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Lymphoma and Pets
TSA Agent Fakes Lymphoma for Five Years to Get Time Off
A former Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent has been freed on bond after being caught having faked a diagnosis of lymphoma for five years.
According to federal court documents and reported by NBC News, Marc Bess Sr., 42, of Riverdale, Ga., not only faked cancer for five years, he also took advantage of more than a year's worth of sick leave that was donated by federal employees.
Under the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program, federal employees can donate unused sick leave to colleagues who need extra time off for serious health conditions.
He was caught when he continued to submit paperwork from a doctor who had died. This doctor never treated Mr. Bess, and Mr. Bess was never diagnosed with any cancer, although he used a variety of means to score time off, including saying he had surgery planned.
Mr. Bess began his scam in 2009 when he submitted documents to his supervisors indicating he had abdominal lymphoma, and that he would need weekly radiation treatment.
Bess "drafted the entire Verification of Treatment letter, including the false diagnosis of cancer, from a template on his home computer, and he forged [the doctor's] signature on the letter," according to the complaint.
In the five years of his scam, Bess accumulated 2,240 hours of paid leave donated by his fellow federal workers, the government said. That amounts to 280 days, or 56 five-day work weeks.
He is due in court May 11 for a plea hearing on charges of embezzlement and theft of public money.