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Georgia state official accused of faking pregnancies to get out of work, collect pay

A colleague reported seeing the lower portion of Robin Folsom’s stomach “come away” from her body, state officials said. A review of records found no sign that she delivered a real child.
/ Source: Associated Press

ATLANTA — A state official is accused of faking multiple pregnancies and using at least one of those ruses to get out of work and be paid for the time off.

A Fulton County grand jury indicted Robin Folsom, former director of external affairs for the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, on three felony counts of making false statements. She’s also charged with one count of identity fraud, also a felony.

Folsom, 43, had supervised the agency’s marketing and media communications.

In October 2020, Folsom told human resources officials that she was pregnant, and then announced that she had given birth in May 2021, according to the state Office of the Inspector General. A man claiming to be the child’s father later emailed the agency, claiming that Folsom needed several weeks of rest after the birth. The agency approved about seven weeks of paid leave.

But the scheme soon began to unravel, the inspector general’s office said.

A co-worker reported seeing the lower portion of Folsom’s stomach “come away” from her body and shared with investigators a belief that Folsom wore a fake pregnancy stomach. She also sent pictures of her new baby to agency employees, and the pictures seemed to depict children “with varying skin tones,” the inspector general’s office said in a statement.

Ultimately, a review of medical and insurance records found no sign that Folsom delivered a real child.

She had earlier reported the birth of a child in July 2020, and claimed she was again pregnant in August 2021, authorities said.

Folsom resigned in October 2021, shortly after being interviewed by state investigators.

“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,” State Inspector General Scott McAfee said in a statement.

The Georgia Attorney General’s Office will prosecute the case.

“Fraud by state employees will not be tolerated,” Attorney General Chris Carr said. “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.”

It wasn’t known Thursday whether Folsom has an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison for identity fraud and up to five years in prison for each charge of making false statements.