VA OIG Takes Action Against SES Employees

32

SES Employees

Benjamin KrauseVA OIG just revealed that it is referring two Senior Executive Service (SES) employees to the US Attorney from criminal investigation.

The SES executives were caught in a possible fraud scheme to circumvent pay raise restrictions while working in Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). These SES leaders bamboozled taxpayers out of an additional $400,000 they had a hand in manipulating. VA OIG referred the cases for criminal investigation to the US Attorney.

Over the past years, Congress limited the ability of VA to raise the pay of employees in light of the backlog and wait list scandals. VBA leadership figured out a way around the rule by moving around SES leaders while reducing responsibilities at a cost of $1.8 million.

@deptvetaffairs why do you fail to keep your SES employees in check? Click to Tweet

Two of the most outrageous examples were Diana Rubens and Kim Graves.

DIANA RUBENS ALLEGED SCAM

Rubens was formerly the Deputy Under Secretary for Field Operations. She then created a vacancy at the Philadelphia Regional Office that she volunteered to fill. This is basically a demotion, but she maintained her previous salary of $181,000. In addition to not experiencing a decrease in pay, she was involved in gaining approval of $274,000 as a relocation bonus through the Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Relocation.

KIM GRAVES ALLEGED SCAM

Kim Graves was formerly Director of VBA’s Eastern Area Office. She also created a vacancy at St. Paul Regional Office where she volunteered to take on the director role at her old pay rate of $173,000. The new role was also a demotion. In so doing, she orchestrated approval of a moving incentive of $129,000.

Both SES employees retained their high salaries while substantially reducing their responsibilities. What a deal, right?

Meanwhile, other VBA senior employees moved to various positions while achieving a substantial increase in base pay. A total of 23 SES employees were reassigned from 2013-2015. Twenty-one of those received a pay raise with the new location, which served as a work around for the pay increase restriction.

Source: http://www.va.gov/oig/publications/report-summary.asp?id=3607

Stay informed on VA news, scandals and benefits. Get our daily newsletter via email.

17343

DisabledVeterans.org

Get our free daily newsletter.

32 COMMENTS

  1. The funny part is that Robert McDonald does nothing to remove these faces from the VA website to re-instill public trust. They leave their faces and bios up at these medical centers when there is proven malfeasance. You got the gypsy face, Hodge and the whole cast of the muppets face up there. Wasn’t she the one with the staff that handed out Oscar the Grouch pamphlets? But who am I , McD looks like the Count , who officially cannot count. I am surprised those tunabeast aren’t in hancuffs yet.

    • Well, after Fukushima, I am no longer interested in fish.
      ( speech and holy hell! )
      You know, I have been keeping busy but “AGAIN!” ANOTHER SURPRISE AND MAYBE WHY A BIT OF A MYSTERY? NATIVE AMERICAN TOO.” I THINK I MUST BE DAMN STRANGE BUT KIND OF FUN TO SEE WHAT OTHERS COMMENTED ON. THE VA? “Hmmmm.”

  2. For a bit of perspective here: $400,000. is equal to what a 100% Service-Connected Veteran would collectively receive over a TWELVE YEAR PERIOD based upon current rate of $2906. a Month x 12 months/yearly @ $34,842., divided into $400,000. = 11.5 YEARS.

    These VA Employees are screwing Veterans by not being good stewards of the American Tax Dollars Allocated for USE FOR VETERANS…not denying Veteran’s benefits then utilizing this windfall of denied $$ Benefits for their own use.
    In VA-Speak, this means VA Employees are utilizing $$$ saved through denying benefits, which THEY GET AS BONUSES, while there’s MANY HOMELESS VETERANS *and* VETERANS THAT TAKE THEIR OWN LIVES because of the hopelessness and oppressiveness of the VA’s wile ways.
    Send these two as well as all other VA Pukes breaking the law and VA Regulations, and totally not in compliance esp. at a time of gov’t sequestration as far as budgets go, straight to a nice concrete ocean view in a prison in Cuba…GTMO may even be too good for these thieves.
    The VA OIG will find these things such as what today’s article is about and history has shown they almost ALWAYS get a light tap on hand and relocated to yet another VA Position to do the same, rinse and repeat. One such ass from Philly., VAMC/VARO did exactly that when relocated to D.C. then out to California, where he was again caught red-handed placing Veteran Claim Files and Medical Records into a shredding bin.

