Miami VA Nurse Gets 5 Year Conviction For Fraud

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Miami VA

Benjamin KrauseOne Miami VA nurse was convicted for fraud after a court found he altered a veteran’s medical records to cover up his role in the veteran’s death.

The nurse, Enrique Mathews, was recently sentenced to five years in prison for falsifying computer records that resulted in a conviction for fraud in violation of Title 18 USC §§ 1519 and 1030. The veteran was 76 years old and recovering from heart surgery.

How is it that more prosecutions have not arisen in light of the wait list manipulations?

A VA investigation revealed Mathews falsified medical records. The patient was in the surgical intensive care unit at the Miami VA.

According to the Miami Herald:

“The patient was stable, according to the court record, and his vital signs were within acceptable ranges. But shortly after Mathews assumed responsibility for the veteran’s care, court records state, the patient’s vital signs began to degrade — with his blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, breathing and heart rate fluctuating dangerously.

“For the rest of that day, the veteran’s vitals signs were either not recorded in the computer system, or if entered, showed a serious downturn in the patient’s condition.

“According to court records, there were long periods when no vital signs were entered into the patient’s record, indicating that the electronic monitoring system had been manually deactivated or its cables unplugged.

“Had physicians been aware of the patient’s deteriorating condition, the records say, they would have rescinded the order to transfer the veteran to a lower-level ward.

“When Mathews completed his transfer of the patient, he didn’t tell colleagues about the patient’s deteriorating condition, the record says. Instead, Mathews returned to the surgical intensive care unit and changed the patient’s medical record on a computer, making it appear that the patient had been stable throughout the day. Mathews neglected to follow Miami VA policy that changes to patients’ records must include notes indicating the reasons.”

The announcement was made by US Attorney Wifredo Ferrer. He told the press:

“Protecting our veterans is a national concern. Together with our partners at the Veterans Affairs Administration, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will identify for prosecution those individuals who compromise the personal information and potential safety and security of our citizens.”

VA OIG special agent Monty Stokes said:

“This investigation represents the VA OIG’s commitment to investigate obstruction as well as alterations of medical records that needlessly compromise veterans’ care and subject them to harm. We will continue to vigorously investigate employees whose actions corrupt the integrity of VA’s health care records relied upon by VA clinicians who treat our nation’s heroes.”

How many more cases like this will come up?

VA clinicians have a reputation for making false statement or mischaracterizations within medical records whenever a patient’s health care condition goes down hill.

Now that at least this clinician will be behind bars, how long will it take for VA OIG to turn its sights on higher level executives who also falsified records?

Source: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article65441952.html

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38 Comments

  1. So..The guy altered and falsified records and a Vet died because of it…In my eyes that’s no different that putting someone on a fake paper waiting list and putting off appointments till the patient dies or is past help…Both cases should be investigated and prosecuted in exactly the same way…

  2. With the medical record fraud and cover ups so prevalent at the VA, I would certainly like to hear what he had to say. With the VAs record of tainted investigations, cover ups and actions against whistle blowers.

    While I do believe he may have changed the records and been part of covering up the bad outcome from a surgery. There definitely is more to the story then is being said and the VA is covering up the bad outcome from the surgery. Clearly the falsification of records did not kill the patient and was done to hide problems with the patients condition after the surgery. It was problems with the surgery that killed the patient.

    ]

  3. “[Had physicians been aware of the patient’s deteriorating condition, the records say, they would have rescinded the order to transfer the veteran to a lower-level ward.]”

    So am I to understand the VA’s grammar here that, a “lower-level ward” goes hand-in-hand with SHITTIER QUALITY OF CARE?
    So…what level of SHITTY CARE is VA Intensive Care considered? Is that in VA-Speak mean ten steps from probably death by a VA employee? Is a “transfer to a lower-level ward” a guarantee of a whole crew of “Nurse Ratchets”?

    I am just guessing here that this VA Employee was too busy on his electronic personal devices to be bothered with providing quality health care to the very Veterans that fought for HIS freedom to work such a job and by unplugging the electronic monitoring, he was guaranteed to not be interrupted in his game of Candy Crush?

