A former employee of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in New York allegedly pretended to have cancer to get extra days off, including some vacation time that was donated to him by fellow HUD employees.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York, Timothy Oravec is accused of defrauding HUD and some of its employees out of their vacation days by falsely claiming to have cancer.
Court documents show that Oravec is former employee of HUD in Albany, New York.
The indictment alleges that in 2013, Oravec lied to his supervisors and co-workers about having been diagnosed with cancer and asked for time off from work to deal with his diagnosis.
As a result of Oravec’s alleged claims, he was approved as a recipient of donated leave as part of a voluntary leave transfer program that HUD offers to its employees.
According to court documents, HUD employees donated 694 hours (more than 4 months) of their vacation time to Oravec.
Oravec then allegedly used most of that donated vacation time to miss work, while being paid more than $24,000 in salary during that time.
The indictment also alleges that, in furtherance of the scheme, Oravec faked letters from multiple medical providers to back up his diagnosis and gave those fake letters to his HUD supervisors.
The letters supposedly described the treatment that Oravec was receiving for his cancer, but Oravec was allegedly not under the care of any of those medical professionals and created the letters himself.
If he is convicted, Oravec faces as many as 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a maximum term of post-imprisonment supervised release of 3 years.