An Atlanta man faces 3 years in prison and nearly $200,000 in fines after submitting a fake COVID-19 test to his employer.
Santwon Antonio Davis, 35, reportedly submitted a fraudulent positive COVID-19 test in May 2020, according to the Justice Department.
As a result, his employer — an unidentified Fortune 500 company — shut down, causing a loss of more than $100,000, the department said.
"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 in a statement. "We will take quick action through the Georgia COVID-19 Task Force to put a stop to coronavirus-related fraud schemes."
The investigation uncovered other crimes, including fraudulent documentation from Davis to get benefits from his employer. In the fall of 2019, he submitted false paperwork to support paid bereavement leave for the death of his child — a child who never existed.
"Davis' streak of lies ended when he took advantage of a pandemic to cause undue harm to the company he worked for and their employees," Chris Hacker, special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta, said in the statement. "The FBI and our federal and state partners remain vigilant in detecting, investigating and prosecuting any fraud related to this crisis we are all facing."
Davis pleaded guilty in December to a wire fraud charge related to a scheme to defraud his employer as well as to a charge related to mortgage fraud. He also admitted to submitting a fake COVID-19 test, and to other fraud offenses that were uncovered during the investigation.
Davis's case is just one example of COVID-related fraud seen nationwide. More than 20 people nationwide have reportedly been charged in connection with an $11 million fraud scheme to exploit the COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program, using the money to buy luxury items like cars and jewelry.
Davis's case is being investigated by the FBI.
Justice.gov: "Atlanta man pleads guilty for misrepresenting a COVID-19 test to his employer."
Clickondetroit.com: "3 Metro Detroiters, 19 others charged in $11 million COVID payment protection fraud scheme."