SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Deputies say a man is facing charges after falsely claiming to have coronavirus, which led to the shutdown of a company in Spartanburg.

Sitel Corp. employee, Jeffery Travis Long, falsely claimed he had COVID-19, causing the company to shut down for 5 days, according to Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright.

“Seems to me like the fellow just wanted a two-week paid vacation,” Sheriff Chuck Wright said during a press conference Thursday.

Photo of forged doctors note (Courtesy of the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office)

The Sheriff says Long used a forged doctor’s excuse and submitted the excuse to his child’s school in Inman.

Long’s primary care doctor confirmed he had not visited the medical center in the past two weeks and did not have a confirmed case of coronavirus. Additionally, the doctor confirmed that the submitted letter was a fraud, according to a report from the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.

Sitel Corp. released a statement on Thursday regarding the incident, stating that Long is no longer employed at the company:

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. 

The company also confirmed in a letter to employees that there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the Sitel Spartanburg site.

Long has been charged with breach of peace and forgery by the Inman Police Department in connection with the letter sent to the school.

The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said they are continuing to investigate the letter given to Sitel and are waiting on documentation from the VA.

He is being held in the Spartanburg County Detention Center on $10,200 bond.