.               advised that     date of the call was Friday, August 5, 2016 and
             did not work on Fridays.               advised that she was very sick during this
time and was hospitalized on August 11, 2016.                 reported the problem with the



-
 UWG financial aid packaging to her supervisor
worked for ED.                maintained that she never used her position to benefit her
          regarding her admissions or application for financial aid at UWG.
                                                                                               orl
                                                                         never clarified that she

                                                                                                  (b)'
 received no benefit from this situation.            was acting as
- w i t h her financial aid process, and not misusing her position with ED.

                    misused her osition while dealing with Associate
                                                 at the University System of Georgia.

On January 24, 2017, an ED OIG agent interviewed. (Attachment 6). In August 2016,
               to ld ~ d received an n                      mous complaint from a student at DSC
regarding f i n a n c i a ~ t o l d - that DSC was not in compliance with Title IV
regulations. The complaint detailed a stu~        ho was told that they were awarded financial
aid, but later the financial aid was unavailable for the student because of some paperwork
issueil!. asked                     to be more specific about the complaint and
told         hat it was actually a complaint regarding h e r - financial aid at DSC. During
this     n conversation,_ stated that                      told her that this call was a courtesy
call and she wanted clari~        on this issue before she went to ED management about
scheduling a forma l compliance review at DSC in the immediate future.- did not think
that               was following the correct course of action to report amrm:stigate her
           complaint.                explained to        that her         was in a unique-
situation and that                                                         was not happy       mr
                                                                     ision to deny aid for her
                                                                         , initially indicated that
                                                                                     became the




-       told               that her complaint dealt with an area outside o f - expertise and
~       uld have to follow up with DSC.               insisted t h a t . i ~ e this
complaint.          recalled thinking that              was overst p n the line as an ED
employee n a                 After discussing her           complaint,            began asking
specific questions about the institution and the Statewide Single Audit.


FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                    5
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                                                16-042115


Immediately after the phone call, (b) (6), stated that she contacted (b) (6), (b) to better
                                      (b) (7)                             (7)(C)
understand the situation of (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)       . (b) (6), (b) explained to (b) (6), that DSC had
                                                        (7)(C)                    (b) (7)
a procedure to ensure accurate information to the school in relation to question #55 on the
FAFSA. (b) (6), (b) assured (b) (6), that she was acting in the best interests of the school and that
        (7)(C)              (b) (7)
no Title IV compliance issues applied to this situation.

              sent (b) (6), an email including the State of Georgia statute on guardianship. This
(b) (6), (b) (7)
(C)                (b) (7)
was the first time that (b) (6), learned the identity of the student, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) .
                            (b) (7)
(b) (6),  discussed this complaint with (b) (6), by providing a two-page explanation of her
(b) (7)                                   (b) (7)
conversation with (b) (6), (b) (7) with the email correspondence attached. (b) (6), believed that
                      (C)                                                       (b) (7)
the entire conversation with (b) (6), (b) (7) was inappropriate and unprofessional. (b) (6), stated
                                (C)                                                      (b) (7)
that (b) (6), (b) (7) tone throughout the conversation was threatening, and that (b) (6), (b) (7)
      (C)                                                                               (C)
used her position with ED to influence a financial aid determination for (b) (6), (b) . (b) (6),
                                                                             (7)(C)          (b) (7)
stated that she also felt that (b) (6), (b) (7) could not be unbiased in her assessments of financial
                                (C)
aid findings across the University System of Georgia. (b) (6), knew of a previous complaint with
(b) (6), (b) (7) and her actions toward a UWG employee,    (b) (7)
                                                              but unaware of the specifics of the
(C)
matter.

During her interview with ED OIG agents, (b) (6), (b) (7) stated that she had a professional
                                                     (C)
relationship with (b) (6), but that (b) (6), did not like her. (b) (6), (b) (7) was asked why (b) (6),
                     (b) (7)             (b)  (7)                    (C)                              (b) (7)
would allege that (b) (6), (b) (7) contacted her regarding an anonymous complaint regarding a
                      (C)
student at DSC in an unprofessional manner and used a threatening tone with her while using
her position to influence a financial aid decision at DSC. (b) (6), (b) (7) responded that she did
                                                                    (C)
discuss (b) (6), (b) (7) situation with (b) (6), but the problem was deeper. (b) (6), (b) (7) stated
          (C)                                (b) (7)                                    (C)
that her knowledge of (b) (6), dealings with DSC and ASU concerned (b) (6), (b) (6), (b) (7) and
(b) (6), discussed issues(b)   (7)                                                 (b) (7) (C)
                             regarding compliance at DSC and ASU. (b) (6), normally would abstain
(b) (7)                                                                    (b) (7)
from these school-level dealings, but explained to (b) (6), (b) (7) her involved revolved around
                                                               (C)
the self-reported issues at DSC and that the State of Georgia wanted to be proactive to avoid
any future compliance issues. Additionally, (b) (6), did not want the State of Georgia to have
                                                       (b) (7)
any exposure to any school liabilities. (b) (6), (b) (7) believes that the real reason for (b) (6),
                                                (C)                                                 (b) (7)
involvement was that there was no separation of duties at the State of Georgia between fiscal
and compliance functions. (b) (6), was worried that (b) (6), (b) (7) would address this issue, so
(b) (6), wanted to make (b) (b)  (6),(7)                        (C)
                                      (b) (7) look bad. Regarding     her dealings with (b) (6),
(b) (7)                      (C)
(b) (6), (b) (7) stated that she would have nothing to gain by allegedly threatening      (b) (7)
                                                                                                  a review to
(C)
(b) (6), and did not do that.
(b) (7)
    (b) (6), (b) (7)   misused her position while dealing with the (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
    (C)
                                           at Darton State College.

On January 25, 2017, an ED OIG agent interviewed (b)                 (Attachment 7). (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                             (6)                     (C)
contacted    (b)     for assistance with (b) (6), (b) (7)  financial aid issues. (b)    stated that it was
             (6)                         (C)                                     (6)
strictly professional help that she offered to      (b) (6), (b) (7) during the process of trying to obtain
                                                    (C)
aid for (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)       . (b)    stated that she handled the problem the same way that
                                    (6)
she would handle any other student’s problem.


FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                           6
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                                                      16-042115


(b) (6), (b) (7) was unhappy with (b) (6), (b) decision on (b) (6), (b) (7) financial aid, especially
(C) (b)                              (7)(C)                       (C)
since            was listed on the Program Participation Agreement (PPA) as the (b) (6), (b) (7)
       (6) (b) (6), (b) (7)                                                                (C)
           .                questioned (b) (6), and her activities with the schools. (b)          stated that
(b) (6), (b) (C)                        (b) (7) (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
              (7) knew the new ED reviewer,                                                 (6)
                                                                    , and that (b) (6), (b) (7) could tell him
(C)                                                                            (C)
what was going on at the school and make it difficult for the school moving forward.
Specifically, if DSC did not approve (b) (6), (b) (7) financial aid, (b) (6), (b) (7) could encourage
(b) (6), (b) to continue to drag out (C)                             (C)
                                     the consolidation audit interfering with the final
(7)(C)
consolidation.
(b)     stated that she received upset texts from (b) (6), (b) (7) about DSC’s refusal of (b)
(6)                                                   (C)                                    (6),(b) (6),
            paperwork. (b) (6), (b) (7) told (b)    that she would discuss these issues with (b) (b) (7)
                            (C)              (6)
and that (b) (6), was walking on thin ice with ED. (b) (6), (b) (7) told (b)       that she was sick and
           (b) (7)                                     (C)                 (6)
that she would be relieved of her position because of her medical issues. During various
conversations with (b) (6), (b) (7) (b)      knew that (b) (6), (b) (7) was sick and attributed her
                        (C)(b)        (6)                (C)
illness to her actions.          knew when (b) (6), (b) (7) was heavily medicated during their
                           (6)               (C)
conversations because (b) (6), (b) (7) would slur her words and respond to her very slowly. (b)
                             (C)                                                                     (6)
would ask (b) (6), (b) (7) if she was okay and (b) (6), (b) (7) would tell her that she was trying new
             (C)                                 (C)
medications and sleeping all day. (b)        noticed a decline in (b) (6), (b) (7) state during
                                      (6)                           (C)
conversations between August 2016 and the end of September 2016. (b) (6), (b) (7) could not
                                                                               (C)
recall what she had talked to (b)         about and told (b)     that she did not say things that she
                                  (6)                     (6)
did. (b) (6), (b) (7) seemed constantly confused.
   (C)
When (b) (6), (b) (7)   first contacted (b) (6), (b)          did not think (b) (6), (b) (7) tried to use her ED
     (C)                                  (b)(b)
                                               (7)(6),
                                                    (6)(b)                     (C)
position to get something special for                          or favorable treatment from the school. (b)
                                              (7)(C)                                                            (6)
stated that she viewed (b) (6), (b) (7) involvement with the situation as a (b) (6), trying to help
(b) (6), (b) . (b)          (C)                                                               (b) (7)
                        stated that she was unaware of any complaints against (b) (6), (b) (7) As the
(7)(C)           (6)                                                                            (C)
situation continued and (b) (6), (b) (7) continued to get involved, (b)                    stated that she thought
                              (C)                                                  (6)
(b) (6), (b) (7) overstepped her professional position by using her ED position while discussing
(C)
(b) (6), (b) (7) financial aid. Additionally, (b)          stated that (b) (6), (b) (7) seemed to have a
(C)                                               (6) (6), (b) (7)        (C)
vendetta against the school for denying           (b)                aid. (b)       thinks (b) (6), (b) (7) actions
                                                  (C)                     (6)              (C)
were at a minimum a conflict of interest. (b)               thought that (b) (6), (b) (7) abused her positon
                                                   (6)                        (C)
based on (b) (6), (b) (7) going to (b) (6), about (b) (6), (b) and the decision to deny(b) (6), (b) (7)
             (C)                     (b) (7)             (7)(C)                                        (C)
aid. (b) (6), (b) (7) encouraged (b)         to report (b) (6), actions to ED. (b)                thinks that
     (C)
(b) (6), (b) (7) pitted (b)        (6)                    (b) (7)                        (6)
                                and (b) (6), against each other. (b)              stated that (b) (6), was
(C)                     (6)         (b) (7)(b) (6), (b) (7) (b) (6), (6)                         (b) (7)
instructed to send money to ED by                                       backtracked on this and the checks
                                          (C)                 (b) (7)
were sent back to DSC. (b)         stated that (b) (6), asked (b)              to overlook some compliance
                            (6)                    (b) (7)            (6)
issues on verification so that the school wouldn’t have to pay the money back. Additionally,
(b)      stated that (b) (6), asked her to remove system notes identifying areas of deficiency.
(6)                   (b) (7)
On August 22, 2016, (b) (6), was involved in an email chain with correspondence from (b) (6),
                          (b) (7)                                                                (b) (7)
to (b) (6), (b) (7) on (b) (6), (b) (7) inquiry about (b) (6), (b) and his financial aid status. (b) (6),
   (C)                 (C)                            (7)(C)                                     (b) (7)
informed ED OIG agents that (b) (6), (b) (7) refers to her medical leave and that she advised the
                                     (C)
compliance manager and division director. (b) (6), (b) (7) never discussed this matter with
(b) (6), or                                      (C)
                     .
              (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)



