ATLANTA — An Atlanta man has been sentenced for wire fraud after federal officials said he faked the death of a child and claimed he had COVID-19.
Santwon Antonio Davis, 35, was arrested in the scheme to defraud his employer, and also on bank fraud charges related to a scheme to defraud a mortgage company.
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Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine said Davis defrauded his employer twice by requesting paid time off from his job to mourn and recover from a COVID-19 infection. He even provided fake medical records for his employee.
“Both of those claims were false,” Erskine said. “After he was arrested for defrauding his employer, and while he was under court supervision, he committed yet another crime, by filing a fraudulent mortgage application. Davis’ actions show he had little regard for the law.”
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Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, said Davis took advantage of the pandemic and caused harm to his company and its employees.
“While receiving numerous complaints of wrongdoing during this pandemic, the FBI and our federal partners remain determined to detect, investigate and prosecute any fraud related to this crisis,” Hacker said.
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Erskine said that Davis was employed by a Fortune 500 company with a facility in Atlanta.
When Davis reported having COVID-19, the corporation closed its facility for cleaning and paid its employees during the shutdown. Prosecutor said it cost the company more than $100,000.
This caused a significant financial loss to the corporation and the unnecessary quarantine of the defendant’s coworkers,” officials said.
The company’s human resources manager reviewed the medical excuse letter Davis sent and saw some indications of fraud, the FBI agent’s statement says. What Davis claimed to be hospital records were not signed and didn’t appear to be on official letterhead.
The company called the hospital where Davis said he’d been tested and found out that it wasn’t doing COVID-19 tests.
Officials said that during the investigation, agents uncovered a previous incident where Davis submitted fake documents to support a claim for bereavement leave. Davis said his child died, when in fact, the child never existed.
While on pretrial release for the case, officials said Davis submitted a mortgage application with fake information about his earnings and employment history.
Davis was sentenced to serve three years in prison and ordered to pay $187,550 in restitution to his former employer. He will also have to serve five years on supervised release.
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