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Veterans Affairs Allowed Profiteering On Backs Of Dead Veterans

Veterans Affairs

Veterans Affairs

Benjamin KrauseVFW national commander claims Veterans Affairs allowed Prudential Insurance to profit while withholding death insurance pay for survivors.

The veteran organization just received court-ordered release of documents showing Prudential encouraged counselors to keep casualty pay-out monies in-house.

By withholding the monies from deserving survivors, Prudential boosted company profits. The records indicated Prudential trained counselors to coerce survivors into accepting gradual payouts versus lump sum payouts, which allowed the company to profit by reinvesting the money not paid out.

VFW Commander John Biedrzychi, Jr. stated, “The documents speak for themselves, and they show that Prudential initiated this program for the money that could be gained, not to help grieving military families – and the VA knew all about it.”

In a statement, VA spokesman James Hutton claimed VA was unaware of the counselor training scheme or Prudential was profiting on the backs of deceased veterans families.

VFW adds to the initial coverage by Military.com with the following:

One document reveals a draft concept for asset retention in which account managers are encouraged to increase earnings by managing client money longer, which validates an earlier allegation by Bloomberg News that the company had earned up to a 4.8-percent return on their Alliance Accounts in 2008 while only paying survivors less than 1 percent in interest. “It clearly tells account managers to meet any additional needs beneficiaries may have, but on a playing field tilted toward Prudential,” said VFW National Commander John A. Biedrzycki Jr., who said the document also features a subtitle that simply states, “It’s About Money.” Still another document shows Prudential training its benefits operators on how to deal with survivors who insist on lump sum payments instead of an Alliance Account checkbook.

The curious part of this story is that Philadelphia is the insurance center for VA. This is also linked to the current Hickey move-pay scandal.

Sources:

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/10/05/va-says-it-was-unaware-of-prudentials-strategy-for-alliance-acc.html

https://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2015-Articles/VA-Approved-Prudential%E2%80%99s-Profiteering-Plan/

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37 thoughts on “Veterans Affairs Allowed Profiteering On Backs Of Dead Veterans”

  1. Hey folks, according to
    “The New York Times” article, the next Committee Meeting isn’t until November.

    Any taker’s on “IF” Hickey will “voluntarily” subject herself to examination?

    Any taker’s on “IF” those “5 Officials” who didn’t show yesterday, won’t show AGAIN even if under subpoena?

    Any taker’s on “IF” those “alleged” committee members receive a different negative word describing how they “feel” by the news media?

    Any taker’s on “Why” this “act” takes “precedents” over “WHY” four veterans DIED out in Phoenix waiting to be seen in “Urology”? Why weren’t they, and from the VA OIG report, and dozens of others sent outside for these medical exams? Oh, maybe it had something to do with that (NO)Choice Program we’ve been discussing for months now!?
    google the following,,,,
    “Delays at VA Urology clinic implicated in deaths”!

    There’s quite alot of “Any taker’s” questions all of us on here could ask. I just would like to see our Congressional Leadership “grow a pair” and do something. I believe they have the “authority”. If they don’t, WHO THE HELL DOES?

  2. Prudential Life Insurance and USAA insurance who is using the DAV logo on their soliciting mailings as if we trust the DAV and that will encourage us dumbbells to say “wow, I’ll buy that! Of course I trust the DAV who gets a “donation %” from USAA when you buy a policy. Hmmmmm….smells like SHIT to me. Large Financial Institutions, like the ones who caused the Great Recession of 2008, like AIG, et al. Hmmmmmmmm – smells like SHIT to me. “National Commanders” of DAV or VFW. Hmmmmm..smells like SHIT to me. Like we are all still in the military service of which I couldn’t wait to get out of. And these grown-up gas bags sort of created their own military-like organizations with titles like “National Commanders” as if we dig the military structure and should actually trust in them and our government. Hmmmmmmm, yea – Smells like SHIT to me.

