Covert Surveillance

Benjamin KrauseThe Department of Veterans Affairs made use of undercover agents and covert surveillance strategies against one veteran with multiple sclerosis in a malingering sting. The veteran was convicted of wrongfully receiving $1.5 million in compensation for claiming his condition was more severe than VA later found following its spy scheme.

In conjunction with the Social Security Administration, the VA orchestrated a sting against one veteran who trumped up the impact of his multiple sclerosis (MS). The Department of Justice prosecuted the case developed by VA and published the somewhat braggadocio titled, “Blythewood Man Convicted of Massive Government Fraud.”

The man allegedly made false statements about the severity of his MS. VA beleives the information he provided was an exaggeration and now the veteran is a criminal.

Why does the door not swing both ways when it comes to sophisticated VA senior executives who commit fraud or knowingly violate laws?

When I think of “massive,” I think of Bernie Madoff-style $1 billion plus type fraud schemes or government contractors who overcharged for services they never provided.

I want all of you to consider this result when seeking disability compensation benefits. It is important to accurately state your condition to the best of your ability. Then find a private doctor to evaluate your condition(s) and provide any reports to VA. This is a good way to ensure your case is accurately conveyed to the agency. If they make mistakes about how they interpret the data that is their problem.

My concern with this is that VA should not be in the game of surveillance against veterans. Instead, they should refer cases to DOJ prior to building out the evidence for the cases. I am not clear about VA’s ability or permissions to conduct secret stings against vets, and my best guess is that the agency really needs to focus its resources on employees scamming the system like Kim Graves or Diana Rubens – not veterans who are disabled.

In this case, there is no question that the veteran had MS and was discharged from the Navy. He apparently embellished on the impact of the condition – let’s keep in mind that MS does wax and wane – but I sure would feel better if the agency would avoid conducting stings on veterans since they are already horrible at evaluating disabilities in the first instance.

Anyway, here is the rest of the story from DOJ:

Blythewood Man Convicted of Massive Government Fraud

Contact Person: Bill Day (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina —- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Dennis Paulsen, age 45, of Blythewood was convicted of stealing more than $1.5 million from the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the Social Security Administration following a seven-day jury trial in federal court in Columbia.  Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty Paulsen faces is imprisonment for up to 20 years and fines of $500,000, along with forfeiture of the more than $1.5 million.  Senior United States District Judge Margaret B. Seymour of Columbia presided over the trial and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

In conducting one of the largest fraudulent single disability compensation claims in VA history, Paulsen substantially feigned and exaggerated the impairment resulting from his multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis.  After being diagnosed and discharged from the Navy in the early 1990s, Paulsen began receiving a monthly VA benefit as a result of his diagnosis.  Unsatisfied with the amount he was receiving, Paulsen began a pattern of malingering by claiming his MS rendered him unable to use his hands or feet in any respect.  Still unhappy with the money he was awarded, Paulsen ramped up his claims, lying to his doctors, presenting himself as house- and wheelchair- bound, and making false claims that he required daily professional medical care to live until his benefits were increased to the maximum disability payments available to a Veteran.  At the same time, Paulsen used the same feigned impairments to convince the Social Security Administration that he was entitled to SSA disability benefits.  Despite his feigned claims of impairments and presenting himself in a wheelchair to his doctors, Paulsen lived in a non-handicap accessible residence and was able to ride his motorcycle and jet skis plus play baseball and golf on a regular basis.  In 1999, Paulsen met his ex-wife at the gym where he exercised and worked training others.  In 2004, Paulsen sold their 5,000 square foot house for more than half of a million dollars and moved from Virginia to Blythewood, SC.

In Blythewood, Paulsen purchased a two-story brick house that was not handicapped accessible and stopped going to neurologists for his MS.  Illustrating his lack of impairment, Paulsen was active in several gyms, joined a baseball league from 2006 until 2014, and lived an active lifestyle, including playing pool, swimming in his backyard pool, playing on the beach, and driving his Escalade and manual shift Mini-Cooper. In 2014, a concerned citizen reported Paulsen to the VA and explained how Paulsen lacked the impairments that he claimed. Upon learning that the VA was looking into his actual impairment from MS, Paulsen immediately quit his baseball league and began appearing at the VA again in his wheelchair, claiming to be unable to walk or use his hands.

The extensive investigation by the VA and SSA included undercover agents, surveillance, and photographs and video footage from banks, stores, and the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. Family photographs kept by Paulsen’s ex-wife were also obtained showing Paulsen’s many activities with his family, playing baseball, and participating in a Marine Mud Run. Paulsen testified, in a wheelchair, for four hours and called three doctors as expert witnesses in an attempt to support his claim that he was and had been totally disabled. The guilty verdict reflects that the jury did not find this testimony credible.

The case was investigated by the Office of Inspector General for the Veteran’s Administration and Social Security Administration. Assistant United States Attorneys William E. Day II and Jay N. Richardson and of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.

There is no question this guy did the wrong thing based on this story. Would you call this kind of fraud “massive”? Should we trust VA to conduct secret surveillance stings on people with disabilities?

Source: http://www.justice.gov/usao-sc/pr/blythewood-man-convicted-massive-government-fraud

55 COMMENTS

  1. Hey brothers AND sisters, I believe today’s blog might see lots of trolls.
    It also is going to bring out frauds committed by service organizations AND service officers of said organizations!
    Go to “DAVREFORM.org”. Read the “comments section” (216 comments)! Some of the veterans who commented, gave links on frauds committed by DAV service personnel for their friends.
    These links go right to “Judicial Adjudications” of crimes committed against VA. Some are only a few years old. One such case happened in Kentucky. Where a service officer and others, in 4 or 5 states, were convicted of “massive fraud” against VA! I believe it was for over $2 million!
    If DAV service officers are committing this fraud. Then it’s safe to believe other organizations are doing it as well.
    Aa far as this idiot in today’s blog! I believe two things.
    1.) He’s a lying sack of sh!t.
    2.) He’s one of the reasons “WHY” VA employees, physicians and others in healthcare, don’t believe veterans with real disabilities!