    You could also utilize simple Mathematics and use that $400,000. stolen from Veterans/VA and take a Veteran only rated at a Service-Connection of say 40 or 50%…that would be $12,000. a year divided into $400,000. to = 33 Veterans being denied their deserved/earned medical service connection or -1- Veteran rated at 40/50% being denied 33 YEARS worth of Compensation.
    Anyway you choose to do the Math, Veterans are not being considered their priority nor focal point…it’s all about VA Employees, esp. those at GS13 and above, feeling they are above the law!!

  3. Veterans/Survivors: Take note at yesterday’s article comments of one “David Harrison” whom claims to be an attorney and comes across so callous and totally uninformed, that I would almost bet it was a VA Employee trying to disseminate erroneous information. Heads-up…this obviously has caused the incredibly ignorant to come out from under their bubble of existence as a VA Employee. Just read his post over there and you will understand immediately what I and another Veteran called him out on.
    I also want to believe the website issues of yesterday probably had something to do with the VA simply not liking the article exposing their unlawful actions.
    Heads-up Veterans! (Service Announcement from Reality)

  4. To All,
    I am putting more articles on for y’all to google.

    1.) “Who Did This?!”: Senator Explodes on VA Officials Over ‘Reprehensible Reprisal’ of Whistleblowers
    Sept. 23, 2015 From “The Blaze”: by, Oliver Darcy
    with Video.

    2.) “Veterans find VA ‘Choice’ care program has delays”
    by, Wesley Brown

    3.) “A Solution To The Government’s VA Problem”
    on Townhall dot com by Jonah Goldberg — 25 Sept. 2015
    y’all may not agree with this one. Only you should be aware of it!!!

    This next one is the newest I could find on Trump. y’all might enjoy it.
    “How much does Trump love America? Almost as much as he loves suing people”
    by, Brianna Buczkowski on 7 July 2015
    this has to do with a “Flag Pole and Flag” down here in Florida on his property. Trust me on this one. He really LOVES veterans and America!!!!!

    There are more articles that have come out in the past 60 days concerning egregious acts committed against veterans and taxpayers by VA, than in the past year. I believe since the billboards have started popping up. VA is going to get nastier in the future. Just like that idiot (alleged attorney) from Ben’s last Blog! How many on here have noticed fewer (or no) ‘Military Newspapers’ (Navy, Army, Marine, Air Force Times) at VA!? Why is that? because they are printing the TRUTH about VA!

    There’s also a surge for a few of our ‘elected officials’ to ‘defund’ certain things. For example: Did y’all know we give $300,000/yr. to find out the “sex life of Japanese Quail”?

    Haven’t been feeling good these past few days. going to take it easy for the next couple of days also…..

    • Here’s another one from “Military dot com” or the “Daily News”
      “VA Officials May Face Charges for Abusing Positions for Personal Gain”
      Sept. 28, 2015 by Bryant Jordan
      This article is more specific than what Ben put on today. Especially in the first paragraph.
      “Two senior Department of Veterans Affairs officials could face criminal prosecution after the agency investigators found they coerced two VA regional office directors to leave their jobs so that they could then fill them.”

    • Not to mention the $542’000’000 we give to Planned Parenthood so they can cut up aborted babies and sell the parts for profit .

      • I have been smelling ‘Troll’ again and often this week in particular. Hmmm. The air is thick of it, am sure of it.

  5. Yesterday we learned the VA was using a tactic of taking away smartphones, expecting that it would get vets focused on that. Today we learn at least one of the things they are trying to distract us from: these two VA executives being arrested. I suspect there is a much bigger story to be found in those arrests or another much larger issue. The VA constantly does little magic tricks like this, as in, watch my left hand pat you on the shoulder while my right hand steals your wallet. The VA is a gigantic criminal enterprise, a literal organized crime syndicate! Dig some more and we will find out what they are really hiding!

  6. Here’s another fubar by a VA employee. Seems VA employees can’t stop “playing games” on their computers at work. This came out on September 17, 2015. The title is,
    “Daily Archives: September 17, 2015 I-Team: Haley VA Hospital targeted by cyberattack”

    “The VA discovered Friday that the data was put at risk by a Trojan virus discovered on a computer drive shared by 4,000 employees.” The article goes on to say, “an employee who fell for a fishing scam that was sent to the bad guys,”
    The article also states, “A monthly report to Congress from July shows the VA was targeted about 1.2 Billion times by intrusion attempts, malware and suspicious emails.” And, “This is very hard to know how much data left the building. So they can say they caught it in time, but who knows.”
    Today, while at VAMC, Daytona Beach, my physician said, “I’m keeping a close eye on my accounts!” This physician knew exactly what I was stating as “FACT”! If they have the VA employee’s “Private Info”, what’s to say they (BAD GUYS) don’t have patients records???

