The Department of Justice reported yesterday that Karen M. Lancaster, of Upper Marlboro, MD, has been charged with four counts of making false statements, three counts of submitting false documents and one count of engaging in a concealment scheme in connection with her multiple job applications to U.S. federal government agencies.

According to the indictment, Lancaster was employed in various positions with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) from 1991 until March 2005. She subsequently was notified by DoD that she was being fired due to performance failures. In October 2006, according to the indictment, Lancaster reached a settlement with DoD whereby she was allowed to resign, retroactive to March 2005.

Between 2006 and 2008, Lancaster applied for jobs at the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce and Defense, as well as with the SEC. The indictment states that as part of the application processes, Lancaster allegedly submitted documents that falsified and concealed information about her criminal history, employment history and suitability for employment with the federal government. Specifically, Lancaster allegedly concealed and falsified informatabout her prior arrests, charges, convictions and prison terms, the unfavorable circumstances under which she had resigned from prior federal employment, the roles and responsibilities she had at previous federal jobs; and her salary history.Lancaster will be arraigned on March 25, 2011, in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. The maximum penalty for each count of making a false statement, submitting a false document and engaging in a concealment scheme is five years in prison. Lancaster also faces a maximum fine of $250,000 per count.

The Department of Justice notes that an indictment is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.