    That’s my opinions for today. At least for now.

    On a side note. I saw where some of the monies ($6 million) raised by Trump is going. The “short list” of recipients begins with the “Disabled American Veterans” (DAV)! It was on his Facebook page!

    • I forgot,
      Did this guy put in for his claims by himself? Or did he have help from attorneys or a VSO? I don’t remember reading that in it.

      Also, if he had help, why wasn’t those people held accountable?

    • Hey Crazy Elf,

      I will be checking out the posts on DAVReform.org but would like to point you in the direction of Wikipedia listing for Multiple sclerosis at: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_sclerosis”

      After reading Ben’s article on Mr. Paulsen I checked around the web and read a number of articles regarding him. I felt that the guy was a lying sack of something and he had scammed the system but after researching Multiple sclerosis I changed my opinion.

      • I once in life knew an artist (a clay potter) that had MS. She served to educate me on different facets of MS. Sometimes MS will only affect one’s brain in a slow memory/cognitive way rather than the typical muscular and nervous system atrophies. Does the VA acknowledge real world science? Not usually.
        However, after more reading I too think this Veteran IS a lying sack of shat and pretty obvious grandstanding of his impairments…but then there’s that ex-wife thing and her being the person to report him, probably out of interpersonal retaliation. Dysfunction 101.

        @crazyelf- Yeah, the “Trove of Trolls” of the VA variety may even skip a few levels of playing Minecraft from their stations to post on here about how the whole lot of we Vets are liars or something….wait for it…do not feed the trolls.

      • @KirkR
        Thanks, I will also check out the websites over MS. I have never met anyone with MS, so maybe I might have misjudged this vet.
        We’ll see.

        When you read some of the comments on DAVREFORM. Check out the amounts of monies they have socked away for a rainy day. Or how much each higher up executive gets paid, according to their “990 tax form”! You’ll be amazed.
        That’s why I gave that ‘side note’ on “Who” will be receiving some of the $6 million Trump raised!

    • I’m with you on this one Bro. Call most of those agencies about Veterans in forever pain and they tout the “obama line” that started all of this.
      Reminds me of going to Germany after getting back from Vietnam and reading about a bunch of Sgt Major’s (Some were retired) who were busted for selling cigarettes and liquor on the German black market since the end of WWII.
      Many of these organizations had their “gophers” troll many Veteran discussion groups about how ” poor the service is on the outside” but when I use VA Choice I’m called Mr. and not finger pointed at followed by “You.” Went twice to raise my claim only to be told ” Chances are you will lose everything and will have to start all over again.” But the same person gets ” Employee of the Year” award in their fish wrapper.
      Am Vet’s helped me originally file and they are the only ones I know of who question the VA’s Opioid policy.

  2. When this case is researched there are a number of facts that stand out and it is very likely the verdict in this case will be appealed.

    First I would like to point out that it was his ex-father-in law who was the concerned citizen who reported him and that most of the evidence against Mr. Paulsen came from his ex-wife and photos she had posted on her blog website. They separated in 2012 and divorced in 2014 the same year he was reported and the VA investigation began.

    Second I would like to point out that at his trial three doctors gave expert testimony stating that he was disabled by MS.

    I personally find it appalling that the VA would prosecute a disabled Veteran because he had period of remission from his disease. With the known problems with fraud at the VA by high raking VA employees there certainly is a need for investigations at the VA and prosecutions of a good number of VA employees.

    The VA’s message is profoundly clear that the VA is only intending to prosecute Veterans and whistle blowers while turning a blind eye on the crimes known to have been committed by VA employees. How could anyone ever trust any VA employee or any medical professional trained at a VA Facility?

  3. I really do not know what to think about this case. The fact that *both* VA and Soc. Sec. were investigating this gives more credibility to the claims against this Veteran, unfortunately.
    Why?
    For one, the Social Sec. Adm. has a pretty huge disability claim backlog in EACH State and for SSA to even want to spend the time investigating in tandem with the VA and the supplied facts for this case as presented, shows their very likely was reason to be suspect.
    With that said, it seems rather *massively hypocritical of VA* to go after and use surveillance/investigators as they have here against a Veteran when the DOJ and The VA just gave free passes for what I call *massive fraud* of their own SES Employees and do not forget about the VA Employee that beat a 70+ yr old Veteran in a VAMC Hospital Bed *to death* via blunt force trauma, and CONTINUE to employee that thuglet.
    Do not mistake this as me defending this Veteran with MS, but you know, even with disabling health conditions, EVERY DOCTOR tells you over and over how important it is to TRY to be ACTIVE as much as one can bear for a host of physical health and mental health reasons…but I actually think it sounds like this Vet went a bit OCD with his working out in spite of his limitations…but then again, does the VA or SSA understand the mental conditioning of Marines, in particular? Does the VA even grasp that when a person has a long-term serious health conditions, not everyone has it within their mind-set to just immediately “give-up”, but to do these things that you KNOW you will never be able to do again and perhaps the Vet was “racing the clock” as far as the looming immobility that MS imposes upon a person?

    Seems like the VA always acts like a pensive, passive-aggressive child when they are held near that fire called accountability and when the OIG or DOJ drop or defer obvious scandal and fraud charge cases with the VA’s employees, the VA usually lashes-out and takes it out like that pensive child against Vets to somehow absolve their own misdeeds and fraud.

