- A Georgia man was charged with defrauding his employer by falsely claiming he had COVID-19, according to a news release from federal prosecutors in Atlanta.
- Santwon Antonio Davis was charged after "allegedly faking a positive COVID-19 medical excuse letter, causing the employer to stop business and sanitize the workplace," authorities wrote in a news release.
- Davis worked at an unnamed Fortune 500 company that told employees they could take paid time off to quarantine if they tested positive.
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A Georgia man was charged with defrauding his employer by falsely claiming he had COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to federal prosecutors in Atlanta.
Authorities wrote in the release that 34-year-old Santwon Antonio Davis was charged after "allegedly faking a positive COVID-19 medical excuse letter, causing the employer to stop business and sanitize the workplace," and later admitted that he did not have COVID-19.
On March 12 and 13, the company held a mandatory training on how employees could access information about COVID-19 and take paid time off to quarantine if they tested positive, the Associated Press reported.
The false diagnosis cost the unnamed Fortune 500 company with an Atlanta location more than $100,000 and forced several other employees to unnecessarily quarantine, according to prosecutors.
"Scammers continue to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic through a variety of means," Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, said in the statement. "We receive numerous complaints every day and this case is a reminder that we remain vigilant in detecting, investigating and prosecuting any wrongdoing related to the crisis."
The case is part of Georgia's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Fraud Task Force, the release said. The task force was announced in early April as a partnership with the state's leading state and federal prosecutors to address COVID-19 scams like fake claims or transactions involving vaccines, supplies, and charities.
"Our office has received hundreds of complaints regarding scams, price gouging, and other issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we won't tolerate those who are taking advantage of consumers and interfering with our frontline workers' response to the crisis," Georgia's attorney general, Chris Carr, said in the release announcing the task force.