  3. Dear Mr. Krause:

    I think all those involved in that vicious scam and working in conjunction with the VA should first of all be made to pay restitution for all they have taken and if they refuse
    slap liens on all they own, revoke their permits and licences, to engage in any more business wherever they reside or operate their businesses then send them to prison together with their partners in crime with the VA employees for a long time.

    Yours for God and Country
    Frank P. Calderon

    1. Agree, I guess the new business for AMERICANS is ripping off other AMERICANS!

      They need to send these jobs overseas and bring back real jobs back!

      Arresting these people and give them time with Bubba! And will learn what it feels like to get the wrong end of the stick!

    2. Frank Sir, You`re a much Kinder man that I. A Tall Tree & a short Rope, Or a Firing Squad “Mad Minute” was on my mind. Tho I do like your last name also, Boiled in oil would also do nicely. I think I must be holding a lot of aggression from the Repeated violations that are heaped on veterans seem endless. I have NO Doubt there`s much more to come. You Sir, Will have a much better chance than I getting passed the “Gate Keeper” in the here after. Please Pray for me.

  4. To all,
    Prudential will never come totally clean, in my opinion, over anything concerning this issue. The only course of action is to continue the, “OPERATION: SHAME ON YOU VA”!
    In my opinion, it’s working. VA’s “house of cards” is falling apart. Taxpayers & Veterans are concerned (actually pissed) Congress and the Senate aren’t living up to their promises they made to get elected.
    Has everyone noticed more and more negative press has surfaced in the past 90 days. Compaired to this time last year.
    Keep the pressure on!

    @namnibor,
    Here’s something I found today concerning those “fiduciary scams”.
    Check out this,
    H.R. 2975-114th Congress (2015-2016) Protect Veterans.
    July 8, 2015.
    “Financial Fraud Act”
    Basically what it says, when a fiduciary steals money, or commits fraud, against a vet. The VA is mandated to return all the monies stolen.
    Great idea, IF VA follows it?
    But, then again veterans are up against VA. We all know how VA follows the law so well? LOL.
    Of course, that is also relegated to IF Congress passed said “Bill”! And IF the President signed it into law! I couldn’t locate that little tidbit of news!

    1. Here’s some good news and bad news.
      First the bad.

      From “MilitaryTimes”

      “Vets dismayed by VA payback rules on separation pay”
      by Andrew Tilghman, staff writer
      3 days ago
      Seems these vets, of the new wars, have to pay back “early (military) separation pay”, if they apply for and receive VA compensation for disabilities on service related injuries.

      Now for some really good news.

      From “azcentral”
      “Investigations”

      “Phoenix VA fiscal officer wins whistleblower reprisal case”
      by Dennis Wagner, The Republic | azcentral dot com

      She even gets to go after VA for compensatory monies due to the different egregious acts she suffered at the hands of higher ups.

      I’m still looking to see if that “fiduciary law” was signed. So far, no luck!

      1. I too am at a total loss in trying to find if that “Fiduciary Law” was signed into Law. I am now kind of wondering if it was quietly allowed to fall onto the floor and swept-up…this is really odd.
        Perhaps this is why these VA Fiduciary Scams are still plaguing those Vets that the VA has deemed incompetent or unable to “handle their affairs”…it’s simply way too much money to let go of? I recall reading articles where the VA would use the same Fiduciary for almost 3 dozen Vets…do the math…lots of $$$ to be stealing and skimming off the top.

        No mention of Gen. Hickey’s resignation on any national news I watch and of course no mention of whether she appeared before the committee (today?).

        Of course, the news is filled with crap about the “demands” Paul Ryan is making IF he is t be Speaker of The House…I really do not like that condescending ass of a congressman, Paul Ryan. Do not think it will make America any better with him in that position because after all, he’s part of that ilk that seem to not be very Veteran Friendly, consider us “Takers”, yet has no problem sending us to go fight their wars…not to mention that he’s part of the very problem in D.C. FYI–Paul Ryan wants very much to Privatize Social Security and between he and Michelle Bachman (in recent past), have sought to minimize Veteran Benefits.
        Something about Paul Ryan is a bit scary to me.

