Shoplifters Will Be Prosecuted? Bizarre VA Losses Plague Ohio

Since 2014, VA hospitals across the state of Ohio have been “losing” expensive medical equipment in five- and six-figure amounts. This equipment is, as of yet, unaccounted for. Ohio’s five VA locations all report medical equipment losses between $90,000 and over $300,000.

This adds up to $1.1 million in VA losses, even in an era when we have access to tracking devices for the equipment. The VA has spent over $400 million on tracking devices nationwide, $24 million of that IN the state of Ohio.

Most of these losses are coming in dribs and drabs, but a few very expensive – and physically large – objects stand out as absurdly missing. These baffling items include:

  • Stretcher: $12,000
  • Bedside monitor: $28,000
  • Portable patient lift: $5,000
  • Sign-in kiosk: $8,500

To put it lightly, these would be considered easy clues in a “spot the difference” puzzle. Who walks away with an entire kiosk without people noticing? How much sense does that make? Is anyone in these hospitals paying attention? Are the thefts internal? I still have so many questions.

A possible explanation is that the tracking technology… isn’t “tracking” much of anything. The technology is named RTLS, or “real-time location system.” There are two styles of RTLS: the ones that show the object’s location via radio or wi-fi signals and the ones that a VA employee can “scan” for individually.

The first type sounds like it would be easier to keep tabs on, since an employee has to NOTICE (and care) that specific equipment is missing in order to scan for it. But the radio signals and wi-fi signals have been shown to only work intermittently. In other words, the tech doesn’t do its job. Hooray.

Some cases of inventory “loss” are likely due to legitimate trades or sales with insufficient accompanying records. However, some whereabouts can only be guessed at; not all of this inventory loss is explainable with a shrug and “welllll, our bookkeeping leaves something to be desired.”

Greg Goins of the Cincinnati VA reports that their hospital has stopped buying trackers altogether. The explanation? They don’t want to waste taxpayer dollars. Oh, irony. It wouldn’t be a waste if RTLS worked…

Do they honestly expect us to believe that we live in a world where private companies can help us track important possessions without a problem, but that’s magically impossible to manage when it’s government-funded? Hey, VA Caucus. Take out a contract with Tile, please.

(No, this is not sponsored content. But Tile, if you would like to send me free Tiles for still more phones and wallets my teenager might lose, I would accept them.)

What do we have to do to prevent people stealing from VA locations? This isn’t exactly the dollar store or your local mall; we need to be able to focus on bigger things. Is it honestly still this easy? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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  1. I am very curious what the number are at the Dallas VA. Things come up missing that were sent to be sterilized all the time. They never show back up misplaced or in another clinic by accident. I’m not just talking about small instruments, it’s $2,000.00 handpiece motor cords that don’t just walk away by themselves. As for the Dallas VA, the vast majority of employees are Veterans. There are people in management positions that have no business being there, but either they know someone or its veterans preference or both. A hiring system that is supposed to help Veteran’s is shooting itself in the foot! The big turn over of CWT workers are sterilizing surgical instruments and they are being lost or stolen. The VA has known this and does nothing to fix the source of the issue. They just order more shit to replace what was lost and it’s a vicious cycle. No one does anything with any since around there. There is too much red tape and government bs involvement. The drug program along with cwt in my opinion is part of the problem. The VA has become the enabling parent in these programs. It’s always there with a place to stay and a job handed to u if your drug career fails. Housekeeping at the Dallas VA are Veterans and the place is filthy! There should be a since of pride in the job and a desire to make it a better place for your fellow vets, but there is not.

  2. 07/15/2018

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Let us learn from the Brecksville VA in Ohio that has been shut down for decades and the furniture is still there, why? Since the same type of guys who ran the VA then are running the show now —they are helping themselves without any worry of repercussions. What are you going to do?

    Obviously, this has been going on for such a long time the VA spent Millions and getting Zero Results. Why? They are the ones doing it!

    Why is it this is the first I had heard of these robberies?

    There have been reports of stolen equipment within the last 4 years—-but not to the degree where a single state has shelled out Millions of dollars to fight off the equipment losses [and using Tracking Equipment to counter the loss with little success]. Where was the Polk Awarded Newspaper the Arizona Republic and USA Today? Or were they providing cover by reporting on “shabby conditions at the VA” while Millions of Dollars are Laundry in and out and through the VA.

    Amazing—no one mentioned to me about this article I had found— Police: Man shoots self inside Phoenix veterans hospital chapel, is ‘extremely critical’
    Angela Forburger, Arizona Republic Published 2:06 p.m. MT July 13, 2018 | Updated 2:45 p.m. MT July 13, 2018

    Apparently, the VA cannot cover up that action.

    Robert J Spurr—-who is your congressman [State and District]?

    Any one asked Mayo Clinic what they had spent on security? And how they do their security to prevent such events?