    As Benjamin stated, when Vets are making Service Connected Disability Claims with VA and Disability Claim with SSA, you better-well have documentation that shows indisputable or more likely than not Independent Medical Opinion or Unmistakable Medical Error that links it to military service. Honesty is definitely the best policy.

    Without defending this Veteran either way, I do have to wonder if since VA Sec. McDonald just recently stated he wanted to totally revamp the VA Appeals Process, if the VA was wanting an “Example Veteran Case” that shows grave fraud, to use as a “Case-In-Point” in order to get MASSIVE FUNDING for revamping an obviously broken VA Appeals process??! Is this part of a way for the VA to try to eliminate Independent Medical Opinions?

    With all that stated, WHY would *anyone* receiving Disability for a condition such as MS be so obviously more active than he presented himself as being, let alone any other health condition?

    Lastly, why does the VA not apply the term “Malingering” properly towards their own VA Employees but so quick to go after the incredibly rarified case of a Veteran attempting to get more travel pay or disability comp than deserved? Should work the same each way, right?

    • Word Of The Day is “MASSIVE”. You can even find the ‘VA’ within the word of the day that is “mAssiVe”. You can also find the word ‘ass’ within it. Fitting.

    • I dunno Nam, but going from wheel chair bound to golfing then back to wheel chair bound is a tough sell for me…As is claiming $400k in moving expenses.

      In my opinion, I would bet money his ex-wife dropped a dime on him. Probably one of the very few whistle blowers the VA never tried to retaliate against.

  4. Where’s the investigation into Diana Rubens’ wife, Kim Beale, going from a GS to a GS-15 in approximately 8 years? Where’s the investigation into how Ms. Beale was allowed to move to Philadelphia as a GS-15 to “work from home” when the job required her presence in D.C.? Where’s the investigation into how Diana Rubens covered up the suicide of a Veteran-employee at the Philadelphia Regional Office commencing in 12/2014 when she was the Director?

  5. There are 2 standards here. The veteran is always guilty with swift partial legal action requiring them to pay back anything received as compensation.

    VA employees are innocent, never proven guilty or prosecuted for any wrong doing, and usually get a bonus and promotion.

    How many layers of professionally trained licensed VA medical experts collecting big pay checks and bonuses got this so wrong for so long?????? There are vets with both legs missing who have to fight for the proper SMC rating?????? Something very wrong at city hall………..Go big Mac

    • Good point. How many “qualified” VA doctors affirmed his condition?

      On the other hand, was it easy for this guy to pull this off because the VA used someone UNQUALIFIED to evaluate him?

      • Great point 91, the license doesn’t always mean qualified…………but VA isn’t known for picking the most qualified are they…

      • However, they all have a license to kill. Even the non-educated idiots at the VA can kill with the stroke of a key-entry.
        Passive-Aggressive, the whole lot of them.

  6. I don’t believe this was massive when compared to other blatant cases of fraud or abuse that has been very public, but not prosecuted. Graves and Rubens should have been prosecuted. Those involved in screwing up the construction in Denver and elsewhere should be prosecuted. Those pushing the latest multi-million dollar software or IT hardware fix should be prosecuted. All of those are massive compared to this. Now, compared to a veteran not getting what they truly need such as for TBI or other severe illness/ injury, it is massive. Although this guy was diagnosed, and I would not wish MS on anyone, what he did was make it extremely hard on every single veteran needing care for a service connected condition. The VA and their trolls often don’t want every employee smeared because of the actions of 1, but that is EXACTLY what happens when a veteran pulls a stunt like this. Every veteran is smeared as a malingerer or someone faking the severity of a problem. I would say many veterans are actually underrated for their conditions because the impact on their daily lives is not accurately reflected.
    This is disgusting to see from both sides, but more so from the VA AND DOJ ignoring blatant fraud just because they are employees by the VA.
    As for undercover stings, it would be interesting to see a FOIA submitted to see just how many of these ops the VA has undertaken. If they conducted 100 and only caught 1, does that prove veterans may be underrated?
    I highly doubt any of these stings have resulted in an increase. Has there ever been an instance where a VA employee has said, “you know, you are having a really difficult time with X condition. You should file for an increase in your disability.”
    The VA…jumping over dollars to save pennies.

    • Spot-on, 91veteran!!
      Just like that “Veteran” selected via Google Earth to ask a “VA Related Question” and then when given his chance made it into a Black Lives Matter thing…it makes it APPEAR that all is well at the VA and this Veteran is more concerned about ‘X’, and discredits Vets and I believe this is by design, no less!
      Remember just last week McDonald wanted to overhaul the VA Appeal Process. Cannot tell this is not connected as a needed example to show Congress WHY the VA will inevitably ask for X-amount of Billion$ to overhaul the Appeal Process…just wait for it. This is the VA doing a bit of dirty foreshadowing in their claim for more $$$$ in cookie jar.

      Same occurs with that -1- Veteran or very small % that *may* be so-called malingerers; it serves to label us ALL as a Group, that we are out to get something we do not deserve.

      Meanwhile, the REAL THUGS continue to work at the VA even when caught red-handed killing people or blatant fraud and abuse…this must stop, and now!!!!!!