      2. And here’s a brand new article from
        “Townhall dot com” concerning our military budget.

        “GOP Challenges Obama: Are You Really Going to Veto Our Bipartisan Defense Bill”
        by Guy Benson
        21 Oct, 2015

        When you read this. Get ready to understand WHY Obama would veto it. It’s got some “pork” in it, like “defund PP, and other stuff. Read it closely.

    2. Elf, I sent this to Ben last nite. It’s about the $400,000 in relocation expenses for just two employees. I just noticed number (C) seems to indicate that there would be fraud in this/these cases because these moves were clearly for the convenience of the employees. FTR Ch. 302 is some kind of federal rule on moving expenses for fed employees. I am too stressed to figure this all out, and it is kind of confusing to me. Maybe you can make full sense of it. I think if you look up “FTR ch. 302” as an internet search, it will bring you to this manual that gets deep into moving expenses. There are a few references involving dollar amounts of about $600 to $1,700 or so, and references to something like 18,000 pounds of furniture or whatever.

      I don’t see how anyone could get the moving cost up over $200,000 like it was for one of the women in question. Anyway, this federal code reads, in part, as follows (and, please note the part about “attempting to defraud the Government”):

      (c) Any relocation must be incidental to the transfer and not for the convenience of the employee.

      §302-2.7 What happens if I attempt to defraud the Government?

      If you attempt to defraud the Government:

      (a) You forfeit reimbursement pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2514; and

      (b) You may be subject under 18 U.S.C. 287 and 1001 to one, or both, of the following:

      (1) A fine of not more than $10,000, and/or

      (2) Imprisonment for not more than 5 years.

      You get the feeling that “If you attempt to defraud the Government” via padded moving expenses AND the purpose of the move, that these two cases would be perfect examples of that very crime. One would think that the two VA employees and the Undersecretary would all be guilty of fraud and these penalties.

      I don’t see how McD could reasonably claim he did not know about this huge bonuses/moving expenses. He really should bail/retire before he gets nailed for these kind of things and a lot more. He doesn’t need the money. Why does he stay? Same for Gibson. Note that CNN came down with a print media report heavily against the moving expenses and more. Seems to be their response to Hickey’s delusions of grandeur love letter mission accomplished exit.

      1. @Bruce,
        I truly do not believe we’ve heard the last of this issue.
        Since the DOJ is seriously looking into this, we just might see some action. I don’t know for sure, but if Miller, McCain and others do their jobs, who knows?
        Great job Bruce!

      2. If I remember right, travel expenses can be made if the employee is transferring to a new duty station that is over 50 miles from their old duty station. I am not positive, but I believe convenience of the employee means if they lived 49 miles from their duty station, and wanted to live closer. Whether moving expenses are paid is up to the agency. For example, in USAJobs, there are currently 13 job openings for VA Director. All say they pay moving expenses. An opening for Senior Social Worker says they do not pay moving expenses. An opening for a Radiation Oncologist not only pays moving expenses, but a hiring bonus as well. What is eye-opening are 3 openings for a Security Clerk, Dispatcher who works in the Police Operations Office. Their duties are to conduct wants/warrant searches, vehicle registration checks, and criminal history checks through the NCIC database. So, go to the VA for medical care and you can get a ticket or arrested for forgetting to renew your car tags. It does not pay moving expenses, and neither does the Urgent Care Physician opening or the C&P physician opening. It looks like the VA reserves moving expenses as a perk for their upper management.
        What I would like to know is how the one director in this who created her own position and then volunteered for it, if that job was publicly advertised. It sounds as if it was not, so creating that position, only allowing her to apply for it and then giving her moving expenses really could look like it was done only for her convenience. I hope all involved with that mess are prosecuted.

