If you’ve ever thought it was unfair that the security clearance process scrutinizes personal finances, you only have to check out cases where someone on the inside was targeted or easily coerced into complying with a scheme against the U.S. government. Just recently, the DOJ charged the president of Montage, a worldwide construction company that has performed $220 million in contracting work for the U.S. government, supporting the DoD, DOJ, FBI, NASA, and others with defrauding the State department in a multimillion dollar scheme. Sina Moayedi allegedly paid bribes to an insider in order to get confidential bidding information. The Daily Beast obtained a search warrant affidavit, and they found that May Salehi to be the individual labeled as “Insider-1” on the State Department’s complaint. Salehi was assigned to the State Department’s Overseas Building Operations division, and the authorities believe that Salehi’s level of debt was the driver to act in the fraud scheme. So, while financial problems may seem personal, they can quickly become a national security issue in the hands of the right person.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As alleged, Sina Moayedi made misrepresentations about his employees’ qualifications and his company’s ownership in order to induce the State Department into awarding approximately $100 million in lucrative construction contracts to Moayedi’s company, Montage, Inc. Moayedi also allegedly cultivated a State Department insider, and paid the insider lucrative bribes in exchange for confidential State Department bidding information. Moayedi must now be held accountable for his alleged brazen fraud on the government.”
Layoffs Impacting the Cleared Industry
|Honeywell||As the need for N-95 masks dips, Honeywell International Inc. is planning to layoff 470 employees at its Smithfield facility.
“We are now seeing a dramatic reduction in demand for N95s in the U.S. as many states are ending or scaling back mask mandates and vaccinations are being widely distributed,” Krantz said in a statement to the Boston Globe. “For these reasons, Honeywell is adjusting its N95 operations and ceasing manual production of N95s at our facility in Smithfield.”
When you rise to meet a need in the moment, it’s always good to have other plans when the needs change. After the CDC adjusted the mask mandate for vaccinated individuals, Honeywell shifted gears on production plans.
“If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky had said at a White House briefing. “We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”
Hiring impacting the Cleared Industry
|Lockheed Martin||With some adjustments to and new construction, Lockheed Martin is expanding in Moorsetown, NJ and plans to add 120 jobs. Lockheed Martin already employs over 4,500 employees in its current South Jersey facility, but the building expansion will bring more employees in phases.
The current focus for the complex is on missile defense, radars, and sensors. The 84,600 sq. ft building is expected to be completed by June 2022, with its phased approach bringing the hiring in waves.
Cleared Employer at Work: C3.ai
Opportunity to Watch
As we get closer to fiscal year 2022, the budget proposal makes it clear what will be considered a priority for the Biden administration. Low-Earth orbit (LEO) is set to be a priority, with close to $900 million proposed for the Space Development Agency (SDA), $300 million for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), and $42 million for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)‘s Blackjack program. All three of the agencies are part of the DoD; however, they have separate work from the U.S. Space Force. But that doesn’t mean that the research efforts from DARPA, MDA, and SDA won’t transfer to the Space Force later on. The DARPA Black Jack program has 20 satellites planned for deployment, and they will either transition them to the SDA or the Space Force. With multiple agencies making large investments – backed by leadership – in low-Earth orbit space technologies, it clarifies which areas are rising to the top in the defense industry.