A former agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agreed to pay the government $40,000 to settle allegations he took more than 80 paid sick days while pretending to have cancer.
During the first six months of 2009, while working as a criminal investigator in the ATF San Francisco branch, Douglas daCosta told his bosses he was undergoing treatment for cancer, taking more than 80 days off from work before retiring that June.
According to federal investigators from the Department of Justice, daCosta never had cancer and never underwent treatment.
“Federal agents must be held to answer when they breach the public’s trust,” said Special Agent in Charge Elise Chawaga of the DOJ Office of Inspector General’s Fraud Detection Office. “The Office of the Inspector General remains vigilant in its effort to uncover government waste, fraud and abuse and to recover all ill-gotten gains.”
Government officials also alleged daCosta forged a doctor’s note in order to get the paid sick leave and was moonlighting at a private sector job during this time off.