A former federal employee living in the Hudson Valley is accused of faking cancer to receive paid days off from work.

On Tuesday, Timothy J. Oravec, 59, of Poughkeepsie was arrested for allegedly defrauding the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and some of its employees by falsely claiming to have cancer and obtaining and using leave time donated to him by his colleagues.

The indictment alleges that in 2013, while working for HUD in Albany, Oravec falsely told his supervisors and coworkers that he was diagnosed with cancer which would cause him to miss work.

Oravec was approved as a recipient of donated leave as part of a voluntary leave transfer program operated by HUD. Other HUD employees donated 694 hours of their vacation time to Oravec. He used most of the donated vacation time to miss work while being paid over $24,000 in salary, officials say.

The indictment also alleges Oravec fabricated letters from multiple medical providers and gave those fabricated letters to his supervisors.

However, Oravec was not under the care and treatment of the providers and created the letters himself, prosecutors say.

If convicted, Oravec faces up to 20 years in prison.

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