    Don Karg

  3. I have spent one month at the VA hospital in Long Beach, Ca. After hours, there is no security within the hospital. You or any one may walk into the closed clinic as reas, corridors and even the wards. The only security at the hospital is hospital security vehicles sometimes driving around the hospital during the evening. You literally can walk or drive into the facility grounds and walk right in. There is much more than “medical equipment” t h at can be taken. Veterans lives are at risk who are hospitalized their. This problem is known by the hospital staff and anyone that has any common sense. But do they care. I even called my congressman’s office, but got no help!!

  4. Ok the Republicans voted against the G. I Bill. They are all at fault. Including many veterans groups. Fixing the VA starts with what can we do. First stop bitching and have a plan. Take a lesson from the Republicans handbook. 8 years they hated Obamacare then they got their chance. What happened nothing cause they had and have no plan.

  5. this is another sad spin on the continuing disregard in caring for our nations Veterans! There must be a mandate calling with immediate fixes for the VA if no progress start the transition to VA being a benefits management only with strict oversight.

  6. Seymore,
    Have you seen the video of three democrips in Puerto Rico who have been charged in a multi-million dollar fraud scheme?
    Remember that Rep who said the United States, President Trump more specifically, wasn’t helping the people of Puerto Rico as she was standing in front of pallets of food and water?
    Well, she absconded $3 million dollars of American taxpayers monies!
    I believe the total amount is upwards of $8 million between all three!
    I mention this because, these liberal democrips made off with millions. All while veterans, many disabled, are homeless and living on the streets of America!

    1. After reading your post I looked into it Elf.

      I truly feel for the people of Puerto Rico. With all the scamming of the U.S. Government done by the elite of Puerto Rico the regular people are the ones that it hurts the most.

  7. Its called GSA AUCTIONS. GOV. You can purchase these items at a minimal cost. Supply techs just dont care and dont label or inventory things correctly. Many times auctions get cancelled because, IT WASNT SUPPOSE TO BE SOLD OR MISIDENTIFIED. Hell they might be selling so friends can buy them. Look at the auction site and see whats being auctioned, item being sold and item description at times dont match…..

  8. “Documents reveal new details in Augusta personal care home bust”
    By Sandy Hodson, The Augusta Chronicle, July 14, 2018

    “Among the papers and documents seized from a cluster of licensed and unlicensed personal care homes raided late last month were statements allegedly intended to show residents would refuse to leave if law enforcement showed up on Mosley Road as they did June 28.

    According to the search warrant documents, some of the “refusal” documents were signed and notarized, some notarized but not signed, and others blank.

    Owner Gaynell Hymel had known since the end of May that her homes had come to the attention of the personal care home task force, Crimes Against the Vulnerable and Elderly, when five patients were removed. At least one of the five was a veteran living in a decrepit trailer that lacked a working toilet and air-conditioning and was powered by a series of power cords run from a nearby residence.

    The five men living in the trailer needed medical treatment for scabies, authorities said at the time of their removal. One patient needed hospitalization because of untreated wounds from a dog attack. According to documents listed in the search warrant inventory, Veterans Affairs letters to one of the five men were found in Hymel’s office, and other VA paperwork for the patient was found in the kitchen of one licensed home.

    VA spokesman Brian Rockwell said privacy laws prevented the VA from discussing the patient who had been living in the unlicensed, roach-infested trailer. He was seen on a regular basis by a social worker who would have reported any problems with the home, Rockwell said. The two licensed personal care homes were on the VA-approved list for veterans, Rockwell said.”

    Full Article At: “”

    1. “Charges filed against personal care home owner”
      By Sandy Hodson, The Augusta Chronicle, June 28, 2018

      “An Augusta personal care home owner and an employee face charges of neglecting elderly or disabled adults after a massive law enforcement operation named Operation Unity was carried out Thursday.

      Members of the Crimes Against the Vulnerable and Elderly found five disabled residents living in a dilapidated trailer that was unsanitary, lacking air condition and infested with cockroaches. The victims needed medical treatment for scabies and one needed to be hospitalized because of untreated wounds suffered in a dog attack.

      Warrants for three counts of neglect of a disabled adult have been filed against Gaynell Hymel, the owner of two licensed personal care homes on Moseley Road and a possible unlicensed home – the trailer on Moseley Road. Hymel was taken into custody but David Wallace Fulcher, 51, is wanted. Fulcher is on parole after serving 10 years for vehicular homicide.

      According to a news release from C.A.V.E. unit leader Investigator William Loomer, investigators believe Hymel used her two licensed personal care homes to attract new residents and move the most isolated victims into the dilapidated trailer to make room.

      Because of the large number of disabled adults, many of whom were veterans, multiple agencies were needed for the operation, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as well as local law enforcement agencies of Richmond and Burke counties, the Augusta fire department, and state adult care and protection services. The local VA Legion volunteer specialists were brought in to assess and reassure many of the 17 disabled adults at the homes who needed to be assessed and moved to licensed facilities.

      More charges are anticipated, according to the news release.