(b) (7)


FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                             7
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                                                  16-042115


During her interview, (b) (6), (b) (7) advised that she made no threat against (b) (6), (b) (7)
                          (C)                                                          (C)
                         , regarding(b) (6), (b) (7) financial aid packaging at DSC. (b) (6), (b) (7) and
                                        (C)                                               (C)
(b)     knew each other through (b) (6), (b) (7) work on the single statewide audit for the State
(6)                                     (C)
of Georgia. (b) (6), (b) (7) considered (b)         a personal friend and last spoke to her in September
             (C)                             (6)
2016.  (b)    and (b)  (6), (b) (7)  would routinely text each other on their personal phones, and
       (6)        (C)
(b)     would offer to give    (b) (6),  (b)   rides home to Atlanta and take him to church, etc., (b)
(6)                            (7)(C)                                                                     (6),
                                                                                        ((b) (6), (b) (7) (b)
                                                                                                           lost
                                                                                         (C)
all the text messages when she upgraded her cell phone.)           (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




              helped (b) (6), (b) complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
(b) (6), (b) (7)
(C)                   (7)(C)
and the necessary documentation to enroll at DSC. (b) (6), (b) (7) knew that he was under a tight
                                                       (C)
deadline to submit the necessary documents to enroll because he made a last minute decision
to attend DSC. (b)     made a professional judgement and allowed a copy of the (b) (6), (b) (7)
                (6) (b) (6), (b)                                                      (C)
paper to suffice for                to be enrolled. Sometime after (b)       made this decision, she
                     (7)(C) (b) (6), (b)                            (6)
was forced out of DSC and                took over as the DSC (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)     . (b) (6), (b)
                              (7)(C)                                                    (7)(C)
overrode (b) (6), professional judgement decision and requested the original (b) (6), (b) (7)
         (b) (7)                                                                    (C)
paperwork.
(b) (6), (b) (7) did not provide the original paperwork to DSC because it was old and delicate.
(C)
(b) (6), (b) (7) took (b) (6), to have the paperwork notarized and (b) (6), (b) (7) provided the
(C)                   (b) (7)                                               (C)
notarized August 11, 1999, document to (b) (6), (b) (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                 did not know about
                                                 (7)(C)
the guardianship issue, but found out during the communications with (b) (6), (b) (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                                   (7)(C)        (C)
was very upset because she thought (b) (6), (b) handled the situation in an unprofessional
                                           (7)(C)
manner, but did not make a complaint because she wanted (b) (6), (b) to succeed at DSC.
(b) (6), (b) (7) was confused on why (b) (6), (b) handled this situation(7)(C)
                                                                                when she was not on DSC’s
(C)                                      (7)(C)
PPA. During a conversation with      (b)  (6), (b) (6), (b) (7)  learned of potential fraud and encouraged
                                     (b) (7) (C)
(b)      to report these issues to ED. Instead of      (b)      reporting the allegations, (b) (6), (b) (7)
(6)                                                    (6)                                 (C)
contacted ED OIG SAC Santana and filed a complaint regarding potential fraud at DSC and
Albany State University.
(b) (6), (b) (7) stated that (b)    contacted her from DSC because no one would respond to her
(C)                           (6)
about    (b) (6), (b) (7) status. When asked whether (b) (6), (b) (7) has ever threatened (b)      in any
         (C)                                         (C)                                  (6)
way, (b) (6), (b) (7) stated that she never threatened (b)       with any action about (b) (6), (b) (7)
      (C)                                               (6)                            (C)
financial aid and the status of his enrollment at DSC. (b) (6), (b) (7) stated that she never abused
                                                         (C)
her position or misused her power in any untoward manner while dealing with DSC.
              advised that FSA personnel routinely did not recuse themselves while working
(b) (6), (b) (7)
(C)
with schools that (b) (6), (b) (7) attended. (b) (6), (b) (7) stated that she was aware of several
                   (C)                       (C)
individuals who dealt with (b) (6), (b) (7) schools including (b) (6), FSA personnel recused
                              (C)                                  (b) (7)(C)
themselves from reviews only when they previously worked at a school. (b) (6), (b) (7) only
                                                                               (C)
wanted (b) (6), (b) to attend school; she would get nothing out of using her position
        (7)(C)
improperly to have him enrolled in school.



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                         8
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                                                16-042115


Within a day of (b) (6), (b) (7) call to (b) (6), (b) (6), (b) (7) contacted SAC Santana to complain
                    (C)                  (b) (7) (C)
about possible fraud at Albany State University without contacting                   or (b) (6),
                                                                            (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)



(b) (6), (b) (7) followed up with an August 19, 2016 email to (b) (6), regarding        (b) (7)(C)
                                                                                          this fraud issue.
(C) (6), (b) (7)                                                    (b) (7)
(b)              did not allege fraud at DSC to (b) (6), (b) recollection. (b) (6), (b) (7) never
(C)                                              (7)(C)                     (C)
approached management with any conflict of interests or asked to be recused from either
situation dealing with(b) (6), (b) (7) and the schools they attended.
                        (C)
(b) (6), (b) (7) stated that she received annual ethics training from ED. (b) (6), (b) (7) stated that
(C)                                                                        (C)
she had never previously dealt with schools that (b) (6), (b) attended and she was conscious
                                                    (7)(C)
to separate work and personal matters. (b) (6), (b) (7) stated that she did not do anything wrong
                                            (C)
or overstep any ethical line when dealing with UWG or DSC. According to ED records,
(b) (6), (b) (7) did not complete any ethics training over the last six years.
(C)
The investigation revealed (b) (6), (b) (7) often used her ed.gov email account to communicate
                               (C)
with (b) (6), (b) (6), and (b) (6), on personal matters regarding (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
     (b) (7) (b) (7)       (b) (b)
                                (7)(C)
school financial aid issues. (6), (b) (7) notes in one email that “I’m replying in a separate email
                               (C)
being that this correspondence is not related to the Georgia Statewide.”

On March 24, 2017, the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the Northern District of
Georgia was briefed on this case and Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Will Traynor
declined to prosecute this matter (b) (5)


Our review of the applicable federal regulations and Standards of Ethical Conduct for
Employees of the Executive Branch disclosed, in part, that an employee shall not use or permit
the use of his/her government position or title or any authority associated with his/her public
office in a manner that is intended to coerce or induce another person…to provide any benefit,
financial or otherwise, to himself/herself or to friends, relatives, or persons with whom the
employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity. Furthermore, employees should avoid
any actions that appear to violate the law or the ethical standards, and to ensure that the
performance of his/her official duties does not seem as use of public office for private gain or of
giving preferential treatment. An employee whose duties would affect the financial interests of
a relative with whom he/she is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity shall comply with any
applicable requirements of Section 2635.502.

According to 5 C.F.R. § 2635.502, personal and business relationships, “where an employee
knows that a particular matter involving specific parties is likely to have a direct and predictable
effect on the financial interest of a member of his household, or …would cause reasonable
person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question his impartiality in the matter, the
employee should not participate in the matter unless he has informed the agency designee of
the appearance problem and received authorization from the agency designee…” According to
(b) (6), (b) (7) supervisor, (b) (6), (b) (7) never approached FSA management with any conflict of
(C)                          (C)
interest issues or asked to be recused from either situation dealing with (b) (6), (b) and the
                                                                            (7)(C)
schools that they were attending. (b) (6), (b) (7) has not completed Ethics Training in the last six
                                      (C)



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                         9
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                                      16-042115


years, and may not meet the requirement to do so since she may not fall into the category of
employees that must take annual ethics training.

