A Morrow man has been charged with defrauding his employer by allegedly faking a positive COVID-19 medical excuse letter, causing the employer to stop business and sanitize the workplace.
According to authorities, Santwon Antonio Davis, 34, has since admitted that he did not have COVID-19.
“The defendant caused unnecessary economic loss to his employer and distress to his coworkers and their families,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said. “We will take quick action through the Georgia COVID-19 Task Force to put a stop to criminals preying on Georgia companies and the public with Coronavirus-related fraud schemes.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, Davis was employed by a Fortune 500 company with a facility located in the Atlanta area. Davis falsely claimed to have contracted COVID-19 and submitted a falsified medical record to his employer.
Authorities say the corporation closed its facility for cleaning and paid its employees during the shutdown in concern for its employees and customers. This caused a loss in excess of $100,000 to the corporation and the unnecessary quarantine of several of the defendant’s coworkers.
“Scammers continue to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic through a variety of means,” Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta Chris Hacker said. “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.”
Davis made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Justin S. Anand. Members of the public are reminded that the complaint only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges, and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Russell Phillips and Sarah Klapman are prosecuting the case.