SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Timothy J. Oravec, age 60, formerly an employee at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Albany, New York, was sentenced yesterday afternoon to serve four months imprisonment and three years of supervised release by Senior United States District Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. for committing wire fraud as part of a scheme to defraud the United States and HUD employees by falsely claiming that he had cancer and receiving and using leave time donated to him by his coworkers. The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge for HUD’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), Northeast Region.
As part of his previous guilty plea, Oravec admitted that in 2013 he created a number of letters that purported to be from medical providers at two facilities that treat cancer patients and provided those fabricated letters to his management at HUD to support his assertion that he was then under care and treatment for cancer when that was not the case. He also admitted that he applied for and was accepted into HUD’s Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (“VLTP”), which permits HUD employees with a qualifying medical condition to receive donations of annual leave from other HUD employees and use that leave to take paid time off. Oravec received leave donations from HUD employees through the VLTP and used that donated time to take paid leave, resulting in salary payments to which he was not entitled. Oravec’s scheme was discovered after a HUD supervisor in 2018 questioned a subsequent fraudulent doctor’s note in support of a request for sick leave.
This case was investigated by HUD’s Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG) and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Gadarian.