WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A Georgia man cost his company a loss of over $100,000 after lying to his employer that he’d tested positive for COVID-19.
- The company had to grant workers paid leave while they quarantined and shut down their plant for cleaning.
- The man has since admitted that he wasn’t infected with COVID-19.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta said in a news release Thursday that Santwon Antonio Davis faces charges after lying to his employer. The 34-year-old worked for an unnamed Fortune 500 company that had a plant in the Atlanta area.
Because of Davis’ false claim that he’d tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the plant shut down for sanitizing on March 23 while several employees were put on paid leave while they had to quarantine.
The company held mandatory training for employees to know how to access their website regarding information about COVID-19 on March 12 and 13. They also told employees that if they tested positive, they would have paid leave to quarantine.
On March 20, Friday, Davis told his supervisors that his mother developed symptoms after being told to self-quarantine the day before. He didn’t show up for work though his supervisors said he was a “low risk” exposure and could continue working. The next day, he texted his supervisors that his mother had tested positive for COVID-19, and on Sunday texted that he’d also tested positive for the virus.
After requesting a copy of his test results, the human resources manager saw some indications of fraud on Davis’ medical excuse letter. A call to the hospital where he said he’d been tested also revealed that they weren’t doing COVID-19 tests. The company repeatedly tried to get Davis to send his test results, but he never responded. They suspended him on March 25 and he has since been fired.
Davis was granted a bond on his initial court appearance Thursday. Prosecutors said the man has since admitted that he wasn’t infected with the virus.
U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak said in a news release that Davis “caused unnecessary economic loss to his employer and distress to his coworkers and their families.”