Maryland resident charged with making false statements on federal job applications

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.

March 17th, 2011|Employment Decisions, Fraud|

Fake your way into a dream job for under $60

The job market is tight and fake-your-career services are in bloom. Buy a Job Reference, which describes itself as a “shameless service,” boasts that in the first six months of 2010, it assisted nearly 400 clients in gaining employment (but links to success stories do not work so maybe the stories are fake too.) For the low price of $59.99, payable through credit cards and PayPal, the company will supply a personalized fake employer name, phone number and address, suitable for any occupation you choose. And if you need a new apartment to go with that new job, for $29.99 the company will set you up with glowing previous landlord references., a self-proclaimed “world’s largest network of job reference providers” since July 2009, is more expensive with a $65 set-up fee plus an undisclosed amount for a 30-day answering service, and a $20 monthly subscription. This basic package includes a “professional voicemail system that many banks and large companies use, calls that are returned from voicemail within 24 hours armed with positive references provided by you, and a toll-free number and e-mail addresses for your references.” If you really want to impress a prospective employer, there is a premium plan for $195+ that will upgrade the verifications to a live receptionist. But once you land that dream job, most likely you will have to wait a while before you accrue any paid time off. Guess what? For $35 you can get some bereavement days with CareerExcuse operators standing by to verify that your designated relative is deceased, and avail a real funeral home Web site and address for flower delivery. CareerExcuse apparently wants to be a one-stop shop for all your fibbing needs, as it also provides links to instant “real university degrees.”

According to several Internet sources, including, Alibi HQ also is or has been in the fake reference business; however, its Web site address,, leads only to a spam-type search page. said in its August 2009 article that Alibi HQ charges $199 for the first 90 days and $50 for each additional month for the fictitious declarations. Mark Stevens, a purported Alibi HQ spokesman, told that the company, which also offers fake landlord references and fake doctor’s notes, has been operating for several years, and that customer interest in employment references has skyrocketed over the last year (2009) with calls from people seeking Alibi HQ’s services quadrupling.

So how do these companies get away with such slippery handicraft? Each claims that it will not do anything that defies the law, including providing references for loan purposes. CareerExcuse contends that in a segment by KENS-5 in San Antonio, the Better Business Bureau did not question the legality of its services, although it did not give the company a “ringing” endorsement. But legal experts say that such companies and the clients they serve may ultimately find themselves as defendants in lawsuits filed by duped employers.

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