VA Fraud Waste And Abuse Update

Posted: September 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

VAMC Aurora CO – A federal grand jury in Denver indicted year old 35 Sharon Jones19 JUL on charges of attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud. Federal prosecutors say she stole pain killers from patients at the Denver Veterans Affairs hospital where she worked as a nurse. According to the indictment, Jones stole Oxycodone tablets from Aug. 16, 2010, to Sept. 14, 2010. ―Taking pain medicine from those in need is not only criminal, it is unconscionable,‖ said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. If convicted, Jones faces up to four years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine for each of the 35 counts against her. [Source: Aurora Sentinel Brandon Johansson article 28 Jul 2011 ++]

DOL VETS – Raymond Jefferson, who headed the Department of Labor's Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) since 2009, resigned 2 AUG. According to a 21 JUL report by the agency's acting inspector general, Jefferson used his position to coerce or intimidate other employees to make the awards without open competition. A former Army officer who lost all five fingers on his left hand when a hand grenade detonated prematurely during Special Forces training, Jefferson was tapped by President Barack Obama to head the office that helps veterans find jobs and employment training programs. The report said that Jefferson and other lower ranking officials engaged in conduct "which reflects a consistent disregard of federal procurement rules and regulations, federal ethics principles and the proper stewardship of appropriated dollars." The investigation was prompted after a whistleblower reported irregularities last year to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO). McCaskill, who heads a Senate subcommittee that oversees government contracting, said she doesn't fault the Obama administration for appointing Jefferson, given his impressive resume. But she plans to take a hard look at what she sees as wasteful management consultant contracts that appear to offer little benefit to government agencies. [Source: Associated Press| Sam Hananel article 1 Aug 2011 ++]

Mobile AL – A federal judge sentenced a contract postal worker from Conecuh County to 5 years‘ probation 4 AUG for stealing prescription drugs that had been mailed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade also ordered substance abuse treatment for Derek Wayne Reed, who pleaded guilty in May to theft or receipt of stolen mail. The plea came the same month the Reed was to stand trial in U.S. District Court. The previous month, a jury had deadlocked on the charges. Reed, who worked as a driver for a contractor hired to move mail among postal facilities, admitted that he stole 90 hydrocodone pills from the mail stream at the Monroeville post office in July. Authorities have said they began investigating after veterans complained they did not receive prescription medication from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The indictment accused Reed of taking prescription drugs 3 other times from the Evergreen post office in 2010 — May 21, June 10 and June 16. At the previous trial, prosecutors showed a surveillance video they contended showed Reed moving packages of Lortab from a bin to his truck in May 2010 at the Evergreen post office. Defense attorney Bill Scully argued that it is impossible to tell from the video what the package contained. After Reed decided to plead guilty, Scully cited new evidence presented by prosecutors after a grand jury issued a new indictment. [Source: Press-Register Brendan Kirby article 4 Aug 2011 ++]


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