    How many other deaths are in this VA employee’s wake? How many times was he disciplined for similar infractions and changing Veteran Electronic Records? Why is it apparently so easy for ANY VA employee to make changes in our records? Would even a janitor at the VA be able to make such changes to a Vet’s medical records?

    How about the personnel that were Enrique’s supervisors at that VAMC? Were they held accountable? I am afraid that without accountability across the board in the VA, this case unfortunately is only striking the very tip of the corruption iceberg at the VA System. This VA employee was likely ONLY caught because that Veteran died and nobody above Enrique wished to take the fall or any responsibility….my guess.

    • Or….Enrique was made to be the “fall guy under the VA bus”, and perhaps the Veteran died FROM shitty surgical procedure and it was covered-up by changing the records and making it LOOK LIKE the RN did it?

      I too am thinking there’s MUCH MORE to this story than meets the eyes here. This is where we are at with the VA…our trust level as Veterans has worn incredibly thin and we are questioning EVERYTHING.

    • Your comment makes me question, where the hell was the doctor who was following this patient? Without more detail saying otherwise, I get the impression this veteran deteriorated over several hours or days. Why did the doctor, if he/she were making their rounds, why did they not catch his deteriorating condition?
      Can a nurse on their own just transfer a patient to a lower level of care? I would think the treating physician would have to sign off on the transfer.
      I am not defending the nurse here, but where the hell was the doctor?

  4. There was an article on Channel 9 News, WFTV, (local station), about a week or so ago. Stating Florida was the “…first state having information coming out of VAOIG!” Which had been sat on for, no one knows how long. It came out about the same time Miller said he wouldn’t be running for reelection!
    “How convenient!”

    We on here, and other websites and social medias, concur over the “cover-ups” perpetrated by VA employees from top to bottom. Everyone of us has had “bogus information” put in our medical files at one time or another.
    Bogus information is hard to get recended. I know, I’ve tried. Unsuccessfully, I might add!

    With that in mind, here’s an article from another article Melvin put on last fridays blog. It had to do with the “Candy Man” and the death of that Marine.
    Titled;

    “Senate committee asking if FBI missed the call in veterans death at VA”

    The other article, which was attached, and which is close to todays blog is titled;

    “Related: Baldwin Aide Breaks Silence, Alleges Senator Engaged in Cover-up”

    I don’t know about y’all, I also believe there’s a great deal more to this story which isn’t being brought out!
    I believe all those who sit on those bogus committee’s know there’s criminal acts being committed. Whereas they do have the power to recommend criminal prosecution. Only they haven’t!
    I’ll leave the rest up to y’all on what should happen to them!?

    • Here’s two articles I received this morning. The first is from “VAWatchdog dot org”, titled;

      “Wife says her husband died waiting for VA to approve benefits”
      by Drew Early, Esq.

      Mr. Early isn’t too happy with Gibson on down!

      #2 is from “WND Front Page” and is an “Exclusive Commentary” by David Kupelian.
      titled;

      “Shocking Truth About Today’s Democratic Party”

      Both are, in my opinion, a must read!

      • Y’all may want to watch this video from,
        “Infowars dot com”

        titled;
        “It won’t matter who gets elected after this happens”

        “Surveillance state gives elite all the power needed to control the population!” Believe it or not, this is reminiscent of pre 1939 Nazi Germany. Coupled with Marxist and Lenin’s Russia.
        I read last week where High Schoolers were being told, not asked, to “snitch” on fellow students. Who were involved in or were making “anti-government” rhetoric! There’s more. Watch the video concerning “drone use on American soil!”

    • Hey Elf,

      Thought I would add a link from a group of employees at the Phoenix VA Concerned Employees of PVAHCS found at the website “brokenva.com”.

      The letter from the group of concerned employees can be found at:

      “https://www.scribd.com/doc/301489863/Concerned-Employees-of-PVAHCS-Letter”

      In their letter they are calling out news orgs for not properly covering what is ongoing at the Phoenix VA facility and how the reports are not covering how bad it is.

      It is worth a read.

