In an act of brazen fraud, one postal worker faked having cancer to essentially get out of two years of work.
The Washington Post reports that Caroline Boyle, 60, of Aurora, Colorado was on sick leave from her work at the local United States Postal Service office for two years while claiming to be battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Boyle was authorized to engage in “compassionate teleworking” rather than coming into the office and was allowed to routinely leave even this work environment for long periods of time for fabricated daily doctor visits. She was arrested earlier this year when USPS investigators discovered her fraud.
The USPS began cursory investigations into Boyle after they realized she had exhausted all of her sick days.
Evidence of her wrongdoing was first suspected when investigator noticed that the note Boyle had originally given to the post office years earlier detailing her disease had the name of the doctor misspelled and a sloppy signature.
As one Justice Department official observed, “If you’re going to defraud the government with a doctor’s note, make sure to spell the name right.”
Investigators then used a search warrant to discover that her medical records showed no sign of her having cancer.
When confronted, Boyle confessed to USPS investigators that she had been falsely claiming to have cancer. She had been planning to continue the deception until her retirement in the April of next year.
It was also revealed through the course of the investigation that prior to the fraud, Boyle had denied an employee her extended sick leave and accused her of lying when they were actually battling cancer.
On Tuesday, Boyle was convicted of fraud and will have to pay nearly $21,000 in restitution for the money she received while on sick leave, as well as a $10,000 fine. She was also sentenced to six months of house arrest.
In addition, the judge ordered her to serve 652 hours — the number of hours she took off from work — of community service at a cancer treatment center, cancer research center or hospice.