    • The rating officer in SLC who approved this bogus disability claim , his wife communicated with Ms Corinne Hogg who is a VA social worker in he northern Colorado area/WY. I think the people need to know that the federal/state government eliminates any negative, and truthful comments about this person. She has them convinced the government she is in some danger-this is so far from the truth, if anyone is dangerous it is her, an alcoholic with many domestic visits from the police, sports black eyes and has assault and DUI arrests- I think it is plain as day who the violent person is.
      The truth is that when she has cheated, lied and manipulated the VA disability system for years. Milking the VA for $1,900 tax free dollars for misc. medical issues NOT occurring from the military, but rather, from her high risk bar hopping lifestyle. She has not been investigated for her VA claims, never having follow ups, never have the VA looked into her alleged incident in Jacksonville, NC where the police found her claims as NOT credible. She filed a bankruptcy chapter 7 while having a married man live with her, paying her expenses and buying luxury items during bankruptcy-she never claimed the monies from this married man who neglected his wife completely, leaving her to commit suicide. Corinne Hogg has no remorse for that either.
      When a person reports fraud and is blown off, it only puts emphasis on the corrupt government .  Damn if you do, damn if you don’t.
      This person is a VA social worker, compliments of the VA education , because she claims disabilities from the military…cough, cough. This [person was a pencil pusher in the military, never in war.
      Does it bother you that she like so many veterans are claiming bogus disabilities as Ms. Hogg? Don’t these fake claims need to be punished and not treated as she has been by the government turning a blind eye?  Not only turning a blind eye, totally protecting this persons otherwise bad reputation. Why are none of the above being investigated. How do I know the VA claim is bogus? She told me!

  7. I’m not condoning this guy or anything but none of what he has done excuses how VA examiners low ball veterans all the time on their disability evaluations!!

  8. This worrys me.because I had a doctor place into my official record that I was stabbed while in the military.

    I wrote the director.Bob McDonald and other agencies telling them of my concerns.that if my official record was ever needed in a legal proceedings I could be accused of falsely telling the doctor that I was stabbed while in the military.

    The response from the Denver director.write a letter stating what’s wrong and how it should read and they would file it.

    The file they are speaking about is called administrative file and no one looks at that portion of your chart.

    The VA in Denver has already punished me for disruptive behavior and they never required the employee accusing me.to provide written evidence at all.

    So they maybe trying to set me up again. The director was given a packet with many concerns I had and how it should read.

    Yet they wanted me to provide another letter.why they have the whole packet.they can file that.

    We all know the VA is corrupt and will do whatever they want to hurt veterans.so they can use those monies for their own use.

    The VA is breaking the law every day.each time they get a claim almost everyone of them get denied.stating they need more evidence.

    The VA has become a detriment to veterans and veterans need to be aware of the VA misdeeds and not fall for their lies.

    It’s easier to send out a denial letter.than to do their jobs and look at the evidence.send out a reprinted letter and throw the record to the side.hoping the veterans will give up.

    Sad state of affairs.

  9. Jesus! He didn’t want to go to M.D.’s to kill his liver and kidneys with drugs (which DON’T work for M.S. anyway) He was approaching a physical fitness program which is the absolute BEST program he could do. It sounds like he was making great strides, He may have let greed interfere with his thought process in haste though (MS effects people mentally as well.)

    If we could all get backpay for our complete lives being wrecked and just-timely settlements, that $1.5M may be closer to an average vet claim. That’s the human cost of war that most Vets never see: about the same as the profit for politicians and their sponsors (who commit the criminal acts of war itself) make for every Vet.

    The Army General who runs NoSecurity(for)Americans hit a homerun this time, but they will spend this much spying and harassing a vet through college until their dying day with electronic weapons, microwave technology, early release cons, illegal aliens, helicopters spying through your roof, and anything left-over equipment from the Afgan war laying around in warehouses. Nazi Germany is taking notes from us, like we did from them.

  10. I have been silent on this site for months as my PTSD has been totally out of control, but I am forcing myself to comment here due to the ABSOULTELY OUTRAGEOUSLY IGNORANT SHITNESS THE VA HAS DUMPED ON THE MS PATIENT IN QUESTION!

    Please take a look at the following link if you have any desire to help the veteran Ben has referred to in this ‘Massive Fraud Case’.

    http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/MS-Symptoms/Emotional-Changes

    This is far beyond incompetence on the part of the VA personnel involved in this case. When I was still able to function several years ago I worked at a psych hospital and dealt with MS patients and actually diagnosed them for psychiatric disorders that go along with MS. It was Charter Hospital of Sacramento, among other psych hospitals where I worked.

    Charter Hospital’s Director of Operations was a guy named Rick, and he had a moderate case of MS. If you read some of the emotional and judgmental reasoning symptoms in the above link you can compare them to the MS veteran relative to Rick.

    Rick had what appeared to be unaffected cognitive, moral reasoning, and judgment skills. He seemed on the surface to be an honest hospital administrator. But, due to his MS, which could be severe in a wide variety of symptoms one day, and not so severe the next, or from one moment to the next, he was in fact a virtual sociopath, perhaps a psychopath. But, in his defense it was obvious that his social impairment was caused by his MS.

    The VA is likely going on old outdated research, treatment, assessment and symptom models — I repeat the word OUTDATED! As anyone who is paying attention knows the VA is famous for being outdated on just about everything they do; they are frequently flat out wrong, far behind the times, yet Bob often brings up how VA employees and doctors have won the Nobel Prize in medicine or something like that.

    That is wonderful that some VA doctors are apparently brilliant, but in this case, the complete incompetent VA asshole doctors and VA spies, investigators and their legal staff that convicted the MS veteran, it is just far, FAR beyond belief. No one expects Ben or anyone here to know anything medically elaborate about MS, especially relative to how for the past few years anyone who is an expert on MS now knows that things like honesty, moral judgment, anxiety, depression, accuracy and the ability to report things consistently, these psychological and social behavioral cognitive aspects of life are often GREATLY impaired by MS, no matter how severe the case appears to be on the surface.

    As the link article refers to, from the National MS Foundation or whoever it is, just the fact that a person thinks about their case of MS can send them into a major tailspin both from a physical standpoint (walking like a person with bad MS, limping all twisted up with a wildly swinging gait and so on), with their wrist all screwed up in a tight and bent angle, to thinking, speaking, slurred speech, like a moderately to severely retarded depressed mental patient who cannot fend for themselves.

