DENVER — A postal worker who faked cancer to avoid going to work won’t have to worry about coming to work anymore, but 60-year old Caroline Boyle might have to worry about spending up to 10 years in federal prison.
The Highlands Ranch woman pleaded guilty Friday to a single count of forgery. Prosecutors say she faked cancer beginning in June 2015 so she could claim 112 sicks days and be allowed to work from home.
Investigators with the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General discovered Boyle was forging doctors’ notes and even misspelled the name of the oncologist she was supposedly receiving treatment from.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney, Boyle decided to take some time off work after she was not selected for a promotion she had sought.
“To take the time off, she told her supervisor that she was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. She then began to take substantial amounts of sick leave,” according to the statement.
In June, investigators began reviewing a doctor’s note that said Boyle was being treated for lymphoma at Anova Cancer Center in Lone Tree.
The note included a forged signature of Dr. Gregg Dickerson that misspelled his name. Anova administrators told federal agents that Boyle was not a patient of the clinic or Dickerson.
Investigators found additional doctor’s notes from Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers in Lone Tree. But administrators said she was never a patient.
Boyle had worked for the post office since 1991, most recently as a purchasing specialist at a contracting and procurement center in Aurora.
She did not have any customer-facing roles with the USPS.
“This type of behavior within the Postal Service is not tolerated and the overwhelming majority of Postal Service employees who serve the public, are honest, hardworking, and trustworthy individuals who would never consider engaging in this type of criminal behavior,” the USPS said in a statement.
“Boyle continued the ruse until she was interviewed by an agent of the Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General. It was determined in the approximate 20 months that the defendant’s fraud lasted, she used her non-existent cancer treatment to support both unwarranted sick leave and unwarranted accommodations allowing her to work part-time or work from home five days a week.
“The defendant intended to continue using the fake illness until her scheduled retirement in April 2017. Despite claiming the cancer treatment had her too sick to work a regular schedule or come into the office, Boyle was planning a post-retirement cruise in Hawaii.”
Boyle has been placed in an unpaid, nonduty status pending the final outcome of the investigation. She will be sentenced on July 25.