This administrative matter is based upon possible violations of the Standards of Ethical Conduct
for Employees of the Executive Branch, Subpart A, Basic obligation of public service, 5 C.F.R. §
2635.101(b)(14) or 5 C.F.R. § 2635.702, Use of public office for private gain.

             may have violated the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the
(b) (6), (b) (7)
(C)
Executive Branch, Subpart A, Basic obligation of public service, 5 C.F.R. Part 2635.101(b)(14) or
5 C.F.R. 2635.702, Use of public office for private gain.


                                    PROSECUTIVE STATUS
On March 24, 2017, the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the Northern District of
Georgia was briefed on this case and Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Will Traynor
declined to prosecute this matter in lieu of an administrative remedy (b) (5)
                                               On June 22, 2018, a referral was made to Federal
Student Aid. On July 23, the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) Form 202 was submitted to
OGE.


                                 SUBJECT OF INVESTIGATION
Name :                                (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)

Last Known Address:                   (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)

Last Known Telephone:                 (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)

Date of Birth:                        (b) (6), (b)
                                      (7)(C)
SSN:                                  (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                      (C)


                                        ATTACHMENTS

1. (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) Complaint, August 26, 2016
2. (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)     Interview Summary, April 12, 2017
3. (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) Interview Summary, November 18, 2016
4. (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) Interview Summary, October 11, 2016
5. (b) (6), (b) (7)   Interview Summary, October 20, 2016
     (C)
6.   (b) (6), (b) (7) Interview Summary, January 24, 2017
     (C)
7.   (b) (6), (b) Interview Summary, January 25, 2017
     (7)(C)
FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                           10
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)     16-042115




8. Referral to FSA




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY         11
                      UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                           OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL


                                                                CLOSING
                                       REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                             UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS

                                                         I17WES30292


                                                          MAY 14, 2018

                                                            Table of Contents
                  SUMMARY ....................................................................................................... 1
                  BACKGROUND .............................................................................................. 2-3
                  THE INVESTIGATION ..................................................................................... 3-5
                  TIMELINE OF EVENTS .................................................................................... 5-6
                  FINDINGS ...................................................................................................... 6-7
                  EXHIBITS .......................................................................................................... 8




Report by: (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                              Approved by:
              (b) (6), (b) (7)                                                                        Adam Shanedling
              (C)
              Special Agent                                                                           Special Agent in Charge




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY: This report is the property of the Office of Inspector General and is loaned to your
agency; it and its contents may not be reproduced without written permission. The report is FOR OFFICIAL USE
ONLY and its disclosure to unauthorized persons is prohibited. Public availability to be determined by 5 U.S.C. 552.

OIG Form 302R (May 17)
                                          CLOSING
                               REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                       UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS


                                          SUMMARY
On July 12, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Office of Inspector General (OIG)
received a whistleblower reprisal complaint from (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)      (Complainant), a
former employee of the University of California, Davis (UCD) in Davis, CA (Exhibit 1).
Complainant stated that in November 2015, she disclosed information to the UCD Office of
Student Affairs that she reasonably believed was evidence of a violation of law, rule, or
regulation related to a federal grant, gross mismanagement of a federal grant, or gross waste
of federal grant funds. Specifically, Complainant submitted anonymous complaints on behalf of
other UCD staff whom she claimed were afraid to come forward until after they resigned from
Complainant’s division. The complaints addressed several issues to include misuse of federal
funds as well as discrimination and harassment by department management. Additionally, in
March 2016 Complainant sent a letter to ED disclosing similar information. Complainant alleged
her termination in January 2017 was in retaliation for reporting the above information. In
addition to the allegations specific to federal grant funds, Complainant also included a long list
of other grievances in her complaints, including allegations of discrimination, bullying, and
harassment. Complainant withdrew her complaint on March 22, 2018.

As set forth in further detail in this report, our investigation did not sustain Complainant's
allegations of whistleblower reprisal as it pertains to the elements outlined in the National
Defense Authorization Act, described in detail on the next page. We did not find compelling
evidence that Complainant’s protected disclosures were a contributing factor in Complainant’s
termination.




OIG Form 302R (continuation)          FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                      1
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS                                                        I17WES30292


                                        BACKGROUND
   I.      Whistleblower Protection under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
           for Fiscal Year 2013

Section 4712 of Title 41, United States Code, as added by section 828 of the National Defense
Authorization Act for FY 2013 (Pub. L. No. 112-239, (January 2013)), prohibits Federal grantees
from discharging, demoting, or otherwise discriminating against an employee who discloses
information to certain specified persons or authorities that the employee reasonably believes
evidences gross mismanagement of a Federal grant; a gross waste of Federal grant funds; a
substantial and specific danger to public health or safety related to the implementation or use
of Federal grant funds; or a violation of law, rule, or regulation related to a Federal grant. The
NDAA requires that, unless the Inspector General (IG) determines that a complaint is frivolous,
does not allege a violation of the prohibition against reprisal, or another Federal or state
judicial or administrative proceeding initiated by the complainant has previously addressed the
complaint, the IG shall investigate the complaint and submit a report of its findings to the
complainant, the complainant's employer, and the head of the Federal agency.

   I.      BURDEN OF PROOF

In order to receive whistleblower protection under the NDAA, a Complainant bears the burden
of showing, by circumstantial evidence or otherwise, that a protected disclosure was a
contributing factor in the reprisal the employee suffered. The burden of proof articulated at 5
U.S.C. § 1221(e) is controlling in an IG investigation into a complaint of reprisal under the NDAA.
See 41 U.S.C. § 4712(c)(6).

Under 5 U.S.C. § 1221(e), an employee may demonstrate that her disclosure was a contributing
factor in the personal action taken against her through evidence that (1) the official taking the
personnel action knew of the disclosure and (ii) the personnel action occurred within a period
of time such that a reasonable person could conclude that the disclosure was a contributing
factor in the personnel action. To avoid an order for relief, an employer may demonstrate by
clear and convincing evidence that it would have taken the personnel action in the absence of
the disclosure.




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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS                                                             I17WES30292


    II.       THE PARTIES


UCD is an ED grantee. Since Fiscal Year 2015, UCD has been awarded approximately
$670,036,456.35 in ED funding.

Complainant was employed at UCD from approximately 1987 to 2017. Her roles at UCD
included (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)               is the former (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)          at UCD.

(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)            is the current (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)          at UCD.

(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                    is the (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)         at UCD.

(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)          is the (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)         at UCD.

(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)          is the former (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)            of the Office of Student
Affairs at UCD.




                                       THE INVESTIGATION


OIG interviewed Complainant on August 25, 2017 and September 18, 2017 (Exhibits 2-4).
Complainant told the OIG she felt she was ultimately fired because she filed a grievance in 2015
against her boss, (b) (6), (b) , which led to (b) (6), (b) (7) transfer to another department. Also, in
                  (7)(C)                      (C)
November 2015 Complainant         reported allegations    of discrimination and funds misuse by other
staff members on behalf of former employees (Exhibits 5-7). In March 2016, Complainant
reported additional allegations of misuse of funds to her supervisors and to ED (Exhibit 8). On
May 2, 2016, Complainant received a notification she was under investigation by the UCD
compliance office. On November 15, 2016, Complainant received the results of the
investigation. Complainant was notified via an email on January 12, 2017, that she would be
terminated based on the findings in the investigation. Complainant also filed a tort claim
through her attorney in June 2017 alleging her termination was retaliatory. Complainant
submitted the whistleblower reprisal complaint to ED on July 12, 2017. She withdrew the
complaint on March 22, 2018.




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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS                                                             I17WES30292


OIG interviewed (b) (6), (b) (7) on November 1, 2017 (Exhibits 9-10). (b) (6), (b) indicated the
                (C)                                                    (7)(C)
process of terminating   Complainant was set in motion following the findings   of an
“environmental scan” or review of the Complainant’s department. The scan was initiated four
or five months prior to a scheduled meeting to discuss termination, and was based on
complaints against Complainant from her staff. (b) (6), (b) was also aware of Complainant’s own
claims of misuse of funds she brought forward. (7)(C)
                                                 This was another reason to initiate the scan of
the entire department. According to (b) (6), (b) UCD’s decision to terminate Complainant was
                                     (7)(C)
based on the results of the scan.

OIG conducted a follow-up interview of (b) (6), (b) (7) on April 2, 2018 (Exhibit 11). (b) (6), (b)
                                         (C)                                           (7)(C)
reiterated the environmental scan was initiated    because of numerous complaints about
leadership and questionable activity in the COP. (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) suggested launching the scan to
investigate all the allegations.   (b) (6), (b) provided copies of the scan report and
                                  (b) (6), (b) (7)



                                   (7)(C)
attachments to OIG on April 3, 2018  (Exhibits 12-14).

OIG interviewed (b) (6), (b) (7) on November 1, 2017 (Exhibits 15-16). (b) (6), never saw a
                 (C)
termination letter for Complainant. As a senior official, (b) (6), would(b)have
                                                                             (7)
                                                                                  known about a
                                                          (b) (7)
termination action.  (b) (6),  recalled Complainant’s former supervisor,   (b) (6), (b) (7) , had
                     (b) (7)                                               (C)
concerns about Complainant’s leadership and the grant money in that department.

OIG interviewed (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) on November 20, 2017 (Exhibits 17-18). On February 11, 2016,
(b) (6), (b) received a complaint against Complainant through the compliance department’s
(7)(C)
electronic hotline. These allegations and others from several anonymous complaints were
investigated by(b) (6), (b) in the spring of 2016. As a matter of practice, the results of an
                 (7)(C)
investigation are   provided to the accused and to human resources (Exhibit 19). (b) (6), (b)
stated Complainant filed her own whistleblower complaint after resigning from(7)(C)UCD and that
inquiry is ongoing.