    It is reprehensible that these fucking quack dinosaurs at the VA pulled this fraud case off on this vet. Go to the Mayo Clinic site and other sites that have tons of information on MS. You will see what I am talking about. Again, it does not matter what his case appears to be in terms of severity, whether you mean physically or socially/cognitively.

    Also, IT DOES NOT MATTER EVEN IF THE MS PATIENT IN THIS VA CASE FLAT OUT ADMITTED HE WAS LYING OR EXAGGERATING HIS CASE. BECAUSE, AGAIN, ALL HE HAS TO DO IS THINK ABOUT HIS MS AND IT CAN AND DOES GET MUCH WORSE, JUST LIKE THE LINK ARTICLE ABOVE EXPLAINS.

    THE VETERAN IN QUESTION SHOULD BE REFERRED TO AN ATTORNEY OR EVEN SOME MS SUPPORT GROUP THAT WILL SPEAK OUT ON HIS BEHALF.

    And, like Ben states, we should be more concerned about VA executives like Graves and Barnes or whatever their names are bilking the VA and vets for hundreds of thousands of dollars like they got by with and even got their demotions reversed. the demotions these two pathological criminals gave themselves.

    Finally, you can bet there are a few people with MS at the VA, perhaps even managers or maybe even middle level or higher level executives. I hate to encourage going after anyone with MS, but I would venture to guess that they get all sorts of special treatment and likely some of them receive VA disability compensation that is, according to the standards of the present case, should be called “MASSIVE FRAUD”.

    Please don’t just think, “Oh, well, long rambling post, and the guy did exaggerate his symptoms. No! MS does not work like that. The guy could have panic attacks at home CAUSED By his MS, and no one, even him — realizes it, or the severity of how bad his symptoms get. MS IS A DISEASE OF THE BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD AND SPREADS THROUGH THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYTEM AND GREATLY AFFECTS ALL ASPECTS OF THE PERSON MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY.

    A person can have MS, like Rick who I site above, and he lives a life sort of like a vampire or a werewolf, sure, fictional analogy, but my point is, they don’t fully know that they turn into a wolf. They lead a double life at the least. Rick was the biggest asshole you would ever meet. A few of my patients committed suicide because of Rick, as he was a sociopath who only cared about whether the person had insurance or tons of money to remain in the hospital. I dealt with many other administrators, but none of them came close to being a socially impaired, but seeming NOT impaired at all, as Rick. Paul Paradis, and a girl named Tracy something, and a cop, and another person I can’t remember, all killed themselves because of Rick, flat out. All the other administrators would make sure a patient was discharged to another facility that they could afford, or a state facility of some kind, but not Rick. No one suspected a thing, sort of an inverse example of what is going on in the case of the MS vet.

    Okay, I will go back in my hole now. But, remember, you can bet your life the VA has plenty of staff members with MS out of there MANY, MANY thousands of employees, that have MS, and are getting everything from PTSD rating pay to MS disability pay service-connected, yet their cases are just as ‘exaggerated and fraudulent’ as the vet’s in question. The answer is, in reality, if the VA was up to speed on MS, and they are not, just like everything else they fall far behind on, they would have never sent their shit pathetic spies out to investigate the vet in the first place. They have no clue as to what MS is and how it works on the person’s mind and body, and have no business coming down on that vet like they did. I am really done now. Ben, I bet if you could muster the time to write a one paragraph short letter to the VA on that vet’s behalf you would be doing a great service to all vets as the VA obviously is using this shit case as an example and prescedence (spelling) one way or another.

    Semper Fucking Fi you shitball VA quack parasitic idiots who came down on that MS vet.

    • Well said, Bruce and thanks for even further enlightening us about this horrific disease.
      The VA is indeed very behind the times on many facets of the advances made in the Medical Community…BUT, what’s really weird is the VA utilizes Medical Residents from ALL major Universities around this USA *and* shitty parts of the world to TRAIN ON US, then most LEAVE the VA, this the VA has become even more reliant on -1- Attending that oversees a MINION of these doctors in training but practicing anyway while the Dr. is doing….whatever, and maybe in front of a glass conference window, who knows?

    • That was a very good explanation Bruce, thank you for writing all of it. It also more clearly explains how he could get 3 expert witnesses to testify on his behalf.
      It makes me wonder what the prosecution said to discount their testimony.
      It reminds me of ALS in the 1990’s. The VA knew Gulf War veterans had a significantly higher prevalence of ALS than the general population, yet refused to presume it service connected, or ask Congress for the legislation to do so. Many veterans died before they ever got benefits. This continued until VA data was leaked to the media showing how many Gulf War vets were known to the VA to have ALS. The VA knew, yet refused to do anything about it until forced to. They will likely continue these kinds of actions against vets until some group like the National MS society slams them into place.
      Finally, with your explanation, this sounds even more as if this was a vendetta by an ex wife.

    • This name should bring back memories of the “HOW” MS attacks a person. And, to “WHAT” it does to a person’s physical and mental capabilities –
      Annette Funicello!
      Her “physical and mental capabilities” slowly dissipated over many years.
      The young man in question was only 45, I believe. Therefore, his “disabilities” could get worse! If so, then he should be found
      “NOT GUILTY!”

      As for the VA using “Spy Techniques” to invade his privacy – SHAME ON THEM!

      • @crazyelf-
        You and I are on the same wavelength sometimes. After doing some more reading it reminded me of how it’s not so neat and cut and dry set progression for some rather hard to knock down diseases.

        This is true even with advances in medicines used to long term treat some infectious diseases. It’s different hell for everyone. Personal Hell.

