Georgia Woman Charged With Faking Pregnancy For Paid Maternity Leave

Source: Twitter/balleralert

People will fake all sorts of ailments in order to get out of work. College students will fake a cold in order to get out of classes, adults will call off in order to go to a football game. One woman out of Georgia has allegedly taken the ruse of illness to get out of work one step further, though, and is now facing the consequences of it.

Maternity Leave for a State Employee

Maternity leave in the United States is a tricky subject, with many states not offering any paid leave at all. The patchwork of laws regarding parental leave is inconsistent at best, and it’s an evergreen talking point for those who want to discuss income inequality in the country.

Source: Flickr/Warren LeMay

Some states and companies do provide maternity leave, though. Government and state employees in particular tend to have more extensive benefits to paid leave than other workers, and one state employee out of Georgia, Robin Folsom, went out of her way to game the system.

Robin Fulsom: Charged with False Statements and Identity Theft

Robin is currently under investigation and charges of false statements and identity theft, for claiming to be pregnant in order to gain seven weeks of paid maternity leave. At the time, Robin was the Executive Director at the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, and allegedly told elaborate lies to her coworkers and supervisors about being pregnant.

Source: WSBTV/Unsplash/Anastasiia Chepinska

Robin allegedly told her employers about her pregnancy in late 2020, and then “gave birth” in spring of 2021. Throughout her supposed pregnancy, Robin did have a “baby bump” that appeared to grow larger with each passing month, but something didn’t seem quite right, and her coworkers quickly grew suspicious.

Robin’s Lies Starting to Tip People Off

A news release regarding the story reveals the details. Evidently, in March of 2021, shortly before Robin “gave birth” to her baby, she witnessed Robin’s pregnant belly “coming away” from her torso. It sparked the suspicion that Robin was not actually pregnant, but was wearing a false pregnant belly.

Source: Unsplash/Suhyeon Choi

Even more suspiciously, after Robin allegedly had the baby, she sent pictures of the baby to her coworkers. While that ordinarily wouldn’t be cause for any sort of suspicion, the pictures of the baby appeared to be inconsistent, both in features and in skin tone.

An Email For Paid Leave

Shortly after Robin allegedly gave birth to the baby in May of 2021, her employers received an email from a man who claimed to be Bran Otmembebwe, stating that he was the father of the baby that Robin had given birth to.

Source: Unsplash/Aditya Romansa

He then went on to state that Robin was recovering from giving birth to the baby, and that her doctors had mandated several weeks of rest following the delivery in order to fully recover from the birth. Due to this email, Robin was granted seven weeks of paid maternity leave.

Robin Was Granted More Leave Than Mandated

State employees in the state of Georgia are typically granted up to twelve weeks of unpaid maternity leave, up to that point. A bill signed on May 5 of that year allowed for up to three weeks of paid leave, but Robin was granted more than either of those state mandated leaves.

Source: Fulton Court / LinkedIn

Robin’s coworkers were confused and suspicious of the birth and Robin’s motivations, though. The State Inspector General in charge of the case, Scott McAfee, credits Robin’s coworkers for bringing the case to his attention and not ignoring their instincts which said that something was off regarding the situation.

An Investigation Begins

When Robin’s co-workers brought their suspicions to their superiors, they started to investigate. What they found was an elaborate lie, starting with the fact that this was not the first time that Robin had claimed to be pregnant.

Source: Unsplash/Juan Encalada

She had claimed pregnancy several times over the years that she had worked at the agency, but when they went to the Office of Vital Records to investigate what had happened to the other children that she had claimed to have, they found that there was no state record of Robin having given birth at all.

Lies Upon Lies Upon Lies

The story that Robin told went even deeper than that, though. After the case was brought to the attention of McAfee and his team, they started to investigate further, starting with the email that had been sent by the alleged father of her newest baby.

Source: WSBTV

No record of a Bran Otmembebwe was ever found, though, and the investigators ultimately concluded that he was an individual that had never existed in the first place. This was the final nail in Robin’s coffin, and after making false statements for several months to investigators, she resigned from the agency in October of 2021.

Robin Ultimately Pled Guilty

The lies that she told the investigators regarding her alleged children and the falsity of the existence of Bran Otmembebwe resulted in Robin being charged with three counts of making false statements to state investigators, as well as identity theft for the man who didn’t exist.

Source: Fulton County Jail

She was charged by a grand jury in February of 2022, and faced trial for her charges in April of that year. There, she pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to five years probation, a light sentence considering she was facing up to 25 years in state prison and a fine of over $100,000.

Not a Charming Story

Robin’s story is a fascinating one of a woman who sought more than she was entitled to by the state. It’s also a glaring example of how some people will take a mile the moment that they’re given an inch, whether that’s in relationships or in the workplace.

Source: Unsplash/Camylla Battani

While there’s a conversation to be had around paid leave in the United States and how unequal it is to other first-world countries around the world, Robin’s story is not one that depicts the importance of paid leave. It’s a story of selfishness and lies, and ultimately, Robin got off easy in light of what she admitted to doing.

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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