A 43-year-old former state employee in Georgia accused of concocting an elaborate sham pregnancy that included a made-up father and pretend baby bump won’t go to prison after she pleaded guilty to criminal charges.
Robin Folsom — who was indicted in February — pleaded guilty to charges of identity theft and making false statements on Monday, April 4, in Fulton County court. A judge sentenced her to five years of probation and 40 hours of community service as a result. She was also ordered to pay $12,307 in restitution.
Folsom is accused of lying about her pregnancies to receive 265 hours of paid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, according to Georgia’s Office of the Attorney General.
“Those who work for the taxpayers of Georgia are expected to uphold high ethical standards and to fulfill their roles in an honest and transparent manner,” Attorney General Chris Carr said in a news release. “State employees who break this trust in the course of their employment will be held accountable for their actions. Fraud and deception committed on state time and in association with one’s job is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
A defense attorney representing Folsom declined to comment in a statement to McClatchy News after the sentencing.
Folsom was the former director of external affairs at the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, or GVRA, which helps residents with disabilities find work and live independently. Posts on the GVRA Facebook page show she was hired in a marketing role in February 2016 but it wasn’t immediately clear when she became director of external affairs or how long she held the position.
The alleged fraud began in July 2020, when Folsom first claimed to have given birth. Three months later, investigators said, she told Human Resources that she was pregnant again.
Folsom said she gave birth a second time in May 2021, at which point the supposed father emailed her employers claiming she needed to take “several weeks of rest following the delivery.” According to the attorney general’s office, Folsom “created a fictitious identity for the alleged father.”
Officials said Folsom then received 265 hours of paid leave that she “would not have otherwise been eligible to receive.”
During the course of the investigation, the State Inspector General’s office said a coworker reported witnessing “the lower portion of Folsom’s stomach ‘come away’ from her body” a few months before she seemingly gave birth. Her colleagues also reportedly told investigators that the pictures she sent seemed to show babies with different skin tones.
Investigators found no record of any birth certificate in which Folsom was listed as the mother, and officials said her medical and insurance records also lacked evidence she ever gave birth.
A grand jury indicted Folsom on one count of identity theft and three counts of making false statements on Feb. 10. She pleaded guilty to all four charges.