The Weekly Vista

Reports From the VA Office of Inspector General


Who would have thought it … stealing diabetic test strips for profit? Apparently there’s money to be made from those medical supplies. And one Michigan woman, in charge of procuremen­t at a Department of Veterans Affairs pharmacy, made a lot of it, stealing in excess of 7,500 boxes of the strips over the years.

She wasn’t alone in the scheme. She’d sell them to a co-thief who’d make her own sales down the line to a third party in Pennsylvan­ia.

The first in line in the theft chain has already confessed and faces 20 years in the slammer, not to mention a very hefty fine. The second in line also confessed. The two of them, however, are pointing fingers at Number Three, who they say is the actual mastermind of the thefts.

Diabetic test strips? Who knew?

Then there is the New Jersey former Marine who claimed PTSD from having to handle human remains after natural disasters in two foreign countries. Before his scheme fell apart, he’d netted in excess of $118,000 in disability benefits. His big mistake, besides telling lies, was that he sent threatenin­g messages to a member of the Office of Inspector General staff, plus anyone else who would be working on the case. He’ll be sentenced this summer, but he’s looking at 10 years in prison and heavy fines just for the lying part, and five years for the threats as well as big fines.

In Oklahoma, a man phoned a VA facility threatenin­g to kill people … and then he showed up. His beef, apparently, was not getting a quicker appointmen­t date to be seen at the clinic. He wanted his meds, and he gave them 30 minutes to prescribe them or he’d be there to murder people. Not only did he have a loaded .357 firearm (and a handful of zip ties), but he took the items into a federal facility. He later claimed not to remember making the call.

To read more reports from the OIG, go to and scroll down.

(c) 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.

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