  5. This is the same thing going on with the VGLI, I keep asking for help and they Prudential who controls the monies has denied me a claim, this is so typical, they got tons of monies and don’t pay out anything, and nobodies does anything unless it gets them a article to write and something to run with for there own benefit.

    1. I am not trying to be flippant, but if you have a Twitter account, go on Twitter and send Prudential a tweet asking them why they refuse to help you.
      If you don’t have Twitter, create an account and send them a tweet.
      It is amazing how fast corporations respond when their dirty laundry is tweeted publicly for others to see.

  6. I thought this had been resolved long ago. The military dot com article provides a good history on it. As for the VA, Prudential and the outcome, an independent investigation should be started, find out when Prudential started this, determine who was coerced into payouts, and how much in interest Prudential made by withholding that payout. That amount should be paid to the survivors. The $125 to those in the class action suit is a joke. This can all be investigated and traced. There is just no will to do so.

    1. @91Veteran,
      We all know how “Class Action Lawsuits” end. The Lawyers get 90%+ and the “Claimants” receive “peanuts”!
      It may not be that way all the time. But I will bet it’s that way a majority of the time.
      I would expound on something but —–

  7. I knew about this practice when I was a TAP counselor for the USAF from 1997-2011. I told persons attending my class to never accept the gradual payments as this allowed Prudential to profit and cost the survivors money. The ultimate guilty party is DoD, not VA. I am talking about SGLI not VGLI, but same thing happens with VGLI as with SGLI. I would say this practice needs to be stopped ASAP. Gradual payouts only benefits the Insurance giants on the backs of veterans and their survivors!

    Ken

  8. I don’t doubt it for a minute-my husband was “covered” by USAA as my employer but as a Veteran he slipped through the cracks-I wasn’t capable of helping him get treated or even
    evaluated fast enough-USAA’s character toward employees who win commendations and their Veteran spouses is deplorable! I’ve had the past 15+ years from fighting for Benefits
    as a disabled employee with a deceased service connected spouse because our Military
    Officials have NO consciences! We have 7 military members in our family wth 5 having a death or service connected illness! This deserves respect for me but not from either entity
    which seems to just cut their losses at the expense of those who’ve earned & deserved it!

    1. I’m rated at 100 percent for PTSD and have a tbi from service permanent and total!

      I was wondering if anyone out there has had a spouse with the same disability and passed away, if their spouse was granted any compensation after that veteran died!

      I’m getting older and married for forty years! My wife is disabled and receives social security!

      When I die, will the department of veterans affairs give her anything! For me being shot in the head, the tbi was not given a service disability, VA stating like always we need more proof! When their own neurological doctor confirmed it!

      The VA putting me as unemployable, I have been forced to not be able to work at anything, therefore I’m unable to try and make money for her future!

  9. Prosecute, if they have the evidence. If they don’t prosecute and show the American people that our government is really for the people, thing’s will continue as our government will give everyone and anyone the ok to hurt not only veterans, but the public at large!

  10. Someone, somewhere in the VA profited. Maybe it was a free trip, a low interest home loan (Prudential is in the mortgage business) or some other perk such as the promise of a big paying job in the future.

    Prudential should immediately be removed as the disburser of funds and future contracts should stipulate return on investment be more evenly distributed. I wouldn’t expect the company do it for nothing. However, when millions are involved a 3.8% spread for no investment risk on their part is unconscionable. Also, doing it to families whose service member made the sacrifice is despicable.

    1. Prudential and the VA and any contracts need to be thoroughly investigated. I cannot recall the dates, but I believe Prudential was the contractor handling relocation of federal employees a few years ago, and may still have that contract. That contract would have brought millions to them.

  11. To all,
    Here’s the latest in a string of bullcrap by VA and the “Veterans Committee”!

    #1.) From “Military dot com”

    “VA Seeks to Remove Net Worth Reporting for Healthcare Benefits”
    19 Oct. 2015
    Military dot com | by Jim Absher

    In the article, it asks you to ‘click onto’
    “See our VA Healthcare Eligibility page for details”

    I’m wondering if this isn’t in response to a “Whistleblowers allegations” which surfaced earlier this year out of Atlanta, Ga.? Remember the article about thousands of veterans waiting for healthcare because their files were missing these “inputs”? Kind of late for those veterans, don’t you think?

