Jeffrey Travis Long an Inman, South Carolina man and Sitel Corporation call center worker arrested over fake coronavirus doctor note causing work shutdown & school panic.
A South Carolina man has been accused of using a fake doctor’s note claiming he had coronavirus, leading to his place of work to shut down for five days while it was sanitized along w/ creating panic after visiting his kids in school while ‘sick.’
Jeffrey Travis Long, 31, of Inman, was arrested on Thursday and charged with breach of peace and forgery, Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said during a news conference.
The sheriff said Long worked at Sitel Corporation, a call center in Spartanburg County.
‘He just wanted a two week vacation,’ Wright said of the suspect FOXCarolina reported.
Long was granted a $10,000 bond and fined $200.
The company said in a statement that Long is no longer employed there.
According to an incident report, Long showed his employer a forged doctor’s excuse from a VA hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, purportedly showing he had tested positive for COVID-19.
That prompted Sitel to shut down its facility for several days for sanitizing.
But there’s more.
School panic ensued:
According to authorities, Long also visited a school his children attend, causing officials there to
panic worry that other children and families had been exposed.
‘I don’t know the dollar number it cost to disinfect their whole entire building, but it was a large number,’ Wright said.
‘It wasn’t a hundred bucks. It was more than that.’
Hospital officials told investigators they had not seen Long within the previous two weeks, and his note did not have an official stamp from the facility, Wright said.
According to Inman Police Chief Keith Tucker, the hospital Long claimed to have seen him was not even conducting COVID-19 tests at the time.
Authorities said Long was arrested and booked into the Spartanburg County Detention Center.
‘It seems to me like the fella just wanted a two-week, paid vacation,’ Wright said.
‘You can’t do this to people.’
Come Thursday, Sitel Corporation released a statement via WSPA-TV: ‘On March 13, we reported to authorities that an employee at our Spartanburg, South Carolina site self-reported testing positive for COVID-19.
‘Once reported, we immediately evacuated employees from the Spartanburg site and conducted rigorous sanitization of the entire facility.
‘Today, the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office alerted Sitel that this employee made fraudulent claims about testing positive for COVID-19.
‘Based on these fraudulent claims, the Spartanburg Sheriff’s Office has issued an arrest warrant for this individual.
‘The individual is no longer employed at Sitel.
‘We are currently working in close partnership with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, and since this is an ongoing investigation, we will direct any requests for statements or information about this investigation to the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.
‘At this time, our focus is on the safety and wellbeing of our employees who returned to work at our Spartanburg site on Wednesday, March 18th, 2020.’
As of Friday, South Carolina had reported a total of 125 COVID-19 cases across the state, with two new deaths, bringing the statewide total to three. According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, both of the patients were elderly and had underlying health conditions.