Feds Charge Suspects in Fraud, Corruption Scheme at Local VA Hospitals

first_imgFederal officials announced Wednesday that they have made multiple arrests in a fraud and corruption scheme that allegedly took place at the VA Hospitals in West Palm Beach and Miami.According to the U.S. Attorney for South Florida, Ariana Fajardo Orshan, 15 VA employees, medical and general supply vendors are now accused of fraud.She explained that VA employees would team up with vendors to place orders for medical supplies. Thee employees would then indicate in the VA’s computers that the orders were filled when they were not.The vendors would give those employees a portion of the money they received from the Department of Veterans Affairs for the items.Orshan says that in other cases, VA employees inflate the prices of items.Officials add that the suspects caused the Department of Veterans Affairs to pay millions of dollars for those orders.In another case, 48-year-old Lisa Anderson of Delray Beach has been charged with making false statements in connection with an application filed with the VA to have a vendor company falsely designated as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business.All 15 suspects have been arrested, including one in North Carolina, according to Orshan. If convicted, they could each face up to 50 years behind bars.Four of the accused individuals appeared in federal court in West Palm Beach on Wednesday morning, where they were formally charged.They have been identified as 52-year-old Clinton Purvis, 44-year-old Christopher Young, 59-year-old Kenneth Scott, as well as a former VA employee, 62-year-old Robert Johnson.“It’s a very sad day in our country. These people have a duty to their job and their post,” says Orshan. “I am sad to report there are a few bad apples that have been arrested.”She added that the fraud operation goes back to at least 2009.A prosecutor told the judge the cases involved bribery and kickbacks, in which vendors and VA employees worked together to defraud the agency.At least two of those four suspects entered not guilty pleas. All four were later released on bond.This is a developing story.last_img read more