OIG conducted a follow-up interview of (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) on April 2, 2018 (Exhibit 20). (b) (6), (b)
further explained that UCD officials called the investigation a scan, but they were the(7)(C)
                                                                                           same
thing. Several anonymous complaints about the COP also implicated Complainant. (b) (6), (b)
                                                                                       (7)(C)
conducted an investigation and interviewed several witnesses.

OIG interviewed (b) (6), (b) on January 31, 2018 (Exhibits 21-22). (b) (6), supervised
Complainant for (7)(C)                                              (b) (7)
                    approximately six years. During 2015, staff members  from the COP complained
to (b) (6), about Complainant’s erratic behavior and lack of leadership. (b) (6), conducted an
informal investigation of the department and interviewed several staff(b)
   (b) (7)                                                                   (7)
                                                                           members   who
expressed concern about Complainant’s behavior. Complainant filed a grievance against (b) (6),
                                                                                           (b) (7)
that same year. (b) (6), was removed from her position and transferred to a different
department. (b) (b)(6),(7)
                        indicated Complainant was known and respected nationally for her grant
               (b) (7)
writing ability, but in 2015 something changed and problems surfaced in the COP under
Complainant’s leadership.



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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS                                                            I17WES30292


On April 4, 2018, (b) (6), (b) provided copies of her handwritten notes taken during interviews
in the spring and (7)(C)
                  summer of 2015 with employees who complained to (b) (6), about the COP
                                                                       (b) (7) (b) (6),
leadership. Included in the documentation was an anonymous letter sent     to           in June 2015
requesting a formal campus investigation of the COP (Exhibit 23). The details(b)of (7)
                                                                                    the
conversations addressed the COP as a whole but often focused on Complainant’s behavior and
alleged misuse of funds. The “mileage workaround” was mentioned in several interviews and
was a finding in the final report of investigation from (b) (6), (b) .
                                                         (7)(C)


                                      TIMELINE OF EVENTS

  I.    Prior to disclosures

   •    Complainant claimed in summary documents submitted with her whistleblower
        complaint that in the fall of 2014, she was experiencing workplace stress and began to
        have health issues.
   •    Complainant went on leave and upon returning to her position, she noticed changes
        were made in her absence, such as(b) (6), (b) trying to take her job.
   •    Between April and August 2015, (b)(7)(C) (6), (b) interviewed COP staff who reported
                                             (7)(C)
        numerous leadership issues with Complainant and others in the department.
   •    In May 2015, (b) (6), (b) informed Complainant there were complaints against her.
   •    In May 2015, (7)(C)
                      Complainant was removed from her position as (b) (6), (b) (7) and
                                                                               (C)
        transferred to the (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)           .
   •    On October 21, 2015, Complainant reported allegations to the human resources
        department about bullying and misuse of funds by (b) (6), (b) .
                                                                 (7)(C)
   •    On October 23, 2015, Complainant was reinstated as          (b) (6), (b) (7) .
                                                                    (C)
   •    In December 2015, (b) (6), (b) was subsequently removed             from her (b) (6), (b) (7)
                             (7)(C)                                                    (C)
        position and transferred to another department.

 II.    After disclosures
    •   On November 1, 2015, Complainant forwarded three anonymous whistleblower
        complaints concerning COP staff members on behalf of former employees to the Office
        of Student Affairs.
   •    On February 11, 2016, former staff member (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) submitted a complaint to
        (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) in the compliance office, alleging harassment, racial discrimination, and
        misuse of school property, among other violations, by Complainant.
   •    In March 2016, Complainant reported allegations of federal grant misuse to ED.
   •    On May 2, 2016, Complainant received notification she was under investigation based
        on complaints filed alleging multiple violations, including those reported in the (b) (6),
        (b) (6), complaint.                                                                  (b) (7)
        (b) (7)
   •    In June 2016, Complainant filed a whistleblower complaint with the UCD compliance
        office claiming the allegations against her and the subsequent investigation were in



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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS                                                            I17WES30292


       retaliation for filing a grievance against (b) (6), (b) in early 2015 and also for submitting
                                                  (7)(C)
       disclosures of misuse of funds to the Office    of Student Affairs in late 2015 (Exhibit 24).
   •   On November 11, 2016, Complainant received the results of the investigation.
       Complainant went on leave for several weeks.
   •   Complainant received a notification of termination email from (b) (6), (b) (7) on January
       12, 2017. Complainant resigned prior to meeting with (b) (6), (b)(C)to discuss her
                                                                  (7)(C)
       termination.
   •   On June 7, 2017, Complainant filed a tort claim through her attorney, naming the UCD
       regents as respondents.
   •   Complainant filed a reprisal claim with ED-OIG on July 12, 2017.
   •   Complainant withdrew her OIG reprisal claim on March 22, 2018.

                                           FINDINGS

   1. Complainant was an employee of an ED grantee covered by the whistleblower
      requirements of the NDAA.

   2. Complainant disclosed information (on behalf of other staff members) to UCD officials
      on November 1, 2015 that she reasonably believed evidenced gross mismanagement, a
      gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, and a violation of law, rule, or regulation
      related to ED funds. (b) (6), (b) engaged in racial discrimination and harassment, used
                             (7)(C)
      federal funds for unallowable     expenses, and misrepresented to ED that he possessed a
      master’s degree (Disclosure One). (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)            engaged in racial
      discrimination and harassment, used private foundation funds for personal use, and
      colluded with other staff, including (b) (6), (b) , to hide illegal actions (Disclosure Two).
                                              (7)(C)
      (b) (6), (b) (7) engaged in racial discrimination  and harassment, created a hostile work
      (C)
      environment, used federal funds to pay for personal expenses, and colluded with (b)
      (b) (6), and other staff to hide illegal actions (Disclosure Three).                    (6)
       (b) (7)
   3. Complainant disclosed information to ED on March 4, 2016 that she reasonably believed
      evidenced gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, and a
      violation of law, rule, or regulation related to ED funds. (b) (6), (b) (7) mismanaged Gear
      UP funds by using the funds to pay for a reception at her(C)mother’s house as well as for
      five non Gear-UP staff to attend a conference (Disclosure Four).

   Reprisal Allegation 1:

   4. On May 2, 2016, Complainant was notified by (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) she was under
      investigation because of complaints filed against her. Complainant claimed the
      investigation was retaliatory because of her previous complaint against (b) (6), (b) .
                                                                                  (7)(C)
   5. Interviews with UCD witnesses and the complaints about COP leadership during time
      periods preceding the 2015 disclosures and allegations of university policy violations
      and funds misuse by Complainant provided clear and convincing evidence that the


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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS                                                       I17WES30292


         environmental scan/investigation of the COP in the spring of 2016 was not prompted by
         Complainant’s disclosures.

   7. (b) (6), (b) final report of investigation provided by (b) (6), (b) (7) included evidence to
      (7)(C)                                                 (C)
      support allegations of wrongdoing by Complainant. The       report appears to be unbiased
      and thorough.



   Reprisal Allegation 2:

   8. On January 12, 2017, Complainant received a letter from (b) (6), (b) (7) notifying her of
                                                              (C)
   UCD’s intent to terminate her employment based on the results    of the investigation.
   Complainant claimed her termination was in retaliation for outing (b) (6), (b) and disclosing
                                                                       (7)(C)
   allegations of misuse of ED funds by other staff.

   9. Interviews with (b) (6), (b) (7) revealed he knew of Complainant’s prior disclosures to the
                       (C)
   Office of Student Affairs,  but the decision to terminate was based entirely on the results of
   the final investigative report.

   10. (b) (6), (b) (7) employee interview notes from early 2015 indicated there were problems
   with(C)
         Complainant’s department and her leadership prior to the time period of any
   protected disclosures by Complainant. As noted under Reprisal Allegation 1, there is clear
   and convincing evidence that the investigation was not initiated in retaliation for the
   disclosures.

   11. Complainant was not officially terminated because she resigned prior to meeting with
   (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) .




Complainant and her attorney continue to pursue a tort claim against UCD alleging her
termination was retaliatory. A settlement agreement has not been reached as of the date of
this report.