  5. Y’all want to know what’s going to happen to that $182 BILLION PLUS allotment?! It’s going to go for — wait for it —–
    From:
    “The Daily Caller News Foundation”,
    by Mr. Luke Rosiak 3/13/2016
    titled;
    “Top VA Hospital Bosses Would See Pay Doubled Under Proposal to Congress”

    Their going to be discussing this tomorrow, 3/15/2016!
    Y’all really need to read this article. When y’all do, get ready to be pissed off! It’s amazing the top officials at VA would even concider asking for this! Oh, wait, VA top officials have just helped the veterans so damn much – yea right!

    It’s time for every one, from McDonald on down, in the VA to be fired and brought up on criminal charges! IF they are allowed to get away with this SHIT!

    • What I fail to understand is, HOW can the VA ask for $ for salary increases at a time of supposedly Government Sequestration? We on SS and/or Disabled Veterans Compensation have not received any increase, so HOW can these VA upper management even BEGIN to justify their asking for $ when they are failing Veterans so poorly?
      @crazyelf- Yeah, those articles pissed me off and more. With Miller announcing his pending retirement, I can see the VA doing all they can to try to get everything they can from this ALSO BROKEN Congressional Veterans Committees…and if Miller and others approve of these pay increases, while damn well knowing all the crap the VA is pulling on Veterans, then we need to raise an issue of NO CONFIDENCE or TRUST in the VA and Upper Management.
      How DARE they ask for even MORE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$…..basTURDs

  6. One doesn’t have to pass on in order for these people to falsify records, they do it all the time. The propaganda machine is hard at work to throw veterans to the wolves while having a plaque on the front of my VA that says ” the price of freedom is visible here”! This article along with several others I’ve read might get sent via ehealth to my primaries telling them I have family members who are watching my health deteriorate because of there lack of. I’m at the point I don’t give 2 shits about anything!

  7. In reading this post, it’s sad to realize this and other serious problems within the VA only seem to come to light after a death. Phoenix, Tomah, the thug in Louisiana, the quack arrested from Indiana, etc.
    Perhaps if earlier reports of this stuff happening were taken seriously, a veteran wouldn’t have to die, politicians wouldn’t have to throw up their hands and harrumph for a day.
    This reminds me of the day I was discharged from the VA after knee surgery, and my nurse had disappeared from about 10am until I left around 3:30pm. I never did see him after 10am.
    When I had to return that evening to get the IV port taken out, I was told it was my fault for being in too much of a hurry to leave.
    I suspect this nurse was too busy grab-assing and didn’t want to be bothered.

    • @91veteran-

      That’s horrible patient care when a RN or even an LPN does not make their return or rounds for 5 1/2 hours, but somehow that’s how I imagine the experience as an in-patient at a VAMC would be like…pure hell.
      I visualize the VA hiring 70% BLIND Phlebotomists in order to get that Federal Credit, meanwhile, any Veteran after having that 70% BLIND Lab Tech trying to find a vein, will look like a range target that’s not been changed in a few days or weeks.

      Because I have full Medicare (I pay for it/Premiums, All copays, RX Plan), the VA would make me use Medicare as first billing entity and I simply do not trust the VA to the point I have it written in waterproof, laminated sharpie marker to back of my driver license and VA I.D. in plain large letters: DO NOT TAKE ME TO ANY VA.

      It’s sad one has to feel this way but it’s true and I really would love to be able to trust the VA with my health and life but I cannot extend that trust at this time and possibly never.
      It’s even more agitating knowing that Political Refugees from Syria, Somalia, Uganda, et al…ALL of which have MUCH BETTER healthcare and options/benefits than we that served our USA Honorably. Sad times.

  8. @Melvin and everyone else.
    I found that “link” you mentioned.
    Interesting they would take their “concerns” to “Songbird McCain’s” staff! Y’all already know what I think of that ‘TRAITOROUS’ pile of dung! He needs to be voted out of office. Why there isn’t a “movement” to get his ass out of office, is beyond my comprehension!

    I also found this;

    “VA Staffers Take Concerns To Senator McCain; Release Another Memo”

    by Ashleigh Barry – Ch. 3 news. 11 Mar. 2016

    It also is about the “Concerned Employees of PVAHCS”

    If y’all google that article. You’ll find a bunch more about the failures VA has accomplished against veterans nationwide!

