A former Washington state social worker has been accused of faking brain cancer to avoid work.

Theft charges were filed Tuesday against 40-year-old Sandra Dee Martinez, formerly of Mountlake Terrace, who was employed by the Department of Social and Health Services in Arlington.

According to investigators, Martinez presented fake letters that appeared to be from doctors saying she had malignant brain tumors. Prosecutors wrote that she received $21,000 worth of paid leave and took advantage of sick days donated by co-workers last year.

Prosecutors wrote that Martinez came under scrutiny after using a neighbor's computer and leaving one of the letters on the printer.

Arlington Police Chief John Gray says Martinez has moved to another state and won't speak with investigators.

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