An American woman who faked a pregnancy to get some time off work was rumbled after a co-worker spotted her fake baby bump.
Robin Folsom, 43, earned about $100,000 (about £74k) as Director of External Affairs at Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA), supervising the agency’s marketing and media communications.
She told her bosses at GVRA that she was pregnant, and arranged to take maternity leave.
However, Folsom’s plan began to unravel when a co-worker saw something suspicious and blew the whistle.
According to a statement from the office of Georgia State Inspector General Scott McAfee, an investigation “revealed that in March 2021, a co-worker observed the lower portion of Folsom’s stomach ‘come away’ from her body," leading her to believe that Folsom wore a fake pregnancy stomach.”
Folsom even invented a fake dad for her baby, a man named named “Bran Otmembebwe”.
But McAfee said: “We ultimately didn’t find any evidence that he existed. That’s why she’s also been charged with identity fraud”.
After “giving birth,” Folsom sent baby photos to several co-workers, but they didn’t all appear to be of the sam baby.
The images “depicted children with varying skin tones,” a release from the Inspector General’s office stated.
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Folsom had told her employers that she had given birth once before, in July 2020, before getting pregnant again in August 2021. But investigators could find no official records of Folsom having given birth and her medical insurance records didn’t show any charges for prenatal exams or a delivery.
Folsom resigned from the GVRA last October, shortly after being interviewed about the fake pregnancies, the release said.
Folsom has been charged with three counts of making false statements and one count of identity fraud after a local grand jury indicted her, state Attorney General Chris Carr announced this week.
After the charges were made public, McAfee commented: “All state employees, and especially those that communicate with the media and general public on behalf on their agency, should be held to the highest standards of integrity and honesty."
“Fraud by state employees will not be tolerated,” Attorney General Carr said in a statement.
“By working with Georgia’s independent inspector general," he added, "we were able to discover, investigate and put an end to this alleged deception. We will always stand up to protect taxpayer dollars, and we look forward to presenting our case in court.”
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