    • I have a very good friend. He was a physician practicing in the city of Indianapolis. He said to me, “If you ever have anything seriously wrong with you, stay the hell away from the Indianapolis VA Hospital.

      They have an agreement with Indianapolis University School of Medicine. Do you want a second or third year medical student experimenting on you?”

      Veteran beware!

      • I also have been told by three different veteran friends as well as my own brother, whom lives in that State, to stay FAR AWAY from the Indy VAMC.
        My brother actually started paying for his own premium at work for his private medical insurance because the VA had him on RX’s that clashed so badly it placed him in a private hospital and that Dr. told him to immediately to TOSS ALL those meds the VA was prescribing, and even one was notoriously conflicting with some other med he is on and is so common, the private heart Dr. told him he would question that medical professional’s ability to practice medicine in this century…that bad. Guess what? The VA is STILL mailing him those same damn meds even though he is no longer using the VA…I guess the VA garners their funding by such statistics. VA Death Care.

      • I have wondered about prescriptions that the VA tends to leave on medical records. I have 2, and neither have been filled in months. In fact, 1 I haven’t taken in about a year and a half.
        Typically the PCP reviews prescriptions, but why those two survive as active in my records I’ll never know.
        For Robin Mitchell…I asked my PT guy how his inspection went. He said they haven’t shown up yet. He sounded as if it would be a routine inspection, that they typically start at SLC then come here to Grand Junction. Again, it sounded routine to me since he said they have been waiting since last September. He didn’t sound as if it was unusual for delays in getting inspected.

  9. Today, on “Military dot com” there’s an article titled;

    “Trump Dodges Question About McCain During Subdued Ohio Event!”
    by Thomad Beaumont of the “associated press” 14 Mar. 2016.

    Seems this father tried to pin down, and make a fool out of, Mr. Trump on McCain!
    It seems his son, who was captured and killed while serving in the Middle East. And he took afront to Mr. Trump’s allegations of McCain NOT being classified as a “War Hero!” Basically saying that Mr. Trump had no rights saying if a person is captured their not a war hero.
    I say all POW’s and MIA’s are hero’s. As long as they don’t do what McCain did during his capture or after he was released. Especially on he did as a sitting Senator!

    Well, I’m here to tell y’all, McCain is NO WAR HERO!

    Here’s ONE of my sources, and there are a hell of a lot more, to back it up!
    It’s from –
    “The American Conservative”,
    written by Sydney Schanberg · July 1, 2010.
    Titled;
    “McCain and the POW Cover-Up”
    “The ‘War Hero’ candidate buried information about POW’s left behind in Vietnam”

    I hope y’all google this and take note to what McCain and Kerry did! Just like I’ve been saying – McCain is NO WAR HERO, PERIOD!

    • P.S.
      Once y’all read the article from the AP. You’ll understand more as to the “WHY” loved ones can’t get information out of our government on POW/MIA’s today. Thanks to McCain and Kerry!

    • McCain was called song bird for a reason, my dead grandfather told me McCain story, McCain wasn’t a hero at all and caused the deaths of fellow soldiers McCain was always a traitor

      • Yes George, and that is exactly the “WHY” McCain, along with that COWARD KERRY, has made it completely impossible for anyone to unlock all the information. Even a “FOIA” cannot be used!
        Can y’all imagine what would come out concerning McCain’s time as a POW?! There would be no place for him to hide.

      • @Mark
        All this sh!t needs to come out on the “BOY!”
        Sorry, I just can’t bring myself to call him a “man”!

    • Hey Robin and others interested in what is going on at Indi vamc.

      RESEARCH: at Indi in 2014 there research budget was approximately $23.3 million with less that half of that being provided by VHA Office of Research And Development. The remaining $12.3 million was provided by unlisted sources. Likely big Pharma, Medical devise Manf. and the Universities research programs which is funded by big Pharma and Medical Devise Manf. and DARPA.

      Given Indi is the new research center hub for many of the human subject research at the VA Health Care system they now also are tied into not only community research but also any VA facility they wish to preform research at. Note excerpt regarding the Presidential directive.

