Government Contractor Pleads Guilty To Making False Claims And False Statements
Claimed to be Working When She Was Not
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact ELIZABETH MORSE
www.justice.gov/usao/md at (410) 209-4885
Baltimore, Maryland –Shawn Penn, age 41, of Pasadena, Maryland, pled guilty today in federal court to making false claims and false statements. Penn falsely represented to her employer that she was working as a security guard at a government facility, when she was actually elsewhere.
The guilty plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning and Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Craig Jr. of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service - Mid-Atlantic Field Office.
According to the plea agreement, Penn worked full-time, during regular business hours, as an active duty U.S. Army Intelligence Officer at Fort Meade, Maryland. In addition, Penn worked as a contract employee performing security guard services for the U.S. Department of Defense in Anne Arundel County, 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.
According to court documents, 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 statement of facts supporting the plea agreement, 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.
In addition, 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. Penn 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.
Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the DCIS for its work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry M. Gruber, who is prosecuting the case.