        The wavelength I was riding showed me that I too, think this Veteran is getting screwed and pile-driven by the VA. The VA probably has -1- sheet with -2- check-boxes for their classification and *definition* of what MS is…and it’s probably around circa 1985 Tech, at best.

        The surveillance more than likely incurred more anxiety for this Veteran, and I would like to see actual Time/Date Stamps on video/photos, which more than likely were digital, to see what kind of timeline, if any they followed to make their case against the Veteran.

        This needs to be on ’60 Minutes’ or something.

  11. The VA OIG conducts investigations of fraud, waste and abuse, Ben. Every other insurance claims system for long term disability, workers compensation, etc., has a ‘sub rosa’ investigatory arm. You act surprised, but the DoJ doesn’t do the investigations. It does the prosecutions. And, I appreciate your emphasis on veterans accurately reporting the facts of their claims. Indeed, the time spent paying someone who used the system fraudulently creates problems for the veterans trying to get a legitimate claim through.

    • As you, whom ever you are, state………. “time spent paying someone who used the system fraudulently creates problems for the veterans trying to get a legitimate claim through.” What about the time spent on the 2 senior VA bimbos who were found breaking a number of laws who are still employed collecting very large taxpayer salaries exonerated of any wrong doing most likely getting a bonus promotion an apology from the same people responsible for seeing that they don’t break the law. How many veterans would have benefited from the monies they absconded with illegally and were allowed to keep? Exactly who cares……… VA doesn’t care about crooked management, their only interest is the evil doing veteran.

      What he did was wrong, what VA did that allowed it to happen in the first place was as bad or worse. Parading him in a public venue like this expecting outrage from veterans is as disgusting to me as allowing it to happen……

      Go back to your office and patiently wait for the next Billy the Kid veterans to (bend) the law their way……….we’ll read about the 10-20 crooked VA employees caught and released (breaking) the law while you wait……..

    • First of all, my concern here is the risk of VA OIG getting it grossly wrong like they did in the case of Keith Roberts who was wrongly imprisoned for fraud after he busted “shredder-gate” at Milwaukee RO. OIG built up a case against him based on an incorrect adjudication of his benefits that was later reversed that resulted in his release from prison. The delay in adjudicating his appeal resulted in wrongfully spending 4 years in prison. http://malcontends.blogspot.com/2013/12/wrongfully-convicted-keith-roberts-redux.html

      Second, the FBI should be relied on to investigate these issues on behalf of DOJ. VA used its stealthy “Intelligence Division” to investigate Roberts, and some attorneys think their tactics were underhanded in a Gestapo-esq misuse of the law. Personally, I do not feel comfortable with any VA Secretary having the equivalent of an SS Gestapo at his disposal.

      • In my humble opinion the Secretary has been given exact power taking him outside of the law. That in itself causes me grave concern. We are a society of laws. Any deviation from that venue is tantamount to disaster. The actions by VA the last few years is enough to cause any reasonable person to question the integrity of the institution and those entrusted to maintain that integrity.

      • Ben.when I was accused of disruptive behavior and they could not or did not one shread of proof.

        They said that the OIG office told them to punish me and the VA had the FBI contact me and the employee who reported me as being disruptive.called my local police department.

        The VA want so far as to threaten me with arrest federal charges and banishment from all VA care.

        If it’s ever reported to them again that I would become disruptive.

        They have no evidence of me ever being disruptive period. The director of the VA in Denver.told my senator.that due to the disruptive behavior report.that nothing was done about it through the VA.

        The director told the senators office.Mr G never had his records coded icd 9 for disruptive behavior.nor where his records ever red flagged.due to the reported disruptive behavior and no investigation was ever completed.

        I was punished.my records were coded and they were red flagged and they kept letting the employee accusing me to answer any and all inquires concerning the matter.

        This employee went so far as to tell the senators office.the reason Mr G.can not return to the clinic is Mr G.refuses to admit.he was disruptive.

        Who in their right mind is going to admit to something that never happened in the first place.

        If you ever need a veteran to go in front of the veterans committee.concerning the disruptive committee.please include me to be part of the group to testify.

        I have a lot of evidence.showing they use the disruptive committee as a form of punishment and a tool for retaliation.

      • SS Gestapo?

        Not only are you stupid, you are severely misinformed and paranoid. I hope you are receiving mental health treatment.

        The fact is this guy cheated the system. That others did worse and got away with it is not a defense and your insane ramblings don’t change that.

      • Use you real name. Hitler paid the price for his misdeeds, SS. Stupid shits.

        Hitler was a coward and killed himself and left kid’s to fight and die.

        VA employee for sure. Also know as part of the death squad at VA. Determing who live and dies.

        Well VA God’s. You false thinking is coming soon to your local VA and if you think. Your going to be able to hurt veteran’s at will.

        Your going to be in for RUDE Awaking. You can be tracked and I hope they do it real soon.

        Way to go attacking a veteran. Who has helped more veteran’s than the VA. At least Ben is trying to do the right thing.

        If you don’t like this site or think you will get Ben’s ?. Your wasting your time. Ben does not sweat the small stuff.

    • Yes insurance companies check for fraud.which they should.

      The veterans really can’t keep the VA honest.when they have a severe disability and they deny veterans of their disability and then when they reapply and reapply after being denied for forty years And they did not use the rule.

      If there is a judgement that the disability could or could not be granted a judgement call. The VA rule is to go in favor of the veterans.

      And they don’t and keep lieing to the veterans.that their records were destroyed in a fire.when they know it a lie and the veterans are forced to seek help from the outside by hiring a lawyer and win their case.

      There is no one to ensure veterans are getting back pay.because of the VA misdeeds.of hiding the veterans records and lieing they were destroyed.

      They punished the veterans for their mistakes.where’s the investigation into their misdeeds.

