Skip to main content
Press Release

United States Department Of Energy Employee Agrees To Pay $96,757.95 To Settle False Claims Act Allegations Regarding Her Submission Of False Claims To Obtain Economic Injury Disaster Loan

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. Department of Energy employee Lisa Phillips, of Owings Mills, Maryland, has agreed to pay the United States $96,757.95 to resolve allegations that she violated the federal False Claims Act by submitting false claims to the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) to obtain an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) and EIDL advance during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The civil settlement was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron, and Inspector General for the Department of Energy, Teri L. Donaldson.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Small Business Administration provided EIDLs and EIDL Advances to small businesses to be used for working capital and other normal operating expenses.  On July 10, 2020, Phillips signed and submitted a Loan Authorization and Agreement for an EIDL in the amount of $26,200.00. The United States contends that in her this EIDL application, the defendant made several material misrepresentations including, among other things, that, in 2019, her business had four employees, a gross annual revenue of $150,500, and $90,000 in cost of goods expenses.  Phillips also stated that her business opened on January 25, 2017, and that the business was in the Educational Services industry.  These misrepresentations were knowingly false; Phillips knew that she did not own or operate a business in the Educational Services industry, that she did not have any employees, and that she had neither the revenue nor cost of goods as stated in the application.  In addition to the $26,200 Loan, Phillips received a $4,000 advance.  The civil investigation was opened by the United States Attorney’s Office based upon a referral from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General. 

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners are committed to zealously pursuing cases involving COVID-19 fraud, including fraud related to the EIDL program,” said U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron.   

“We are going to continue to hold those who steal from the government accountable for their actions,” said Teri L. Donaldson, Inspector General, Department of Energy.  “Pandemic funds were designed to help the public during a difficult time and taking advantage of this program for personal gain will not be tolerated.”

The claims resolved by this settlement are allegations.  The settlement is not an admission of liability by Phillips nor a concession by the United States that its claims are not well-founded.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the Inspector General, for its work in this investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Shea, who handled the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to report fraud, please visit and   


Updated June 5, 2024

Disaster Fraud
False Claims Act