A Colorado woman who faked cancer to take paid leave from her job as a postal worker must spend 652 hours doing community service at a cancer treatment center, research center or hospice, and pay a $10,000 fine as well as $20,798.38 in restitution to the U.S. Postal Service. Caroline Zarate Boyle, 60, learned of her fate on Tuesday after she plead guilty without a plea agreement in April.

According to a news release, investigators discovered that Boyle, who once accused a subordinate of faking cancer and denied the employee’s request for accommodations, forged notes from two different doctors about treatment related to non-Hodgkins lymphoma. In total she was granted 112 days of sick leave, was allowed to work part-time or from home and received paid administrative leave.


She was caught after an interview with the Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in February 2017, during which she revealed that she was planning on continuing to take time off until her scheduled retirement in April 2017. According to the news release, Boyle said she decided to take time off from work after being passed over for a promotion.

“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,” OIG Special Agent in Charge Scott Pierce said, in the news release.

In addition to the penalties, Boyle was sentenced to 5 years’ probation with the first 6 months in home confinement.