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A customer drops mail into a curbside mailbox Monday, Dec. 5, 2011, at a post office in Seattle. The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service said Monday it is seeking to move quickly to close 252 mail processing centers and slow first-class delivery next spring, citing steadily declining mail volume. The cuts are part of $3 billion in reductions aimed at helping the agency avert bankruptcy next year. The plant closures are expected to result in the elimination of roughly 28,000 jobs nationwide. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

A postal worker who faked cancer was sentenced to community service with cancer patients


A Colorado postal worker who faked cancer to get out of work was ordered by a U.S. District Court judge to spend 652 hours doing community service at a cancer treatment center, The Denver Post reports. The 652 hours of community service represent the number of hours of unneeded sick leave she took.

In addition to that dose of poetic justice, 60-year-old Caroline Zarate Boyle was sentenced to five years of probation, which will include six months of house arrest, and was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

Boyle also owes the U.S. Postal Service $20,798.38 in restitution fees because she forged doctors notes, lied about having non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and took sick leave until she retired.

USPS investigators caught on to Boyle's elaborate ruse when she misspelled a doctor's name in a note saying that she was receiving cancer treatment. She reportedly confessed to forging the doctor's notes after USPS investigators confronted her with proof.

In addition, The Washington Post reports that a subordinate whom Boyle falsely accused of faking cancer testified against her in court. That employee, however, did have cancer and testified that Boyle denied her requests to work from home or take extended sick leave.

Court records show that Boyle admitted to hatching the plan when she was passed over for a promotion in 2015.

USPS officials released a statement condemning Boyle's actions.

"This type of behavior within the Postal Service is not tolerated and the overwhelming majority of Postal Service employees, which serve the public, are honest, hardworking, and trustworthy individuals who would never consider engaging in any type of criminal behavior,” executive special agent in charge Scott Pierce said in a statement.

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