James H. (Hal) Francis

Independent Contractor

Director of Investigations


Background

james francis

Mr. Francis began his career as a member of the United States Air Force detailed to the National Security Agency. During his tenure with the NSA, he was deployed to Misawa Japan where he collected and analyzed both Soviet Union and Chinese military intelligence. Francis concluded his tour in Japan as the Mission Controller for the enciphered telecommunications collection mission for NSA. After a stint as the Non Commissioned Officer in Charge of Communications Inspections at McConnell Airforce Base, which including ICBM launch sites, Francis received an Honorable Discharge from the Air Force at the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Francis was referred to the FBI for employment by senior managers at the NSA. In September of 1988, he was accepted into the FBI Special Agent Training Program at Quantico, VA. In December of 1988, Mr. Francis was appointed a Special Agent.

During his tenure with the FBI, SA Francis was the primary Undercover Agent and Co-Case Agent for two of the most successful operations in FBI history.

Undercover Operation Brown Bag targeted a host of issues within the St Louis, MO Defense Contracting Community. Over the course of the 30 month operation, Francis clandestinely investigated, bribes, kickbacks, drug distribution and organized crime. Operation Brownbag was the first White Collar UCO to actively work in Mexico targeting the Defense Maquiladora Industry. At the conclusion of UCO Brown Bag, the FBI referred over 30 criminal actors and companies for prosecutorial consideration resulting in a 100% conviction rate.

Following UCO Brown Bag, SA Francis was detailed to Houston, TX to investigate corruption within the NASA. Undercover Operation Lightning Strike initially targeted Government employees and NASA Contractors involved in the provision of bribes and kickbacks at Johnson Space Center. Within a few months the UCO had expanded to include all NASA Centers. At the conclusion of the 36 month investigation, more than 15 individuals and companies pled guilty to a host of federal crimes.

SA Francis left the FBI in 1994 to attend Graduate School at Sam Houston State University where he received a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice management and completed the course work for SHSU’s prestigious Criminal Justice Doctoral program.

During the same time, Mr. Francis also started a business where he provided consultation to ABC Network News Programs including, ABC Nightly News with Peter Jennings, Prime Time, Day One and 20/20. Mr. Francis was the “First” former FBI Agent to be employed as an Investigations Consultant by any major news network. The path Mr. Francis blazed, paved the way for what is now a cottage industry for former Agents assisting major news organizations in covering and understanding criminal and terrorist actions in a complex international environment. Mr. Francis remained a consultant with ABC News until 2001.

In 1996, Mr. Francis was hired by DHL Airways as the Regional Security Manager for the South -Western United States. Francis also was named the Director of Fraud Investigations at DHL’s National Billing Center in Houston, TX. In his roles at DHL, Francis investigated, and referred for prosecution, a myriad of crimes ranging from cargo theft to the illegal shipment of drugs. In 2000, Mr. Francis was requested to testify before Congress about investigative techniques utilized by DHL in assisting the Government and its Federal investigations of international shipments of illicit drugs.

In 2001, Francis was recruited by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service to become a Special Agent combatting a host of Federal crimes ranging from Terrorism to all manner of frauds perpetrated by Defense Contractors. Over the next 15 years, SA Francis deployed to the Middle East 5 times, in the countries of Iraq (Twice), Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. SA Francis was an inaugural member of the Department of Justice’s LOGJAM Task Force which was charged with investigating all procurement fraud emanating from U.S Military operations in the Middle East. SA Francis gained notoriety as the Department of Justice’s 30 (b)(6) Expert Witness for Contingency Contracting.

Since retirement from Federal Service in 2016, Mr. Francis has worked with the firm of Berg and Androphy always as an independent contractor, first as a consultant, and later as the firm’s Director of Investigations. Mr. Francis has extensive expertise in the Federal Acquisition Regulations, associated DFARS and DoD Acquisition Policy. He is considered the DoD expert for contingency contracting matters. Mr. Francis also serves as an Agency Appointed Independent Government Compliance Monitor for Corporation(s) under Interim Administrative Agreement(s).


EDUCATION

  • B.S., Psychology, The University of the State of New York (Albany), 3.4 GPA
  • M.S., Criminal Justice Management, Sam Houston State University, 4.0 GPA
  • PhD, (Candidate), Criminal Justice, Sam Houston State University, 4.0 GPA

LICENSES AND SPECIAL SKILLS

  • Top Secret/SCI Security Clearance (1978-2016)
  • Expert Witness
  • Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Instructor (Covert Operations, Procurement Fraud and False Claims Act)
  • United States Customshouse Broker
  • Dangerous Goods (Packaging and Distribution) Instructor
  • Federal Firearms Instructor

AWARDS

  • U.S. Air Force Meritorious Service Medal
  • FBI Achievement Awards (3)
  • DoD Inspector General Meritorious Service Medal
  • DCIS Lifetime Achievement Award