ATF Agent Faked Cancer To Steal Sick Leave

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A former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agent must pay the federal government $40,000 to settle claims he faked cancer to steal sick leave pay, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday.

Douglas daCosta, a former criminal investigator for ATF’s San Francisco field division, told his supervisors from January, 2009, until his retirement in June, 2009, he had to take time off for extensive cancer treatment. He worked a second private-sector job during that time, according to the DOJ. DaCosta forged doctor’s note to claim more than 80 days of paid sick leave, but never had cancer, according to the DOJ.

“When a law enforcement officer misuses taxpayer funds, he does a disservice to his colleagues who serve with professionalism and distinction,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said in a statement. “This settlement shows that we will not hesitate to hold individuals accountable if they misuse taxpayer funds.”

The DOJ didn’t say if daCosta retired before or after the federal government began investigating him. The DOJ also didn’t say when ATF hired him, or what private-sector job he held. (RELATED: ATF Is Illegally Hoarding Gun Owner’s Information)

The DOJ’s Office of Inspector General and the DOJ Civil Division Commercial Litigation Branch handled the case.

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