    • There actually have been more than a *few* incidents just within the last 8 years where VA Employees brought Gov’t. laptops home with them only to have them either stolen from vehicle or lost completely, of which, it had hundreds of thousands of veteran’s files/social security info, etc., and the best the VA could come up with is I remember back then in some mass mailings, the VA informing Veterans to “keep an eye out”, with no offering of credit monitoring or anything…just lost info.
      Not to mention those employees NEVER had the authorization nor the NEED to take such laptops home with them. I do not have exact web-links to qualify this but it happened all the same and only telling you this because this would be FAR from the first, second, or third time that the VA has failed miserably at keeping our info safe from thieves, other than the thieves at the VA.
      I also do not recall ever hearing about those VA employees getting into any trouble either…as all things VA go, they were probably promoted and catapulted to be in charge of the entire VA IT Dept….that’s the way they seem to work…fuck-up, move-up. All things VA.

  7. Dear Mr. Krause:

    GOOD JOB!!! Mr. Krause, keep up the good work I hope this is the beginning, I mean about the ation now against those SES employees that a good start.

    That should have initiated long ago; but it does not matter, as the saying goes better late then never.

  8. I wonder how many veterans were denied their disability, just to have employees ok the claim, but told the veteran he-she was denied and those monies siphoned off into a secret account?

    Their account, how easy would that be!

    I just don’t understand how VA can hide records that proved the VETERAN was shot. The VA keeps turning the veterans claim down for disability and treatment for PTSD and traumatic brain injury?

    How does a veteran recover those LOST entitlements (disability payments) not to mention the veteran suffering for all those years?

    Is there no law where a veteran can recoup those monies, without the VA just lying again and just use the lame excuse, WELL it’s your fault for not fighting hard enough for it.!

    How do you fight something, when they hide your proof from you! And they know they are hiding it from the veteran.!

    How can real Americans know they are hurting veterans by hiding their records and know or hope the veteran just gives up trying!

    The VA deeds to held accountable for deceiving the veteran!

    Veterans that had this done to them should be able to recoup those funds, veterans with a traumatic brain injury should not be punished for being shot!

    There are many employees doing the wrong thing and keep it quiet or cover it up, not caring one bit, if they make a veteran go through life knowing what happened to them, but can’t prove it because the VA hid the proof!

    I hope they get a slap, as in law suit and jail time!

    WHEN IS AMERICANS GOING TO WAKE UP! And tell our government enough is enough!

    • This brings to mind a *very good movie* that was about a lot of different things and metaphors, but one of the *few movies* to show the evil side of the VA and this movie depicts some ‘experimenting’ on Vietnam Veterans…you could pick any conflict/war, and make this fit, and the name of the movie is “Jacobs Ladder”…it might be an 80’s movie, but it’s one damn good one that speaks many truths, some not entirely overt.
      Peace.

      • i’ve not been able to finish that movie or “born on the 4th of july” movie. the VA stuff in them gets to me in ways i’ve never been able to put into words. for what ever reason, they get to me in very unsettling ways. good movies though with their messages though i’ve never completed viewing them.

        you’re correct, they still ring true today, maybe even more so

    • I can’t really explain how this happened to me but I had a so called trusted
      employee of the VA copy my “report of separation” papers and I went home and a few days later, I noticed that 2 pages were replaced with
      another page. Very strange how the same pages that are missing that show my service connected injuries are in my Service Treatment Medical Records. The Veterans Services Officer who helped me apply for C & P disability mysteriously died (I viewed his body), He was good at getting Veterans their disability, all others are not even half as good
      because I’m still waiting after 5 1/2 years, those other Veterans applied
      around the same time I did! My case is finally in the Judges hands in Washington, DC. since Aug. 5th 2015. Can anyone tell me what my next move should be? I have already been denied 3 times with excuses
      about Article 15’s and other stupid things but “I don’t” have a dishonorable, I have an “Uncharacterized” discharge. When I applied for an Honorable years later they denied it stating I was disciplined at least 13 times, who has ever been disciplined 13 times without going to
      Fort Leavenworth! Let’s focus on the documented injuries.