      When veterans finally prove their case and it’s found that the VA denied and kept dening the clam.knowing that evidence proved the veterans were unjustly denied their disability.

      The veterans should automatically be awarded their disability retroactively to when they first applied.no matter how many times they were denied.

      Most everyone knows it’s standard VA practice to deny veterans their disability in an effort to make it all most for the veterans to provide more proof.when they don’t have a way to find more evidence.

      On many.many cases the VA.has and had all the evidence they needed to approve the veterans disability from the very start.

      When the VA does this they save money.but put the veterans in harms way.by not giving those veterans treatment.

      Not treating PTSD and traumatic brain injury for forty years.harms those veterans and those veterans can and do get into legal trouble and much of those legal problems may have been avoided if they would have been offered care.

      How many veterans have committed suicide just because they didn’t obtain treatment and kept being called a miliniger or a drug seeker.

      They must stop this practice and new regulations made.when veterans are granted disability.they are granted disability from when they were discharged.

      Veterans with traumatic brain injury are at a very big disadvantage dealing with the department of Veterans Affairs.

      That’s why they call it a traumatic brain injury.it effects the veterans ability to comprehend legal proceedings and that makes them an easy target for abuse.

      The VA thinks veterans with traumatic brain injury are stupid.we are not stupid.we are disabled.

      Way to go VA taking advantage of a disabled person.veteran.you get shot in the head and see how it feels to be treated with disrespect.

      • Everyone knows, huh?

        I have gotten everything I have asked for and than some because I had the proper evidence. 3 claims submitted, 3 claims granted + more than I asked for. In fact, the VA has been caught giving higher than merited disability evaluations in well over 100,000 cases and that is just looking at the vets with a 100% rating. The VA routinely OVERRATES vets but you clueless paranoid losers here ignore that.

        A vet getting denied is not evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the VA. There are vets who did 20+ years, retired and never had a day of light-duty much less any physical issues and are now 100% + SSDI from day 1 of their retirement.

        The VA needs to go after these scammers, hard.

      • Your right and yours needs to be looked at very closely. By someone other than your friend. Uncle or other relative.

        Who did your rating. Was it Diana Rubins or Graves. How much of a kick back did they receive. About $425 thousand dollars.

        The VA hid my official military record’s and only reappeared after an attorney got involved.

        Amazing what someone can do when they know the Law. VA employees have ignored the Law so long They (you) think it’s ok to harm thousands of veterans.

        Slither back under your rock. Coward won’t even use your real name.

    • Holy bat crap, Glen! Too bad you cannot spy on their wifi signal and more. That sucks. Good job documenting and very reason I keep a video camera really handy, if needed, close by.
      It’s already resulted in an arrest of a thug breaking into cars that were unlocked in my parking lot but none of the X-File variety 🙂

  12. I have no problem in weeding out fraud and corruption but the hypocrisies within VA itself makes that look a drop in the bucket. Not only do they encourage and condone despicable acts by its directors but go out of their way to protect them. What’s good for the Goose is good for the gander!

  13. The only VA employees who will be sacked, fired, will be the ones who are the whistle blowers just as anyone else who dares tell on any govt agency, corporation or civil or military or any non profit organization screw ups or criminal acts.
    COINTELPRO was a spy program used by the FBI in the 70’s and IFRAGARD is used by the FBI. The first was too be stopped & wasn’t cause now the FBI is hired by the employers besides all of the slime balls they hire to follow & harass people, in our very own country. Both covert programs are used on injured workers. INFRAGARD IS the program that the FBI uses to help employers spy & surveil injured workers. The over surveillance is called gang stalking used by the Nazi’s, KGB, STASI’s & the CIA.
    SSA will join with any one employer or agency to gang stalk(a tactic used by employers since the 70’s) anyone they think should be because they are of the same mindset. It is usually anyone with serious injuries or illnesses, who have high claim costs that are put in a gangstalking situation. A total disability claim in the private sector is 1 to 6 million dollars depending on the age. One million for the initial costs & the reinsurance part of the claim is 5 mil.
    Whereas insurance companies are also the VA, SSA.DOD, are all self insurance but also insurance companies theoretically since they are given money from tax payers to pay out on “claims” too, they will do whatever they think is necessary to go after a fraud, malinger which is the common word for a fraud but yet no one can go after any of the agencies for fraud.
    This is a one sided affair & yes the nazi’s are proud, since the CIA brought in 1000 nazi bastards at the end of WW11 ans the FBI used them too. So since WW11 how many people in these agencies can think like a nazi, perhaps all of them with the corrupt use of covertness on injured/ill/disabled vets just as they do to injured/ill/disabled injured workers. Hello Nazism, Goodbye America democracy & justice! No due process anymore.
    There was a time when insurance companies went after jewel, car or art thieves, now it’s the injured.ill/& disabled. AND Yes they will spend dollars for pennies but it is yet another reason to raise premiums , tax dollars & pay for the hiring of well heeled a-holes to continue the criminal acts against the innocent, those who who did a damn good job, not a job of surveiling covert operations on our vets or civilians.The spies get paid very well. Just as they did in WW11.
    It is truly amazingly evil how far any agency or employer, with their despicable employees will go to destroy another human being, especially after they got hurt or ill, after they gave it their all.
    George Orwell’s book & movie told of these things, called 1984. Well, that’s over 30 years ago.
    I sure hope I get to live long enough to see this country be righted once again.
    God Bless us all, because we seriously need his blessings.
    God Bless America
    Dina J.Padilla(Irene)
    VOICES/B.E.S.T. Injured worker & activist for Injured Workers & Patients.

