A metro car dealer said they were duped by an employee using a fake COVID-19 doctor’s note.
Kalidy Kia said the man came to management appearing to cough, asking to get a COVID-19 test. However, the letter management got back from “Dr. Marty Nartin” seemed a bit off.
“I Googled the doctors name, it was kind of an unusual name, turns out there was not a doctor under that name,” General Manager Corey Suter said.
The letter said the employee visited the INTEGRIS Health Center mid-November. “He/she was examined by me during his visit,” the note said. “I have instructed him/her to remain off from work/school for a fourteen-day period. During this period, he/she will remain under my strict supervision.”
Suter said aside from the thousands of dollars the man was attempting to get paid for unearned time off, the letter caused several employees to quarantine and get tested due to an exposure with the employee.
“Just that kind of domino effect from someone claiming that they have the virus, it’s very frustrating that it had an impact on our business and it was all for naught,” Suter said.
The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires employees who test positive receive two weeks off at the their regular rate of pay.
“Rumors started circulating that maybe he was on vacation in the Bahamas,” the GM said.
As for “Doctor Marty Nartin,” INTEGRIS said they’ve never heard of him.
“We are not familiar with the provider and he is not affiliated with INTEGRIS health,” a spokeswoman said.
Earlier this year, prosecutors charged an Atlanta man with defrauding his fortune 500 employer by providing a fake positive COVID-19 test.
“The defendant caused unnecessary economic loss to his employer and distress to his coworkers and their families,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak.
That fraud charge carries a fine and up to 5 years in prison.
“I have friends and family members that have died from COVID-19 and so to bring something like that into play just to miss work, I think it’s very callous and I was very disappointed,” Suter said.