An enterprising medical worker from Louisiana allegedly engaged in an illegal side-gig selling phony doctor's notes to teens who wanted to play hooky from school.
Belinda Gail Fondren, 52, was arrested and charged last month with filing or maintaining false public records, the Vernon Parish Sheriff Department said. Students knew exactly who to turn to when they wanted to skip class — Fondren sold the medical excuses for $20 apiece, according to the Vernon Parish Sheriff.
Fondren had two student clients at Evans High School who purchased the falsified records on a total of 14 occasions, detective Rhonda Jordan told CBS News. That would have earned her $280 in cash, a sum hardly worth a possible five-year prison sentence.
Mike Kay, assistant superintendent of the Vernon Parish Schools Board, said he was aware that "a couple of students were involved" but that neither remains in the school system. He said Fondren's daughter was a student at Evans but is no longer enrolled.
Fondren worked in a clerical capacity for a physician, who was contacted by the school board about the absence notes. The physician told the sheriff's department that he had not treated the students nor authorized the excusals, Jordan said.