Robin Folsom: Former Georgia official faked two pregnancies for paid maternity leave
Former Georgia official Robin Folsom faked being pregnant to avail paid maternity leave but her scheme was exposed when a coworker noticed her baby bump was fake. The 43-year-old asked an individual to send an email to her bosses claiming to be the father of the child and stating that Folsom was under doctor's orders for several weeks of rest following the delivery. As a result, she received seven weeks of paid maternity leave.
Folsom, who was the Director of External Affairs for the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, had informed the agency that she first gave birth in July 2020, and got pregnant again in August 2021. But there were no official records of her having given birth. During the investigation, it was also found out that Folsom's co-worker saw the lower portion of Folsom's stomach "come away" from her body and believed Folsom wore a fake baby bump.
Folsom used to send her coworkers pictures of her supposed newborn but the images were "inconsistent" and "depicted children with varying skin tones". Bran Otmembebwe, the father of her supposed child, was allegedly a made-up person, but when confronted by the investigators in October 2021, Folsom revealed that he really existed.
"Robin Folsom, former Director of External Affairs for the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA), has been indicted by a Fulton County grand jury. In October 2020, Folsom informed the human resources division that she was pregnant, and eventually announced that she had given birth in May 2021. GVRA leadership later received an email from an individual claiming to be the father of the child and stating that Folsom had been mandated several weeks of rest following the delivery. As a result, GVRA approved approximately seven weeks of paid FMLA leave that it otherwise would not have approved," read the statement by the Georgia Office of the Inspector General.
"OIG's investigation revealed that in March 2021, a co-worker observed the lower portion of Folsom’s stomach "come away" from her body and believed Folsom wore a fake pregnant stomach. In addition, Folsom allegedly sent pictures of her new baby to various GVRA employees, however, the pictures appeared to be inconsistent and depicted children with varying skin tones. Folsom had previously reported the birth of a child in July 2020, and claimed she was again pregnant in August 2021," it continued.
"OIG learned that the State Office of Vital Records did not possess any birth certificate listing Folsom as a mother, and a review of medical and insurance records found no indication that Folsom had ever delivered a child. Folsom resigned in October 2021 shortly after an interview with OIG investigators. On February 10, 2022, Robin Folsom, 43, of Atlanta, Georgia, was indicted by a Fulton County grand jury of four felony counts: three counts of False Statements and one count of Identity Fraud. The Georgia Office of the Attorney General is prosecuting the case," the release concluded.
Folsom is charged with three counts of making false statements and one count of identity fraud, announced the state Attorney General Chris Carr. "Fraud by state employees will not be tolerated. By working with Georgia's independent Inspector General, 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," Carr said in his statement.
If convicted, Folsom faces up to 10 years in prison for identity fraud and up to five years in prison for each charge of making false statements, reported Bradenton Herald.