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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS                                                  I17WES30292


                                            EXHIBITS

       1. Whistleblower Complaint to ED-OIG
       2. August 25, 2017 Memorandum of Interview- Complainant
       3. September 18, 2017 Memorandum of Interview- Complainant
       4. Attachments to Complainant’s September 18, 2017 interview
       5. Complaint against (b) (6), (b)
       6. Complaint against (7)(C)
                                 (b) (6), (b) (7)
       7. Complaint against (C)  (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                 (C)
       8. March 4, 2016 complaint          letter to ED
       9. November 1, 2017 Memorandum of Interview- (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                    (C)
       10. (b) (6), (b) Privacy Act Waiver
       11. (7)(C)
           April 2, 2018 Memorandum of Interview-(b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                          (C)
       12. Final Report of Investigation/Scan
       13. Attachments to Report- 1
       14. Attachments to Report- 2
       15. November 1, 2017 Memorandum of Interview- (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                    (C)
       16. (b) (6), Privacy Act Waiver
       17. (b) (7)
           November      20, 2017 Memorandum of Interview- (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
       18. (b) (6), (b) Privacy Act Waiver
       19. (7)(C)
           Report of the results of the UCD investigation
       20. April 2, 2018 Memorandum of Interview-(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
       21. January 31, 2018 Memorandum of Interview-(b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                 (C)
       22. (b) (6), Privacy Act Waiver
       23. (b) (7)
           April  4, 2018 Memorandum of Activity- (b) (6), Notes
                                                        (b)(b)
                                                             (7)(6), (b)
       24. Complainant’s reprisal complaint against
                                                      (7)(C)




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                      8
                       UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                            OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL


                                       ADMINISTRATIVE REFERRAL
                                        REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

             (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                          ((b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                               )

                                                               17-042161


                                                 SEPTEMBER 26, 2017

                                                              Table of Contents
                   Summary ......................................................................................................... 1
                   Violations ........................................................................................................ 1
                   Predication ...................................................................................................... 1
                   Program Information ....................................................................................... 2
                   Narrative ......................................................................................................... 2
                   Prosecutive/Administrative Status .................................................................. 4
                   Subject of Investigation ................................................................................... 5
                   Exhibits ............................................................................................................ 5



Report by:                                                                    Approved by:


(b) (6), (b) (7)                                                              YESSYKA SANTANA
(C)
SPECIAL AGENT                                                                 SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE




Distribution:
Headquarters, Investigation Services
Chief Human Capital Officer
File



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY: This report is the property of the Office of Inspector General and is loaned to your
agency; it and its contents may not be reproduced without written permission. The report is FOR OFFICIAL USE
ONLY and its disclosure to unauthorized persons is prohibited. Public availability to be determined by 5 U.S.C. 552.

OIG Form 302R (May 17)
                                 ADMINISTRATIVE REFERRAL
                                 REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

           (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                            ((b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                         )


                                                  SUMMARY


This case was predicated upon a referral received on March 21, 2017, from (b) (6), (b) (7)
                                                                                 (C)
((b) (6), of the U.S. Department of Education's (Department) Office of the Chief      Information
 (b) (7)
Officer,  Financial Systems Services. (b)       notified the Department's Office of Inspector General
                                       (6)
(OIG) of possible misuse and suspicious      activity from June 2016 through February 2017 on the
JP Morgan Travel Card account of     (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                          in Atlanta, Georgia. The Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998
(Public Law 105-264) mandates federal government cardholders to use the contractor-issued
travel charge card for official government travel expenses and to receive cash advances.

On April 13, 2017, (b) (6), was interviewed by OIG special agents regarding the alleged misuse
of his government (b)  (7)
                    travel card, formally known as the GSA SmartPay Government Travel card.
(b) (6), admitted to the improper use of his government travel card during the
(b) (7)
aforementioned time period. (b) (6), retired from the Department on April 15, 2017.
                                  (b) (7)
Supplemental travel date and card transaction information from the Department revealed
additional unauthorized or questionable transactions. The entire amount of unauthorized
transactions totaled $15,056.08.


                                                VIOLATIONS
The activities identified in this report are violations of:

    •   Standards of Ethical Conduct for Executive Branch Employees

                     o 5 C.F.R. § 2635.101 - Basic obligation of public service
                     o 5 C.F.R. § 2635.704 - Misuse of Government Resources

    •   Human Capital Policy 751-1, Section VII




OIG Form 302R (continuation)                 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                  1
(b) (6), (b) (7)   ((b) (6), (b) (7)(C)        )                                          17-042161
(C)

                                            PREDICATION
This investigation was initiated based upon information that (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
           , misused his GSA SmartPay Government Travel Card issued by JP Morgan Chase
Bank.


                                          PROGRAM INFORMATION
The Individual Travel Charge Card (ITCC) is an authorized vendor issued charge card by which an
employee may charge government business-related travel expenses (lodging, meals,
transportation, and limited incidental costs) while on official travel for the Department, as well
as make travel-related ATM (Automated Teller Machine) cash withdrawals. The authorized
vendor for the Department’s ITCC is JP Morgan Chase Bank and the travel card is formally
known as the GSA SmartPay Government Travel Card.


                                               NARRATIVE
The investigation was predicated upon a referral received on March 21, 2017, from (b) (6),
                                                                                            (b) (7)
                  of the U.S. Department of Education's (Department) Office of the Chief
                                                                                            (C)
Information Officer, Financial Systems Services. (b)         notified the Department's Office of
                                                      (6)
Inspector General via e-mail of possible misuse and       suspicious activity from June 2016 through
February 2017 on the JP Morgan Travel Card account of (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)               , a GS-14
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                              in Atlanta, Georgia.  (b)    attached two (2)
                                                                       (6)
spreadsheets: one that showed (b) (6), (b) government travel charge         card transactions from
                                    (7)(C)
June 2016 through February 2017        (Exhibit 1), highlighting transactions made when (b) (6), was
                                                                                            (b) (7)
believed to not be in travel status, and a second spreadsheet that showed thirty (30)
transactions that had been attempted but declined by the merchant (Exhibit 2).

On March 24, 2017, (b)         was interviewed and provided information regarding how the
                      (6)       (b) government travel was discovered (Exhibit 3). According to
suspected misuse of    (b) (6),
                       (7)(C)
(b) (6), (b) (6), showed up on the Department’s delinquent government travel charge card
(b) (7) (b) (7)
account list for the month of March 2017 (Exhibit 4). Further review of (b) (6), (b) government
travel charge card account revealed charges made on the account when(7)(C)  (b) (6), was not in
travel status.        advised she suspended (b) (6), (b) government travel(b)   (7)
                                                                             charge  card account
                   (b) (6), (b) (7)(C



                                               (7)(C)
on March 6, 2017. (b) (6), (b) government travel      card overdue balance of $2,918.85 was paid
                     (7)(C)
off as of March 23, 2017.

On April 13, 2017, (b) (6), was interviewed by OIG special agents regarding the alleged misuse
of his government (b)  (7)
                    travel card (Exhibit 5). Agents provided the Privacy Act Notice and OIG Form
356(d) Acknowledgement of Rights and Obligations (Kalkines) to (b) (6), (b) (6), admitted to
improper use of his government travel charge card. According to(b)  (b)(7)(C)
                                                                        (6), (b) (7)
                                                                               unauthorized
                                                                    (b) (7)(C)
charges on his government travel card stemmed from a combination of at least one (1) female
acquaintance who he met via an online escort service stealing and using the travel card for cash
advances, and (b) (6), himself using the government travel card for cash advances totaling
                     (b) (7)

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(b) (6), (b) (7)   ((b) (6), (b) (7)(C)       )                                          17-042161
(C)

approximately $1,050 to pay for sexual services from prostitutes. Additionally, (b) (6),
admitted to improper personal use of his government travel card to make retail(b)   (7)
                                                                                 purchases
when not in employee travel status. (b) (6), retired from the Department on April 15, 2017.
                                          (b) (7)
According to the Department’s Handbook for Travel Policy (OCIO 16), the travel charge
card is to be used only to charge expenses incurred in conjunction with official
Government travel or to obtain authorized ATM cash withdrawals incident to official
travel. It further states that misuse of the ATM program may result in disciplinary
action as described in ACS Directive, OCIO:1-108 Travel Card Program; and deactivation
of the PIN and the charge card account. (b) (6), completed the GSA SmartPay Travel
Card Training (Account Holder) on June 7,(b)2016
                                              (7)
                                                  (Exhibit 6).

Moreover, a review of Public Law 105 – 264, Travel and Transportation Reform Act of
1998; the Federal Travel Regulations, 41 C.F.R. § 301-51.7-9; and Administrative
Communications System (ACS) Directive, Office of the Chief Information Officer’s
OCIO:1-108 Travel Card Program, Travel Charge Cards will only be used for OFFICIAL
TRAVEL AND OFFICIAL TRAVEL RELATED EXPENSES. Personal and family member use of
the Travel Charge Card is prohibited and misuse will result in corrective action up to
and including possible removal from Federal Service. According to the Department’s
Human Capital Policy (HCP) 751-1, Discipline and Adverse Actions, a first offense of
misuse of Government travel card and delinquency in payment of government travel
card and conduct unbecoming a Federal employee are punishable by a Reprimand to
removal from Government service.

Based on the results of this investigation, (b) (6), also violated the following Standards of
                                            (b) (7)
Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive      Branch: 5 C.F.R. § 2635.101 – Basic obligation
of public service, which states that “employees shall protect and conserve Federal property and
shall not use it for other than authorized activities,” and 5 C.F.R. § 2635.704 – Use of
Government Property, which states that “an employee has a duty to protect and conserve
Government property and shall not use such property, or allow its use, for other than
authorized purposes.”

On May 17, 2017, the Department provided a trip summary spreadsheet that showed (b) (6), (b)
start and end travel dates from 2009 through 2017 (Exhibit 7). A review of (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                                           (7)(C)
government travel charge card account transactions from April 30, 2009 through     March 23,
2017 using the official travel dates from the trip summary revealed 141 unauthorized or
questionable transactions totaling $15,056.08 (Exhibit 8). The unauthorized charge card
transactions consisted of hotel rooms, rental car purchases, and cash advances outside of
(b) (6), (b) official travel status dates.
(7)(C)




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(b) (6), (b) (7) (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                     17-042161
(C)

                                       PROSECUTIVE STATUS
On April 6, 2017, the details of the investigation were briefed to Assistant United States
Attorney (AUSA) Randy Chartash, Chief of Economic Crimes for the United States Attorney’s
Office, Northern District of Georgia. AUSA Chartash declined criminal prosecution of this
matter.