  9. namnibor, Who’s the “VA Troll” besides the “Alleged Attorney” from yesterdays blog? I’m interested to know.
    BTW, “Jacobs Ladder” is a great movie. Lots of truths in in!!!!
    For the past few days I’ve been under the weather. Can’t seem to get it together. The VA idiots gave me a couple of meds that were counterproductive in treating one of my illnesses. Caused me a great deal of pain, loss of bowl movements and very low blood pressure. My BP is fluctuating from HIGH to LOW. Got very light headed two nights ago. Almost had the wife take me to the hospital…. When she called ‘tele-care’ and asked if the Physician or Pharmacy had ‘profiled’ my meds, the nurse didn’t know what that meant. INCOMPETENT…..my wife IS a registered care-giver!!! .

  10. I have to ask Ben this: Are those two pictures of future convicts in today’s article plain without peanuts/no photo-shopping, specifically around their eyes?
    If not, then it explains the natural affinity to Raccoons these two women display with Raccoon ‘eyes’, because Raccoons are very sneaky thieves…particularly of my dumpster at night…I think these two deserve each other and should have shared cell in Leavenworth.

    With that said, I simply do not think there’s ANY discipline at the VA Employees to even fear…like the fear of getting caught and being sent to a Federal Prison.
    This is a direct reflection of those two’s peers and ALL upper management above them…no discipline no fear…very dangerous…all the ingredients that helped make the Nazi Party take over and we know the rest of that story…it needs to be stopped.

  11. No one will get punished. No one will go to Prison nor will these women lose their jobs. We can all sleep peacefully tonight knowing that a cemetery worker who took home grave markers slated to be destroyed is no longer an employee of the VA.Progress is being made. VAOIG is incompetent and will only make “recommendations”. I have a recommendation also; somebody grow some balls and fire these scumbags who are stealing tax dollars and are still able to keep their 6 figure jobs that they created for themselves. This entire system is a complete joke.

    • Maybe these old bags should’ve used the extra cash to get facelifts. I had to fight for 5 years to receive my late husband’s benefits he earned in the Army from 1990 to 2010. These suburbanite cleptocrats stole money from soldiers, taxpayers and Veterans, unapologetically, while my family was homeless. Hashtag “go figure.”

  12. PENDAJO VETS THE AFGE @ SEIU UNIONS OWN AND RUN VA DEATHCARE FROM HELL VA HAS 400,000 FEDERAL WORKERS BUDGET FOR FOR 2015 169 BILLION $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ BONOUSES TO VA RATS 1/2 BILLION $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ VA DC HQ RATS SAY TO VETS HURRY @ DIE BUT WE VA HQ KEEP THE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  13. This Rubins Bit#$ Is the one That got caught in the Lie (Under Oath) That Hickey tried to smooth over Before congress, It was (In spite of my Outrage) Actually Funny. They were talking about her While she was sitting at the Table (in the Third Person) like she was`nt even there. It kind of reminded me of being under fire, When you want the ground to suck you in, You can`t get small enough. or close enough to the ground. She had (I`m damn sure) had rather been ANYWHERE ELSE ON EARTH But at that table. (And Had to sit there for the whole 2 to 3 hr Hearing!!)
    She`s the one that left the note on the counter in the bathroom that was spotted & Photographed by A Congressional Staffer That Said to Ignore Whatever they say or suggest V.A. do. It was a sight to see.
    Hickey, was; “Chairman Miller, Without Question, Without Question, I Have not forgiven Miss Rubin`s Remarks And Will “Deal” With it You can rest assured”. (Not Verbatim, But As close as my old Memory can recall) But I even caught myself feeling a little sorry for her. (BUT) That went away pretty quick. Damn Her, Congressman Jeff Miller Asked “And Miss Rubins IS STILL EMPLOYED AT THE V.A.?……….. and her sitting right there! Obviously you can`t Shame these people into doing the right thing, Hell, I thought She`d been LONG GONE by now, But, That`s what I get for “Assuming”, The old “You & Me” from School.

  14. Would you please consider creating a “Wall of Shame” and list these and the other thieves who are essentially stealing from homeless Vets. List their office email and phone numbers, and the phone numbers of their supervisors. Then we can all call once every day and ask them to return “$5 for this disabled Vet.” If they do and 40,000 of us call, then GREAT!! If they refuse to return even five of the dollars they stole from us, at least they’ll have to say “no” to each of us that calls. (It’s not as if they are actually personally serving Veterans daily; they are the ones creating bureaucratic layers between the treasury and the deserving Vets.)

Comments are closed.