Georgia man who lied to employer about having Covid pleads guilty

An Atlanta man who earlier this year falsely claimed to his employer that he had been diagnosed with Covid-19 pleaded guilty to a wire fraud charge Monday, federal prosecutors said.

The claim cost the company about $100,000 because the company had temporarily close its facility and have four co-workers quarantine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia said.

Santwon Antonio Davis, 35, who was charged in May, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Davis “caused unnecessary economic loss to his employer and distress to his coworkers and their families,” Byung J. “BJay” Pak, U.S. attorney for the district, said in a statement.

A federal public defender listed as representing Davis did not immediately return a request for comment Monday night.

The company was not named in court documents but was called a Fortune 500 company that employed Davis at its plant.

According to an indictment, Davis and other workers were told in March that if they had Covid-19, they would get paid time off to quarantine.

About a week later, Davis told his supervisor that his mother had tested positive for the virus and that he did as well, according to an FBI affidavit filed in the case.

But an excuse letter he submitted to the company was false, and the medical center told the company that he was never a patient, according to the affidavit. Prosecutors have said he later admitted he was not infected.

Davis also pleaded guilty to a bank fraud charge that involves a mortgage application that contained false statements about his earnings, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Sentencing has not been scheduled. Prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence of three years in prison, according to a plea agreement.

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