On June 20, 2017, the details of the investigation were provided to the Civil Division of the
United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Georgia. Civil Chief Amy Berne declined
civil prosecution of this matter.

On August 8, 2017, AUSA Randy Chartash was again briefed on this matter due to the additional
unauthorized charges found on (b) (6), (b) government travel card account, and (b) (6), (b) denial
of any misuse other than during(7)(C)                                          (7)(C)
                                the 2016 – 2017 time period. AUSA Chartash declined       criminal
prosecution (b) (5)                                                                          .

Since (b) (6), retired from the Department on April 15, 2017 and prior to the resolution of this
      (b) (7)
investigation,  this report is being furnished to the Department’s Human Resources Division
pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, Sec. 2, Division A, Title
XI, Subtitle C, § 1140 (Pub. L. No. 114-328)(codified at 5 U.S.C. § 3322). This statute requires
the Department to make a permanent notation in the official personnel file of an employee
who retires or resigns prior to the resolution of a personnel investigation, which results in an
adverse finding.




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                            4
(b) (6), (b) (7)   ((b) (6), (b) (7)(C)           )                                       17-042161
(C)

                                          SUBJECT OF INVESTIGATION

(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)



                          







                                                      EXHIBITS
1. (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) travel charge card transactions June 2016 – February 2017.

2. (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) attempted but declined travel charge card transactions.

3. Memorandum of Interview on (b) (6), (b) (7) dated March 24, 2017.
                                            (C)
4. Copy of the March 2017 JP Morgan Suspension Report.

5. Memorandum of Interview on (b) (6), (b) (7)            dated April 13, 2017.
                                            (C)
6. Copy of (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) GSA SmartPay Certificate of Training dated June 7, 2016.

7. (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) start and end official travel dates from 2009 – 2017.

8. (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) travel charge card transactions April 30, 2009 – March 23, 2017.




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                            5
                      UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                           OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL


                                                                 CLOSING
                                       REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                                                          (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




                                                           I18EAS00381


                                                SEPTEMBER 20, 2018

                                                             Table of Contents
                  Summary ......................................................................................................... 1
                  Violations ........................................................................................................ 1
                  Predication ...................................................................................................... 1
                  Narrative ......................................................................................................... 1
                  Prosecutive Status ........................................................................................... 2
                  Subject of Investigation ................................................................................... 2
                  Exhibits ............................................................................................................ 2



Report by:                                                                   Approved by:
              (b) (6), (b) (7)                                               GEOFFREY WOOD
              (C)
              Special Agent                                                  Special Agent in Charge


Distribution:
File




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY: This report is the property of the Office of Inspector General and is loaned to your
agency; it and its contents may not be reproduced without written permission. The report is FOR OFFICIAL USE
ONLY and its disclosure to unauthorized persons is prohibited. Public availability to be determined by 5 U.S.C. 552.

OIG Form 301R (May 17)
                                               CLOSING
                               REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                                          (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




                                               SUMMARY
The Office of General Counsel, Ethics Division sent a memorandum to the Office of Inspector
General to refer (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                                                          , for
appropriate remedial action for failure to file his Termination Public Financial Disclosure Report,
OGE Form 278e, and failure to make payment of the associated $200 late filing fee. The Office
of General Counsel, Ethics division exhausted its efforts to procure (b) (6), (b) compliance with
                                                                       (7)(C)
this filing obligation and referred this matter to the Office of Inspector  General for appropriate
remedial action.


                                             VIOLATIONS
The activities identified in this report are violations of:

         •     5 U.S.C. app. §104 Failure to File or Filing False Reports



                                            PREDICATION
This investigation was initiated based upon information that former Department employee,
(b) (6), (b) , failed to file his Termination Public Financial Disclosure Report, OGE Form 278e, as
(7)(C)
required under 5 U.S.C. app. §101, Persons Required to File.


                                              NARRATIVE
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) received a memorandum from the Office of General
Counsel (OGC), Ethics Division indicating (b) (6), (b) failed to file his Termination Public
                                          (7)(C)
Financial Disclosure Report, OGE Form 278e     by February 19, 2017, thirty days after he
terminated his employment with the Department on January, 20, 2017 (Attachment 1). Prior to
termination, (b) (6), (b) signed a memo acknowledging his filing obligation. On March 8, 2017,
             (7)(C)
March 22, 2017   and May 1, 2017, the OGC Ethics Division sent email notifications to (b) (6), (b)
                                                                                        (7)(C)
informing him of his outstanding obligations, including electronic filing of his OGE Form   278e
and payment of the $200 late filing fee. The correspondence provided instructions for
electronic submission of the form and payment of the fee.

OIG Form 301R (continuation)               FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                  1
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                                     I17MAR00806


On May 3, 2017, the OGC Ethics Division sent a letter to (b) (6), (b) via United Parcel Service,
which advised he was required to submit the OGE Form (7)(C)
                                                         278e and pay the $200 late filing fee.
(b) (6), (b) failed to meet these requirements.
(7)(C)
The OIG subsequently contacted the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO), Civil Division,
Washington, DC and referred this matter. On January 26, 2018, the USAO, Civil Division issued
a civil demand letter to the OIG which was to be hand-delivered to (b) (6), (b) . The civil demand
                                                                       (7)(C)
letter notified (b) (6), (b) of his requirement to file his OGE Form 278e  and pay the $200 late
                  (7)(C)
filing fee (Attachment 2). After an unsuccessful attempt to hand-deliver the civil demand letter,
the OIG was contacted by (b) (6), (b) attorney who handled all future correspondence on behalf
                              (7)(C)
of (b) (6), (b) . The civil demand   letter was subsequently hand-delivered to (b) (6), (b) attorney
    (7)(C)                                                                     (7)(C)
on March 22, 2018.

On June 21, 2018, (b) (6), (b) filed his OGE Form 278e through Integrity.Gov (Attachment 3). The
                     (7)(C)
OGE Form 278e was       reviewed and certified by the OGC Ethics Division on June 27, 2018. On
September 13, 2018, the USAO, Civil Division, Washington, DC received payment of the $200
late filing fee in the prescribed manner.


                                   PROSECUTIVE STATUS

On November 21, 2017, this matter was presented to the USAO, Civil Division. The USAO, Civil
Division issued a demand letter to (b) (6), (b) on January 26, 2018. (b) (6), (b) subsequently
                                      (7)(C)                              (7)(C)
submitted his OGE Form 278e electronically       through the Integrity.Gov     system and submitted
his late filing fee to the USAO, Civil Division. (b) (6), (b) has satisfied his outstanding
                                                 (7)(C)
requirements.


                                SUBJECT OF INVESTIGATION
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




FBI No: N/A


                                            EXHIBITS
1. Referral Memorandum

2. USAO Demand Letter

3. (b)      OGE Form 278e
    (6)


FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                 2
                      UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                           OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL


                                                                 CLOSING
                                       REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                                       (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                                                 (EMPLOYEE)

                                                           I18EAS00522


                                                          JULY 11, 2018

                                                             Table of Contents
                  Summary ......................................................................................................... 1
                  Violations ........................................................................................................ 1
                  Predication ...................................................................................................... 1
                  Narrative ......................................................................................................... 2
                  Administrative Status ...................................................................................... 2
                  Subject of Investigation ................................................................................... 2
                  Exhibits ............................................................................................................ 3



Report by:                                                                   Approved by:
              (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                                                      GEOFFREY WOOD
              Special Agent                                                                            Special Agent in Charge


Distribution:
File




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY: This report is the property of the Office of Inspector General and is loaned to your
agency; it and its contents may not be reproduced without written permission. The report is FOR OFFICIAL USE
ONLY and its disclosure to unauthorized persons is prohibited. Public availability to be determined by 5 U.S.C. 552.

OIG Form 301R (May 17)
                                                 CLOSING
                               REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                               (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                         (EMPLOYEE)


                                                 SUMMARY
OIG received an allegation that (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                               , Office of
Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), sexually harassed and/or assaulted a
fellow conference attendee after a networking event at the Hyatt Regency, Milwaukee, WI, in
October 2017. The complainant stated she and (b) (6), were alone in the hotel elevator when
                                                    (b) (7)
(b) (6), pulled her towards him and kissed her without      her consent.
(b) (7)
This investigation revealed that (b) (6), kissed the complainant in the elevator and that the kiss
                                 (b) (7)
was unwanted by the complainant.      During an interview with OIG, (b) (6), displayed a lack of
                                                                    (b) (7)
candor by initially denying his actions, but ultimately admitted to the  accusation under further
questioning.

An administrative referral was made to OSERS. As a result of the referral, OSERS suspended
      for three calendar days and ordered him to complete multiple Department training
(b) (6),
(b) (7)
modules on sexual harassment.


                                                VIOLATIONS
The activities identified in this report are violations of:

           •   ED HUMAN CAPITAL POLICY 751-1, Discipline and Adverse Actions
               o Inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature
               o Conduct unbecoming a Federal employee
               o Lack of candor


                                               PREDICATION
This investigation was initiated based upon an allegation that (b) (6), (b) (7) sexually harassed
                                                               (C)
and/or assaulted a fellow conference attendee after a networking     event at the Hyatt Regency in
Milwaukee, WI. The complainant stated she was alone in an elevator with (b) (6), when he
                                                                               (b) (7)
pulled her towards him and kissed her without her consent.