      “https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/facility.asp?id=62″

      Excerpts from page:

      ” The Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center is a tertiary care facility academically affiliated with Indiana University (IU). It operates a research program involving human subjects, laboratory animals, and hazardous agents, with a budget of approximately $23.3 million in FY 2014, of which approximately $11 million was provided by the VHA Office of Research and Development (ORD). In FY14, there were approximately 404 active research protocols, including 361 studies involving human subjects, 43 animal protocols, and 584 individuals actively engaged in VA research at RLRVAMC. Research Service occupies approximately 44,000sq feet of research administrative and laboratory space in the main facility; an additional 10,000sq feet of off-site space at the university, and we are currently constructing a new research building that will occupy 16,000sq feet. Our research strengths include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, alcoholism, AIDS, lung disease, fungal infection, cancer, stroke, kidney disease, mental health, PTSD, chronic pain, and health services research.
      In FY2014, Research Service had VA funding from the VHA Office or Research”

      ” On April 9, 2009, President Obama directed the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense to create the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER). In August 2010, the RLR VA partnered with Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE) to create capacity for VA institutions to exchange health information with community partners (VA-IHIE project). Through a combined partnership, VA-IHIE will provide data from a “network of health care networks” that coordinates clinical data in real-time at the point of care. IHIE is arguably the largest and most comprehensive information exchange in the country. The opportunity to gain objective information regarding the effect of HIE is unprecedented in nature and scope.”

      • When you think of the hundreds of millions of dollars the VA has spent on “research” over the years, you would think it would translate into better treatment for veterans at some point.
        At least something where veterans are not being ripped off like with the HepC treatment.
        I can’t think of anything specific that has come from VA research that has benefited veterans equivalent to the money spent, or what is already available in the private sector.

      • Indy may be doing research and I was in a chronic pain study there that actually helped. Reminded me of a bio feedback experiment I was in while in the Air Force that was based on trying to teach downed pilots how to use bio feedback to evade lie detector tests, stay calm, etc.

        But, this investigation probably isn’t research based.

        I am thinking more along the lines of these possibilities: stealing vets money via the fiduciary scam. Putting national security at risk by ignoring Fast Letter 09-52 and SOCOM confirming veterans that is/was Special Operations and insisting on CLASSIFIED testimony being put on the record. Money and I mean a lot missing from the SMC T program (three congressmen so far cannot find the SMC T budget numbers). Kickback arrangements I was told are in the millions.

        And, if it is the Salt Lake City team of FBI, DEA< and DOJ than I am sure they can find a whole host of illegal activity by just throwing darts at file cabinets.

        And, it was asked for by a congressman to both the head of the O&I committee and to Sloan Gibson. Even his office knows something is in the works but not by exactly who.

    • Also I should add that given the substantial increase in the VAs budget since 2014 and no improvement in service it is very likely the money is going to research being preformed by researchers connected to this program involving Indi.

      So when we see things like what are occurring in Wisconsin with the Elizabethkingia outbreak, the repeated Legionaries Outbreaks targeting Veterans and the ongoing research by the Candy Man, since this program began everyone needs to ask themselves if trusting any meds from any VA facility anywhere are safe.

      “Elizabethkingia outbreak: What we know so far”
      “https://outbreaknewstoday.com/elizabethkingia-outbreak-what-we-know-so-far-86330/”

  10. I was in Gainesville VAHC a nurse came up and said she had a shot for me, when I questioned what it was she got mad and said I needed to take it, I informed her I had a right to know what it was she was giving me. she called the VA police and said I was being aggressive and disrupting the other vets on the ward. police came I sill refused. Finely they gave me a print out of what it was and the side effects.I refused the shot and took the pill after a long debate.When I did leave the ward they gave me a brown shopping bag of medications to take. with such bad side effects of each one. When I got home I through out every one of them except the one I knew worked for the nightmares ect and got read of the ones that gave headaches and nose bleeds. Too often I have seen vets take medications and not question what they are and then have to be rehospitalized because of really bad side effects. I have a right to know what there putting in my body.

    • @James Hall-

      Yes, you DO have every right to know what shot they are giving you and it’s even required to ensure a patient has a full understanding of what’s being administered and that print out of possible side effects, AND they are supposed to ask you if you have ANY questions before they are to give any shot or meds. Typical shitty VA Death Care.
      Good job just dumping those other meds.

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