It’s not entirely clear whether O’Bagy was guilty of an outright lie, i.e., claiming a PhD with no basis, or an exaggeration, claiming a PhD when she’d done everything but the oral defense of a dissertation. Or something in between. Published reports said she was working on a disseration at Georgetown: people in that status are often referred to as ABD (all but dissertation) or C.Phil (Candidate in Philosophy) to acknowledge that they’re in the process of getting the PhD.
When someone says that they have a Phd, I always thought that they had a Phd. If they didn't have it, but were only working at it, they they didn't have a Phd.
Silly me for thinking that.