OIG Form 301R (continuation)                 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                   1
(b) (6), (b)   (Employee)                                                                I18EAS00522
(7)(C)

                                          NARRATIVE
OSERS management received a written complaint from(b) (6), (b) (7) , an employee of the Ohio
                                                          (C)
Department of Education. According to (b)     during the    Division on Career Development and
                                       (6)
Transition (DCDT) conference held at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee, WI, she was sexually
harassed and/or assaulted in the hotel elevator by (b) (6), (b) claimed (b) (6), pulled her
                                                    (b) (7) (6)
toward him and kissed her without her consent. She     pulled away and told(b)him
                                                                                (7)
                                                                                    “no.” He exited
the elevator when he reached his floor. When  (b)     reached her room,   (b) (6),  called her on her
                                              (6)(b)                      (b) (7)
cellphone in an effort to meet back up with her.         told him “no” and ended the
                                                 (6)
conversation with him. She had no further contact    with him during the conference.
(b)     was interviewed by OIG and reiterated the information provided in her complaint. She
(6)
also confirmed that she filed a written complaint regarding the incident to (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) ,
(b) (6),  second line supervisor.
(b) (7)(C)
(b) (6), was interviewed by OIG. He initially stated he did not recall meeting (b)       and did not
(b) (7)                                                                            (6)
recall the incident. After additional questioning,    (b) (6), admitted he did kiss (b)   in the
                                                      (b) (7)                       (6)
elevator and that (b) communicated through her            body language that nothing    would happen
                   (6)
between them after     he kissed her. After they separated from the kiss, (b) told him, “No, stop
it,” and raised her hands up. (b) (6), has not had any contact with (b) (6)since the conference.
                               (b) (7)                                  (6)
Based on the results of this investigation,  (b) (6),  committed the following offenses in ED
                                             (b) (7)
Human Capital Policy 751-1, Table of Penalties for Stated Offenses: Inappropriate behavior of a
sexual nature; Conduct unbecoming of a Federal employee; and Lack of candor.

On May 29, 2018, an administrative referral was forwarded to OSERS (Exhibit 1). On July 6,
2018, OSERS notified OIG of the administrative action taken (Exhibit 2). (b) (6), was suspended
                                                                         (b) (7)
for three calendar days and was ordered to complete multiple Department      training modules on
sexual harassment.


                                 ADMINISTRATIVE STATUS
       received a three calendar day suspension. In addition, he was required to successfully
(b) (6),
(b) (7)
complete the following courses through the Department’s Training Management System: (1)
Sexual Harassment Awareness; (2) Sexual Harassment Prevention for Federal Employees; (3)
Dealing with Sexual Harassment Simulation; (4) Education Department Sexual Harassment
Awareness; and (5) Workplace Harassment for Employees.


                                SUBJECT OF INVESTIGATION
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                               2
(b) (6), (b)   (Employee)                      I18EAS00522
(7)(C)

                                    EXHIBITS
1. Referral Memorandum

2. OSERS Administrative Action Memorandum




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                   3
                      UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                           OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
                            TECHNOLOGY CRIMES DIVISION



                                                                 CLOSING
                                       REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                                                           (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




                                                          I18TCD02528


                                                          JULY 23, 2018

                                                             Table of Contents
                  Summary ......................................................................................................... 1
                  Violations ........................................................................................................ 1
                  Predication ...................................................................................................... 1
                  Narrative……………………………………………………………………………………………………….1
                  Prosecutive Status ........................................................................................... 3
                  Subject of Investigation ................................................................................... 3
                  Exhibits ............................................................................................................ 3



Report by:                                                                   Approved by:
              (b) (6), (b) (7)                                               Robert Mancuso
              (C)
              Special Agent                                                  Special Agent in Charge


Distribution: File




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY: This report is the property of the Office of Inspector General and is loaned to your
agency; it and its contents may not be reproduced without written permission. The report is FOR OFFICIAL USE
ONLY and its disclosure to unauthorized persons is prohibited. Public availability to be determined by 5 U.S.C. 552.

OIG Form 301R (May 17)
                                             CLOSING
                               REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                                         (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




                                             SUMMARY
(b) (6), (b)  socially engineered (b) (6), (b) (7) in order to obtain (b) (6), personal information.
(7)(C)                              (C)
(b) (6), used the information to gain                                    (b) (7)
                                        unauthorized access to (b) (6), Free Application for
(b) (7)                                                              (b) (7)
Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) account and change (b) (6), password, locking (b) (6), out of his
                                                        (b) (7)                       (b) (7)
FAFSA account. Additionally, (b) (6), used the information to gain unauthorized access to
                                (b) (7)
(b) (6), University of Tennessee (UT) email account and (b) (6), UT class registration account.
(b)
(b) (7)
    (6), locked (b) (6), out the email account and altered (b)   (b)(6),
                                                                     (7)
                                                                           class schedule resulting in
(b) (7)         (b) (7)                                         (b) (7)
approximately $100,000 in tuition charges. Prior to seeking a Federal search warrant for
(b) (6), residence, information obtained from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
(b) (7) (b) (6),
stated           was found to be mentally incompetent. (b) (5)             , the Unites States
        (b) (7)
Attorney’s Office withdrew their support for this investigation and declined prosecution.


                                            VIOLATIONS
The activities identified in this report are potential violations of:

         •    18 U.S.C 1030 fraud/activity related to computers



                                          PREDICATION
This investigation was initiated based upon information that (b) (6), (b) gained unauthorized
                                                             (7)(C)
access to (b) (6), (b) (7) Federal Student Aid account and subsequently changed the password
          (C)
on that account, revoking (b) (6), access to the account.
                               (b) (7)


                                            NARRATIVE
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) cyber task for officer (TFO), (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) contacted
(b) (6), (b) (7)(C)   , ED OIG regarding the unauthorized access of(b) (6), (b) (7)(C) FAFSA
account (Exhibit 1). Pursuant to a data request by TFO (b) (6), (b) ODAS records were obtained
                                                         (7)(C)
that showed (b) (6), account was accessed by an unknown individual. Based on this
             (b) (7)
information, ED OIG joined the investigation with the FBI. Prior to seeking a Federal search
warrant for (b) (6), residence, information obtained from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal
            (b) (7)
Apprehension stated (b) (6), was found to be mentally incompetent. (b) (5)                        ,
                        (b) (7)
OIG Form 301R (continuation)             FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                           1
(b) (6),                                                                                      I18TCD02528
(b) (7)(C)

the Unites States Attorney’s Office withdrew their support of this matter and declined
prosecution. (Exhibit 2)

The following facts were established by the FBI’s investigation and are contained in the draft
search warrant affidavit attached to this report as Exhibit 3:

        On 9/12/2017, TFO (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) , received a complaint from (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                                           for the University of
        Tennessee (UT) regarding a computer intrusion involving UT student (b) (6), (b) (7) .
        (b) (6), (b) stated an unknown subject had gained unauthorized access(C)   to (b) (6), UT
        (7)(C)                                                                        (b) (7)
        Gmail account and changed the account to two factor authentication, which locked
        (b) (6), out of the account.
        (b) (7)
         The subject also gained access to (b) (6), class registration console and added and
                                           (b) (7)
         deleted (b) (6), classes which resulted in approximately $100,000 USD in tuition fees.
                 (b) (7)
         The fees were ultimately removed by UT personnel.

         Information obtained from UT showed internet protocol (IP) addresses
        (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
        accessed the victim’s email account (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)           on the dates in question.
        Additional logs provided by UT showed that a recovery email of
        (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)         and recovery phone number of (b) (6), (b) (7) were
                                                                        (C)
        associated with the victim’s email account ((b) (6), (b) (7)(C)          ) during that time.

         Obtained records identified the IP addresses listed above belonging to(b) (6), (b) (7) ,
                                                                               (C)
        (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                        .

         Obtained records identified the phone number (b) (6), (b) (7) as belonging to (b) (6), (b)
        (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                 (C)                               (7)(C)


        Obtained records identified email address (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)          as being related
        to (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) . Email address (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)    was accessed by IP address
        (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                        which was identified as belonging to (b)
        (b) (6),                                                                               (6)
        (b) (7)
         On 9/13/2017, (b) (6), (b) made contact with (b) (6), who stated that the subject also
                       (7)(C)                         (b) (7)
         gained unauthorized access to (b) (6), Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
                                       (b) (7)
         account and changed (b) (6), password.
                                (b) (7)
        (b) (6),stated he was familiar with an individual name (b) from Minnesota whom he
        (b) (7)                                                 (6)
         met on the Sony PlayStation network. (b) (6), stated (b) used the moniker (b) (6), (b)
                                                (b) (7)       (6)                  (7)(C)
         on the Sony PlayStation network. He stated (b) knew (b) (6), first and last name.
                                                      (6)            (b) (7)
         Obtained records identified the moniker (b) (6), (b)    as belonging to (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                 (7)(C)
                                                  . Additionally, the (b) (6), (b) account was
                                                                      (7)(C)
        accessed using IP address (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) , which was identified as belonging to (b)
        (b) (6), at the same address.                                                            (6)
        (b) (7)

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                   2
(b) (6),                                                                                I18TCD02528
(b) (7)(C)

         On 9/14/2017, (b) (6), (b) made contact with AUSA David Jennings who stated the
                        (7)(C)
         United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee would support this
         investigation. AUSA Matthew Morris was assigned the case.

