Government Contractor Indicted for Making False Claims and False Statements
Allegedly Claimed to be Working When She Was Not
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has charged Shawn Penn, age 41, of Pasadena, with making false claims and false statements, for allegedly falsely representing to her employer that she was working as a security guard at a government facility, when she was actually elsewhere. The indictment was returned on December 1, 2016.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service - Mid-Atlantic Field Office.
According to the five-count indictment, Penn worked as a contract employee performing security guard services for the U.S. Department of Defense in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. In addition, Penn worked full-time, during regular business hours, as an active duty U.S. Army Intelligence Officer at Fort Meade, Maryland.
Penn performed her security guard services for a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF), which required that she hold a Top Secret-Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance, possess a gun permit, and carry a government issued duty cell phone while on duty. Penn’s work locations had surveillance cameras that monitored her work station area, and areas inside and outside the building. Penn’s duties included reviewing computer monitors with live video from security cameras, checking for alarms, monitoring the temperature in the facility and performing exterior security sweeps.
The indictment alleges that from September 2015 to August 2016, Penn regularly abandoned her work station and falsely represented to her employer that she had been working as a security guard when she was actually elsewhere. According to the indictment, Penn’s false claims regarding her security work hours caused the government to pay more than $40,000 to her employers to which they and Penn were not entitled.
Further, the indictment alleges that on October 6, 2016, Penn falsely stated to investigators from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service that she had not abandoned her security guard duties until January 2016, when in fact, she had been abandoning her duties since at least September 2015; and that she falsely claimed that she “sat in her car,” was “across the street,” or “drove around the parking lot,” during her guard shifts, when Penn knew she was elsewhere during those shifts.
Penn faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for each of the four counts of making false claims, and for making false statements. Penn had an initial appearance and arraignment this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Baltimore and was released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the DCIS for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry M. Gruber, who is prosecuting the case.