Man Pleads Guilty in COVID-19 Doctor's Note Fraud

This wasn't even the worst fraud he committed against his employer.

Santwon Antonio Davis, the man behind one of the most notorious doctors notes in 2020, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

In May 2020, Davis submitted a fake COVID-19 medical excuse to get out of work while working for an unnamed company with a facility located in Atlanta. 

According to the Department of Justice, Davis falsely claimed to have contracted COVID-19 and submitted a falsified medical record to his employer. Companies often have to vet the authenticity of excuses, but amidst a global pandemic is just not the right time -- and once you are exposed, past poor behaviors may come to light. 

Concerned for its employees and customers, the company closed for cleaning, paid its employees during the shutdown, and lost more than $100,000 in the process. Davis also forced the unnecessary quarantine of several coworkers. 

In a statement, U.S. Attorney BJay Pak said, “The defendant caused unnecessary economic loss to his employer and distress to his coworkers and their families.” 

Throughout the COVID-19 fraud investigation, agents uncovered a previous incident in which the defendant submitted fraudulent documentation to obtain benefits from his employer. 

In Fall 2019, Davis “created and submitted false documentation to support a paid bereavement leave claim for the death of his child. This child never existed and was fabricated so that the defendant could obtain benefits to which he was not entitled.”

While on pretrial release for the COVID-19 case, the defendant also submitted a mortgage application with numerous fraudulent statements, including falsified earnings and employment history. The mortgage company discovered the fraud, in part, after seeing the news stories related to his original COVID-19 charge. 

The 35-year-old pleaded guilty to a wire fraud charge related to the scheme to defraud his employer and to a bank fraud charge relating to the mortgage fraud. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled. 

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Davis has served three stints in prison, totaling nearly 18 months in custody, since 2006.

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