    #2.) This article is, in my opinion, a MUST READ.
    it came through “Military dot com”- “Daily News” via “Stars and Stripes”.

    “Lawmaker Threatens to Subpoena VA Officials Implicated in Wrongdoing”
    20 Oct. 2015
    Stars and Stripes | by Heath Druzin

    This article is about the two who received those allegedly illegal “relocation monies”!

    Why didn’t those “alleged lawmakers” have subpoenas sent out a few weeks ago? Especially when they first heard about this crap. What are they waiting on, a “sign from God”? You know, like Hickey did last year. When “God told her not to step down”?!

    I have sent both of these to Ben. And I will be sending them off to the news media here in Central Florida.

    @Bruce,
    See how easy it is when one reports the truth? These articles substantiate what I’m saying and asking! As have many others on here, Facebook, Twitter and other “Social Medias”!
    “Freedom of Speech” is a powerful weapon.
    Like someone said yesterday, “The pen is mightier than the gun, sometimes!”
    Let’s keep the pressure going!
    It’s definitely working!

  12. What an insult! I knew that the VA has been “ripping off” disabled veterans for a long time now, but this is the first time that I have heard that this “ripping off” follows us to the grave. Any VSO organization that accepts money from Prudential should be ashamed of themselves, There is no doubt that this money should go the families of the deceased veterans who were coerced by Prudential. There seems to be no end to the number of “pigs” scrambling to feast at the VA money trough.

  13. I have this to say about the “VA Life Insurance Underwritten By Prudential”– In exact same time frame of receiving my 100% Svc. Connected I also got the packet of info on the “VA Life Insurance”.
    When I called the VARO and talked to a Rep. about this I was told I could not be denied this “VA Life Insurance” for *any* condition, so I sent-in my info/application, which ALSO required you send first Premium Payment. I filled-out the paperwork properly and above all, honestly.
    I was DENIED this “VA Life Insurance” for the sole reasons that part (this is only a fraction of my Svc. Connected Medical Issues), of my service connection is fact I experienced a Clear Unmistakable Error(s) while active-duty, having a surgical procedure that ended-up infecting me with Hep-B and later to find out HIV+ as well…and no high risk group or anything…it was deemed I am in “Too High Of A Risk Group”, thus I was promptly denied “VA Life Insurance” and it took them 5 months to reimburse my initial Premium, after having to make many calls and yet again get my Senator involved.
    The VA flat-out lied to me about “no way would I or could I be denied the Life Insurance for any condition”. Bastards.
    I also cannot get ANY Life Insurance *anywhere* because of these “little gifts” I was given and still firmly believe at that time frame of mid-1980’s I was nothing more than some sort of lab rat experiment.
    So this does not surprise me AT ALL about Prudential trying to scam Veteran’s Survivors, and the VA Reps./VSO’s playing along in this scam.

    This is a very hot topic for me because I cannot stand being lied to let alone blatantly lied to…while living with this crap, side effects from meds, even though am doing very well as far as my labs go and such, and then all the PTSD from repeatedly being interrogated like a criminal, making the situation evolve into mind games and yes, even sexual trauma.

    Phuck Prudential…and the VA. They have a scam going and this sounds as bad as the VA’s scam of ripping off Vets through their Fiduciary Program. I am waiting for something BIG to be investigated and brought fully out about the Fiduciary Scams…it’s all over, with the Indy VA having a HUGE scam running there with appointed Fiduciary Agents that literally are stealing from Veterans.

    Sorry for the long rant but I wanted to share my $hitty experience with the VA’s Life Insurance that’s underwritten by Prudential. Good thing I am single, no kids nor dependents to worry about when I eventually meet my maker. It now makes me wonder if Prudential and the VA went out of their way to further throw salt on open wounds…and it’s of course way past that time frame by years to even qualify for it if they were to change their tune.

