She Announced Her Pregnancy. Then, 'Something Baffling'

Ga. government worker indicted after allegedly faking she was with child for paid leave
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2022 8:10 AM CST
Government Worker Accused of Faking Pregnancy for Time Off
Even just faking a pregnancy sounds exhausting.   (Getty Images/morrowlight)

It seems it would be an elaborate scheme to fake one pregnancy, let alone several. But that's exactly what a government worker in Georgia is accused of doing, allegedly to secure paid time off. A release out of the state's Office of the Inspector General says 43-year-old Robin Folsom, now the ex-director of external affairs for the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, informed HR in October 2020 that she was pregnant; she told her office she'd had the baby on May 1, 2021. The Washington Post cites an indictment in reporting that five days later, a man named Bran Otmembebwe contacted the GVRA via email, said he was the father of Folsom's baby, and said Folsom had been ordered "several weeks of rest" to recover from childbirth.

Due to that correspondence, the GVRA OKed about seven weeks of paid leave for Folsom that "it otherwise would not have approved." But Folsom's story came apart, per the indictment. Two months prior to the supposed birth, a co-worker had noticed "something baffling," notes WSB. The co-worker saw "the lower portion of Folsom's stomach 'come away' from her body," leading the colleague to think Folsom had on a phony pregnancy belly, the release notes. Suspicions were further raised when Folsom shared photos of the baby with co-workers, which "appeared to be inconsistent and depicted children with varying skin tones," per the release. Authorities say Folsom also had said she'd given birth in July 2020, and that she claimed in August 2021 she was pregnant yet again.

An investigation by the state's OIG established that Otmembebwe didn't exist, State Inspector General Scott McAfee tells WSB. Further probing uncovered that there were no birth certificates on file with the state that had Folsom listed as a mother, and there were no insurance or medical records indicating she had given birth. Folsom, who resigned in October after OIG investigators confronted her and she refused to modify her story, was indicted last week by a Fulton County grand jury on one count of identity fraud and three counts of making false statements, all felonies. She could see up to 25 years in prison if convicted, as well as be made to pay more than $100,000 in fines. (Read more pregnancy stories.)

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