    • Orwell wrote ‘1984’ back in 1948. He simply rearranged digits for the ‘future’ he already saw looming on horizon. Now here we are in a REAL WAR that’s lasted over 14 years continuously. In ‘1984’, the ‘war’ is what fueled everything and became everything but yet it was not even real at all…just a machine, a war machine invested by humans and used to justify instilled paranoia from absolutely no privacy, not even ‘thoughts’ because there was of course, ‘The Thought Police’.

      The VA seems to have taken a few liner notes from Orwell’s future.

  14. Keep in mind that every single V/A hospital has a full fledge Federal Uniformed Police Department in it. Therefore they have their own U.S. Government law enforcement agency that can handle and deal with this kind of stuff.

  15. This is a basic workers comp fraud investigation. The FBI does not touch these cases. It’s usually left to the respective agencie’s OIG to conduct the investigation. Good OIG’s coordinate closely with their Assistant U.S Attorney (AUSA) at the beginning of the investigation. The AUSA office won’t investigate the case but they assist in ensuring its done properly. In this case it sounds like it was done right. A disabled veteran convicted at a jury trial tells me the evidence was strong. Workers comp fraud is rampant, people often times make more by not working because they are not taxed on disability pay. These are time intensive investigations, months, sometimes years long. Hard to prove so you get caught doing this you get done.

  16. I was told this one time from a wounded Viet-Nam vet about his PTSD evaluation. He said the examiner inferred that he might have accidently shot himself in Viet-Nam and the vet answered no he didn’t shoot himself. The Viet Cong shot him. The examiner then asked him if he ever heard of anyone shooting themselves while he was over in Viet-Nam. The veteran answered no on that one too. Then the examiner asked him if he thought it was possible that maybe a few guys might have shot themselves to get out of Viet-Nam. The vet told me he answered that it was possible maybe a few did. The examiner reported on the progress notes that the veteran admitted that he probably shot himself in order to get out of combat. After he told me all this, I couldn’t believe any of it. But as time went on in my dealings with the VA and the way they did me, the more plausible his story became to me.

    • That’s a big problem.no one believes the veterans.it’s easier to think were lieing or just crazy.

      That’s why the VA gets away with so much. If it would be one of their family members who this happened too.it would be a different story.

      The VA is supposed to rule in favor of the veterans.but they do every thing they can.to not support the veteran.

      Bonuses.are the game.

  17. 02/01/2016

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Ben you asked, “Why does the door not swing both ways when it comes to sophisticated VA senior executives who commit fraud or knowingly violate laws?”

    If you are the Dictator you can do what you want—the door does not swing in both directions.

    The problem with this dictatorship—it is not controlled by the Americans.

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  18. In my fathers day and his they new fraud was a public sector term. When in cam to the government they would have called it what it is TREASON!! AGAIN TREASON!!. That my friends is what is going on in this country today. There are so many laws on the books if they won’t to get you they can justify it on any law they choose, therefor the idea of Constitutionalism does not exist. They live above the law and hold us to every letter of it or unless you can prove you are innocent . AND JUSTICE FOR ALL, EXCEPT IF YOU ARE A VET.

    • Have you even read the Constitution?

      Treason in defined in it and has nothing to do with government workers committing fraud.

      Maybe if you educated yourself a little, you might be taken seriously.

      “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”

      Moron

  19. Diana Rubens in her Hearing last week made astonishing accusations against the VA OIG and the Congressional Oversight Committee. In addition, by appealing her demotion by VA top brass, her being despised by Veterans and VA employees, and the perseverance of those whistleblowers she screwed-over through the years, she’s certainly made quite an enemy’s list. Her days of arbitrary and capricious use of her power are well over. The best thing that can come out of this comedy of errors is that the thousands of other VA managers will into the future follow the law and not target employees. 🙂

    • I hope the employees will not take any crap from those two and watch them like a hawk.

      Keep notes or make reports if and when they try to think they can do what ever they want to do to employees.

      What goes around comes around and one day they will mess up bad and will be dealt with by someone in real power and has the wisdom to know enough is enough.

      The citizens of these United state’s are Fed up with all our elected officials and they need to be sent home.

      People with a tbi could do a better job at least they use what’s left of their brain. We even know right from wrong.what’s their excuse.

  20. My 29 year old daughter is rated for MS and a dozen secondary conditions. She receives several SMCs (you can sometimes get the same SMC twice when two separate limbs are affected, or more than once SMC concurrently). When she has a serious flare-up, she stays home, where the VA can’t see what is happening to her physically or mentally. At times she requires use of a wheelchair, since her feet and legs often go numb. At other times she doesn’t need it. When she goes into remission she is as active as possible, so her body stays as healthy and strong as it can be, although mentally she may be suffering immensely. She has assistance in the home whether she is in remission or having a flare-up, since during remission she needs to use her ability to be active on normal things such as going to the gym or activities with her daughter. Hiring a caregiver on 24 hour notice doesn’t work, so she has ongoing help. Is that wrong? Hell no. People with MS have absolutely no warning of their flare-ups, can have entirely different physical problems with each flare-up, and have no idea of how long they will last.. She was additionally told point-blank by her physician that she should NEVER have any more children due to her service-connected disability, and we had to fight VA for a SMC that relates to loss of use of creative organs, since it didn’t occur to them that MS could take that option away from her permanently. Hidden disabilities are just that, hidden. She is in that veterans shoes. No one should be judging how disabled she is, and in what way it will manifest itself. Just my experience with the disease and how it can effect someone.

  21. The VA’s incompetence to weed out their internal fraud speaks volumes on their lack of ability to investigate Vets. I don’t understand how this guy, or any other Vet could get away with that. Didn’t the the VA give hi a comp & pen? The fraud on both sides needs to be stopped, but charging the VA with investigating Vets is like putting Barney Fife in charge of Fort Knox.

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