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Feds: Man lied about COVID-19 diagnosis

Davis charged with defrauding employer

ATLANTA — A Georgia man faces charges after authorities say he lied to his employer that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

Santwon Antonio Davis, 34, is charged with defrauding his employer, the U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta said in a news release Thursday. Because Davis said he’d tested positive, his employer had to shut down its plant for sanitizing and put several other employees on paid leave while they quarantined, causing the company a loss of more than $100,000, prosecutors said.

He had his initial court appearance Thursday and was granted bond, according to online court records. A telephone number for Davis could not be found, and his lawyer did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Davis worked for an unidentified Fortune 500 company with a plant in the Atlanta area, prosecutors said. On March 12 and 13, the company held mandatory training on how employees could access information on COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on its website. Employees were told they would receive paid time off to quarantine if they tested positive.

A week later, Davis got a call at work and told his supervisors his mother, with whom he lived, had been exposed to someone who’d tested positive for COVID-19 and had been told to self-quarantine, according to a sworn statement from an FBI agent filed in court. His supervisor said Davis could continue working because that was a “low risk” exposure, but he checked out early, saying he was worried about his mother.

The next day, Friday, March 20, Davis texted his supervisor to say his mother had developed symptoms overnight and they were waiting for her test results, the agent’s statement says. Again, his supervisor said he could work because that was a “low risk” exposure, but Davis didn’t show up for work.

Over that weekend, Davis texted his supervisor on Saturday to say his mom had tested positive for COVID-19 and that he had a fever and again on Sunday saying that he’d tested positive, the agent’s statement says. That Sunday evening, the supervisor asked Davis to send him a copy of his test results and explained that if Davis had COVID-19 the company would have to shut for cleaning and other employees who’d worked closely with him would have to quarantine.

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