DOJ says man lied about COVID-19 results, faces federal charges

Georgia man lies about COVID-19 results, faces federal charges

ATLANTA — The Department of Justice has charged a Georgia man for lying to his bosses about a positive coronavirus test. The alleged lie cost the business more than $100,000, prosecutors said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta filed charges this week against Santwon Antonio Davis, The Associated Press reported.

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Davis, along with other employees at the unnamed Fortune 500 company based in Atlanta, was trained on how to get information about COVID-19 from the company’s website. They were told they would get paid time off if they tested positive, the AP reported.

The next week, Davis called his boss to tell them his mother had been exposed to someone with the virus. The supervisor said Davis could still work because his exposure was “low risk” but he said he was worried about his mother.

The next day, DOJ officials said he told his supervisor that his mother had symptoms and was waiting for her test results. Eventually he said his mother tested positive and then he claimed he was sick, the AP reported.

His supervisor told Davis he needed a copy of the test results.

The company’s human resources manager looked at the letter Davis submitted but said it appeared to be fraudulent. The letter said Davis was discharged in November 2019, but it wasn’t signed and didn’t have formal letterhead, the AP reported. Officials called the hospital at which Davis said he was tested. The hospital said it was not testing for COVID-19.

Company officials asked for more information from Davis, but he didn’t respond, the AP reported. The company shut down the plant to sanitize it out of caution and paid employees who were quarantined due to working closely with Davis, according to the Department of Justice.

Davis later said he did not have the coronavirus.

Davis has been charged with defrauding his employer and the FBI is investigating, according to the Department of Justice.

FILE PHOTO: Masks in boxes sit on a table at a COVID-19 testing site. A Georgia man told his employer he tested positive for the virus, when he didn't. The unnamed company had to shut down and sanitize a plant due to the claim.
FILE PHOTO: Masks in boxes sit on a table at a COVID-19 testing site. A Georgia man told his employer he tested positive for the virus, when he didn't. The unnamed company had to shut down and sanitize a plant due to the claim. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)