Federal authorities have launched investigations against instructors advertising training for people looking to beat lie detector tests, McClatchy Newspapers reported on Friday.
"My wife and I are terrified," one polygrapher, Chad Dixon, told McClatchy regarding his guilty plea to charges of obstructing an agency proceeding and wire fraud. "I stumbled into this. I'm a Little League coach in Indiana. I don't have any law enforcement background."
Dixon, whose house went into foreclosure during the investigation, may be asked to serve two years in federal jail despite cooperating with prosecutors.
McClatchy reported that investigators who seized records from both Dixon and another instructor, Doug Williams, determined that at least 20 of the 5,000 people who took their courses applied for government jobs, with about half of them managing to get hired.
"Nothing like this has been done before," one Customs official, John Schwartz, said of "Operation Lie Busters" at a polygraphers' conference in June in Charlotte, North Carolina. "Most certainly our nation’s security will be enhanced. There are a lot of bad people out there."
Schwartz did acknowledge in his speech that teaching someone how to beat a polygraph test is not illegal, but told conferencegoers that they may be prosecuted for wire fraud, false statements and "misprision of felony" if they knowingly teach someone planning to tell a lie while applying for a job with the government.
"When you identify insider threats and you eliminate insider threats, then that agency is more efficient and more effective," Schwartz said in June. He did not respond to McClatchy's request for comment.
[Image: "Placing Equipment For Interrogation Of A Man With Lie Detector. Electrodes Attached To Fingers" via Shutterstock]