         On 10/19/2017, (b) (6), (b) made contact with ASAC (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) , EDOIG regarding
                             (7)(C)
         the case and requested assistance from EDOIG in obtaining information on (b) (6),
                                                                                        (b) (7)
         FAFSA account, specifically log in information. ASAC (b) (6), subsequently provided the
                                                                 (b) (7)
         logs to (b) (6), (b) that showed the invalid password attempts, the changing of the
                 (7)(C)
         password and the acceptance of the banner in order to log in to the FAFSA account.
         Additionally, the IP address associated with (b) (6), (b) (7) was used to access (b) (6),
                                                        (C)                               (b) (7)
         FAFSA account during the time in question.

         On 4/10/2018, at the request of (b) (6), (b) SA (b) searched multiple IP addresses
                                         (7)(C)          (6)
         related to the subject through ODAS to determine if the subject had gained
         unauthorized access to any additional FAFSA accounts. The search results were
         negative.

         On 6/19/2018, prior to the planned searched warrant, (b) (6), (b) informed EDOIG the
                                                              (7)(C)
         case had been declined for prosecution by the United States Attorney’s Office (b) (5)

                                        .


                                    PROSECUTIVE STATUS
This investigation was declined for prosecution by the United States Attorney’s Office in the
Eastern District of Tennessee.


                                SUBJECT OF INVESTIGATION

     Index


    (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




                                            EXHIBITS
1. Email Correspondence
2. Email Correspondence
3. Draft Federal Search Warrant Affidavit

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                3
                      UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                           OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL


                                                                 CLOSING
                                       REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

                                                         (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




                                                           I18EAS03180


                                                       AUGUST 1, 2019

                                                             Table of Contents
                  Summary ......................................................................................................... 1
                  Violations ........................................................................................................ 1
                  Predication ...................................................................................................... 1
                  Narrative ......................................................................................................... 2
                  Prosecutive/Administrative Status .................................................................. 3
                  Subject of Investigation ................................................................................... 4
                  Exhibits ............................................................................................................ 4



Report by:                                                                   Approved by:
              (b) (6), (b)                                                                             Geoffrey D. Wood
              (7)(C)
              Special Agent                                                                            Special Agent in Charge


Distribution:
HQ
File




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY: This report is the property of the Office of Inspector General and is loaned to your
agency; it and its contents may not be reproduced without written permission. The report is FOR OFFICIAL USE
ONLY and its disclosure to unauthorized persons is prohibited. Public availability to be determined by 5 U.S.C. 552.

OIG Form 302R (May 17)
                                               CLOSING
                                REPORT OF INVESTIGATION




                                               SUMMARY
This case was predicated on information received from a Congressional hearing during which
members of Congress questioned Department of Education officials about possible conflicts of
interest involving                                          . The conflict of interest query
involved

                    investigation focused on           disclosed recusals pertaining to Gainfu l
Employment (GE), Borrower Defense (BD) an other potential conflicts of interests. Several
interviews, email queries, and other investigative measures were conducted in this matter. After

Inspector General notified the Deputy Se~ary of            I!
several attempts were made to interview- at OIG offices regarding his recusals, the Acting
                                                              failure to cooperate with the OIG.
Subsequently , . appeared for an interview. No evi nee proving a violation o f - recusals
were uncoverlcrrhese matters were also discussed with                         , the~rtment's
                                 , who also concluded that no conflict of interest was presented
in this case.


                                              VIOLATIONS
The activities identified in this report are potentia l violations of:

        •   18 U.S.C. § 209 - Conflict of Interest
        •   18 U.S.C. § 208 - Acts Affecting a Personal Financial Interest
        •   5 C.F.R § 2635.502 -Violation of Personal and Business relationships
        •   E.O. 13770 -Violation of Ethics Pledge Executive Branch Employees
        •   ACS Departmenta l Directive OIG: 1-102 - Failure to Cooperate with the Office of
            Inspector General


                                             PREDICATION
This case was predicated on information that arose during a Congressional hearing regarding
possible conflicts of interest involving  . The conflict of interest query involved

                                ED OIG initiated an investigation into potentia l violations committed



OIG Form 302R (continuat ion)               FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                        1
-                                        NARRATIVE
                                                                                      118EAS03180




ED OIG initiated an investigation into potential violations committed b y - involving alleged
conflicts of interest. ED OIG requested and received access t o - De'Wirtment emai l account
which identified severa l emai ls associated w i t h - recusals~     ther potentia l conflicts of
interest involving the work- - was performinr , r -

On September 19, 2018,                                                     , U.S. Department of
Education, was interviewed.                                         on occasion for matters
involving policies (Attach men                            alwa removed himself from GE
matters whether it was on emai ls or in meetings. If the subject turned to GE,. would either
excuse himself or remove himself from an email. She also recalled that he w~       cused from
working on BD claims regarding his former employers and for-profit schools that were involved
with BD actions with ED.                                          excused himself from meetings
when the discussion turned to GE related matters and removed himself from emails.

On September 19, 2018,

                                                                 In that position, she worked
         on occasion for matters involving the Secretary.        could not recall if- was
recu e from any BD matters. She did not recall any recus     having to do with forr r
employers and for-profit schools that were involved with BD actions with the Department.
-       recalled that -  always removed himself from GE matters whether it was on emails or
~etings. -            ~ lled that-   was emphatic about removing himself from GE related
 issues, and h ~ l d communica~e fact that he could not participate or be involved with
any GE related matters.

-    was contacted for an interv iew on October 17, 2018 and he advised that he needed to
~ k with an attorney. On November 7, 2018, ED OIG was contacted by-            attorney and
 between November 14, 2018 and January 22, 2019, ED OIG attempted t o ~ an interview
with, -attorney tried to dictate the terms of the interview and eventually refused to
 mak      ~ b l e for an interview at ED OIG offices on January 23, 2019.

On March 29, 2019, Acting Inspector General (IG) Sandra Bruce sent a letter to Deputy
Secretary Mitchell Zais regarding-        fai lure to cooperate with the OIG (Attachment 3). In
this letter, Acting IG Bruce advisen'ilieDeputy Secretary that the OIG cannot allow employees,
no matter their seniority with in the Department, to dictate how and where an interview is to be
conducted. Acting IG Bruce also advised that -       r efusal to submit to an interview prevents
the OIG from completing their mission to inve~e fraud, waste and abuse within
Departmenta l programs. Acting IG Bruce advised Deputy Secretary Zais that -          non-
cooperation wou ld be reported in the semiannua l report and wou ld be refer~ the
Department for potential discipline if he continued to refuse to cooperate.

On Apr il 15, 2019, ED OIG was contacted byl l l new attorney who advised that
agree to be interviewed.
                                                                                   II    would




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                              2
(b) (6), (b)                                                                             I18EAS03180
(7)(C)




On May 9, 2019, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                                        U.S. Department of
Education, was interviewed (Attachment 4). (b) advised that he contacted (b) (6), (b) shortly
                                              (6)                                (7)(C)
after his arrival at the Department to discuss potential conflicts of interests regarding his
employment with the Department. After his arrival, he was directed that he could not work on
matters involving specific borrower defense claims where his former employer was a party to
the claim. (b) also voluntarily recused himself from borrower defense matters and policy
            (6)
discussions regarding pending claims under the old borrower defense regulations and from
participating in discussions about, the review of, or modifications to the Department’s gainful
employment regulations and guidance until February 2019.
(b)  reviewed a series of tweets that (b) (6), (b) (7)(C) posted via Twitter. The tweets
(6)
included two of (b)    emails and a calendar entry. One email, (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                (6)

                                                        the presentation on Higher Education,
and he did not organize any presentations or meetings on gainful employment. He attended
the presentation but left when the subject turned to gainful employment. (b) reviewed a
                                                                              (6)
calendar entry from his calendar that displayed a (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
                                                (b) admitted that he was on this call for the
                                                (6)
portion that included borrower defense and recused himself for the GE matters. In another
email from (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)                           , which included an attached draft
backgrounder,   (b)   requested that the gainful employment insert be removed before it was
                (6)
sent over to the White House. (b) explained that this email referenced regulatory resets and
                                 (6)
when it was sent it still had an insert for gainful employment, and he wanted it removed. (b)
                                                                                             (6)
maintained that he did not violate any of his recusals and did not have any conflicts of interest
regarding his work at the Department.

On June 19, 2019, ED OIG discussed the results of this investigation with (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)    ,
who in turn consulted with the Office of Government Ethics (OGE).     (b) (6), (b) concluded, in
                                                                      (7)(C)
consultation with OGE, that (b)   did not appear to be in violation of a statutory, regulatory
                            (6)
and/or an ethics pledge disqualification. (b) was not barred from working on specific legal
                                          (6)
matters other than those he was already recused from involving GE and pending BD claims
against the Department.




                        PROSECUTIVE/ADMINISTRATIVE STATUS
On October 9, 2018, this investigation was presented to the USAO for the District of Columbia
and on October 10, 2018, was declined for prosecution.

On March 29, 2019, Acting Inspector General Bruce referred (b)        failure to cooperate with
                                                           (6)
the OIG to Deputy Secretary Mitchell.



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                                                3
(b) (6), (b)                                                              I18EAS03180
(7)(C)

                                      SUBJECT OF INVESTIGATION



Name:           (b) (6), (b)
                (7)(C)
Title:          (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)
Address:        400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington D.C. 20202
Phone:          (b) (6), (b) (7)(C)




                                              EXHIBITS
1. Interview of (b) (6), (b) , dated September 19, 2018
                 (7)(C)
2.   Interview of (6), (b) (7)(C) , dated September 19, 2018
                 (b)

3. Acting Inspector General letter to Deputy Zais, dated March 29, 2019

4. Interview of (b) (6), (b)     , dated May 9, 2019
                  (7)(C)




FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY                                                              4