A highly-paid former state official accused of faking three pregnancies has pleaded guilty to identify fraud and making false statements.
Robin Folsom was the former director of external affairs for the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency. Folsom left her job as the top communications official at the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA) after being charged with four felony counts of trying to defraud the state earlier this year.
The head of the state agency that uncovered the scam told Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Richard Belcher that he’s never seen such a case and doesn’t expect to see another like it.
Belcher was at the state Capitol, where records show that Folsom earned an annual salary of about $100,000 as the top communications officer at the state’s vocational rehab agency.
[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]
According to prosecutors, Folsom faked two pregnancies between October 2019 and May 2021 and was granted 265 hours of leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, which added up to thousands of dollars in paid time off.
Folsom’s alleged scheme began to unravel in March 2021 when a GVRA co-worker noticed that Folsom was wearing what appeared to be a fake pregnancy costume under her clothes. In May 2021, prosecutors said Folsom created a fictitious identity for the alleged father of her alleged children, and she subsequently shared the false information with GVRA to request time off for the alleged birth of her second child.
[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]
“We’re talking about three pregnancies that were faked,” State inspector general Scott McAfee said. “We’re talking about a completely fictitious email account she used to email the director of an agency and lie about what was happening, and this person was completely made up.”
In court, Folsom’s attorney said she wanted to accept responsibility for the crimes and move forward with her life in the most private way that she can.
She pleaded guilty to four felonies and was sentenced to five years on probation and a psychiatric evaluation followed by any treatment deemed necessary.
The judge also ordered her to pay $12,307 in restitution to the State of Georgia.
McAfee aged the vocational rehab agency and in particular the whistleblower for how they handled the strange case.
“The vast majority of our state employees would never dream of something like this, but for those who do, we’re going to hold them accountable,” McAfee.