Skip to main content
Press Release

Government Contractor Sentenced To One Month In Federal Prison For Making False Claims

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Claimed to be Working As A Security Guard For the Department of Defense When She Was Not


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          Contact ELIZABETH MORSE                                                     at (410) 209-4885


Baltimore, Maryland –United States District Judge Marvin J. Garbis sentenced Shawn Penn, age 42, of Pasadena, Maryland, to one month in prison, followed by five months of home confinement and three years of supervised release for causing more than $40,000 in false claims to be submitted to the government.  Penn falsely represented to her employer that she was working as a security guard at a government facility, when she was actually elsewhere.  In addition, Judge Garbis ordered Penn pay restitution in the amount of $30,000.


The sentence 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 workstation 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 workstation 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.


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.



Updated October 17, 2017