    Philly VA seems to be another epicenter of fraud and wonder if this too will just be swept under the VA’s rug…along with presumptive Agent Orange, Gulf War Illness, et al?

    1. @namnibor,
      Could you put some of the news articles on here about the fiduciary scams? So I can look them up and send them out.
      I believe more people would want to know about that. I’ve heard other cities VARO’s have also been involved in this scam. I’m trying, later today, to find the articles. I will put them on asap.
      Thanks Brother.

      1. Elf- I have a busy day today but took the time to just find this rather easy one from Ben’s Blog from May 30, 2014, and it actually WAS about the Indy VARO/MC and VAOIG, Fiduciaries stealing $ from Vets, article on May 30, 2014 is titled: “VA Fiduciary Abuse: Almost $1 Million in Payments for Veterans Misused”
        I did this instead of an actual web link since this causes moderator to approve and do not want to take from Ben’s valuable time. That will lead you down the rabbit hole, VAOIG report that did nothing really because it’s still on-going.

        Another thing– Remember earlier this year it was disclosed/uncovered that over 1/3 of Veterans in “Backlog” had deceased? I BET $$ was being collected on those in-house all that time…I know it sounds freaking sinister in an “American Horror Story: VA Hospital” version, but I am thinking there’s a LOT of insurance and benefit fraudulent siphoning/embezzling off the backs of alive and dead Veterans.

        This is outrageous. I will look for more Veteran Fiduciary scam stuff later on. Hope what I posted helps you and I do not think this was off-topic because it’s about Insurance, and the VBA is by all accounts an Insurance…the VA even used to be originally called some sort of “…War Liability…” (paraphrased stretched because cannot think of exact name but you get my drift)
        Peace.

      2. namnibor,
        Wasn’t it reported sometime ago, mid to late 2000’s, where VA hired an “insurance person” to run not only the VHA, but the VBA? Seems I remember something about that on here or some other website. Not sure though, maybe someone can do some digging and locate the article.

  14. The most disturbing aspect of this is “What are the privacy requirements for VFW and other organizations when it comes to data storage of veterans? They could be using veteran data to obtain large credit lines and so forth, even after the vet is deceased. They need to be investigated! The OIG can investigate them because of the fiduciary program that is within their jurisdiction. I despise people who take advantage of not so informed people. I can see a lot of older vets signing up for different things and they know that they can draw them in because military pride is ingrained in that generation.

  15. About Prudential, a “Law suit was resolved in December 2014 in a near $40 M settlement.”
    And they, Prudential, were also required, or mandated, “to give $20 million” to various
    “nonprofit veterans groups over a 20 year period”.
    I’m confused, who benefited from these settlements? Why would veterans groups (VSO’s) receive anything? Shouldn’t the “survivors” and/or “family members of the deceased” receive everything?
    Sounds like VFW, and other groups, will profit off this “settlement”, is that the case here? Or did they give the monies to the families? Just wondering here.

    As for the VA, two “news articles” contradict each other. One said they (VA) “knew nothing”. A “Sgt. Shultz” statement heard in just about every “Hogan’s Hero’s” episode. The other clearly indicates they did! Or did I misinterpret the articles?
    There’s really nothing more to ask or say. It looks like lots of people profited off this. Only, in my opinion, it wasn’t the people who deserved it?!

    1. It seemed to me after reading the article that although Prudential was found to be liable for wrong doing, the judge let them off somewhat by donating the $20 million. That not only allowed Prudential to protect their business from people finding out more detail about this scam, but they then avoided the hard work of finding all those people they scammed and paying them what was owed.
      Question is, did Prudential then claim a tax write-off for a charitable donation?

      1. @91Veteran,
        I was being very facetious when I wrote that this morning.
        You may be onto something, did prudential “get a tax write-off”?
        With the way things are going in this country, I wouldn’t doubt it.

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