      Two other people at the homes were arrested on drug charges. Robert Hymel was arrested for possession of marijuana, and Hal Gaddis was arrested for trafficking in methamphetamine for allegedly possessing 63 grams. Gaddis has a prior felony conviction for possession of methamphetamine in 2008.

      Fulcher, who is still being sought, was paroled in 2013. He pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court 10 years earlier to vehicular homicide. On July 30, 2002, Fulcher’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit when he plowed into a vehicle at a red light at Deans Bridge Road and Gordon Highway. Hattie Umoh, 53, and her aunt, 83-year-old Daisy Oliver were both killed.”

      Article at: “”

  9. Seriously fuc’edup

    “He’s 63, just joined the Navy and says, ‘I’m in my prime'”
    By BROCK VERGAKIS | The Virginian-Pilot | Published: July 14, 2018

    “Krause was commissioned as a commander Friday aboard the destroyer USS Ramage, where his 27-year-old daughter, Laura, is an ensign and performed the ceremony.”

    ” He saw it as one more way to connect with his daughter while also helping others.

    “I don’t ever see this man ever retiring,” Laura Krause told her shipmates on the Ramage’s flight deck.

    She has good reason to believe that.”

    Full Article At: “”

  10. VSOs downsizing!!

    “American Legion Cuts Staff by 15 Percent in Restructuring” 15 Jul 2018 By Richard Sisk

    “The two-million-member American Legion is cutting staff and shaking up management in an effort to fine-tune its advocacy role with the Trump administration, as the Department of Veterans Affairs transitions to new leadership.

    The cuts will affect approximately 15 percent of the Legion’s total of about 300 staff positions at its Indianapolis and Washington D.C. headquarters, said Legion spokesman Joe Plenzler.”

    Full article at: “”

  11. Report from the GAO on one of those rules Ben has gotten changed at the VA. Just published.

    Department of Veterans Affairs: Reimbursement for Emergency Treatment
    B-330134: Jun 19, 2018

    At: “”

  12. Man in critical condition after shooting himself at Phoenix VA
    By: Associated Press
    Posted: Jul 13 2018

    “PHOENIX (AP) – Authorities say a man has been critically injured after shooting himself on the grounds of the Phoenix Veterans Affairs complex.

    Phoenix police Sgt. Armando Carbajal says the shooting occurred just after 11 a.m. at the central Phoenix facility.

    Officers arrived to find firefighters tending to the 77-year-old man inside a chapel.

    The man, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

    Carbajal says the gunshot wound appears to be self-inflicted.

    This is not the first time a suicide-related incident has occurred at a Phoenix VA office.

    A 33-year-old man fatally shot himself outside the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in October 2017.

    A veteran took his own life in the parking lot of a different VA office in Phoenix in 2015.”

    Article at: “”

  13. Hey Namnibor, saw that you had watched some of the Strzok hearing the other day. They were somewhat comical the way the Dems did nothing but fight to prevent questions being answered. Really showed just how some lower life forms have have devolved as Congress critters.

    Knowing that Andrew McCabe’s wife got the $500,000 bump from the Clintons for Andrew’s work at the FBI. Also knowing that Peter Strzok’s wife, Melissa Hodgman, got her big promotion and substantial raise in pay October 12, 2016, while Peter was sitting on the Weiner’s Laptop info.

    It seems fitting that Lisa Page, Peter’s jolted lover who got fired for her involvement, was more cooperative in her congressional appearance behind closed doors.
    Can’t wait to hear all the things that Peter’s wife at the SEC was doing to help out Hillary with her position at the SEC. With all those smaller U.S. Uranium mining companies being bought up by the Canadian firm Uranium One which was then sold to Russia. Somebody at the SEC was certainly busy make sure there was no investigation while it was happening.

    1. Speaking of Wifey payoffs. Wonder how much Bill and Hillary’s attorney, Lisa Barsoomian, Wifey of Rod Rosenstein, has been paid lately.

    2. Seymore,
      I believe it’s going to get interesting if they impeach Rosenstein tommorow.
      I liked it when the democrips made complete fools outta themselves during Strzok’s testimony!
      Did you notice the similarities between Rosenstein and Strzok when they testified?
      Lots of people were commenting on that.
      Both had the same body language and smirks going.
      Lots of commenters said they’d “…like to slap that smirk off (their) faces!”

      On that disabled veteran in New Jersey, I understand his wife finally let those assholes in. I don’t think we’re going to hear much more about this issue.

  14. Seymore, I really like to read your posts. You have a nack of finding stories that many do not find.

    The Truth is the best policy. To bad, many at the VA think otherwise.

    Keep rolling on. Thanks

    I also want to thank so many other’s for speaking out about how they feel they are being treated.

    You all should be very proud of yourselves.

    If people like us, do not speak up. Others will say. I never knew this was happening.

  15. Police Come to Iraqi Veteran’s Home, Attempt to Confiscate His Guns, He Tells Them No
    By Awr Hawkins, BreithBart news agency, July 15, 2018

    “Two New Jersey State Troopers showed up at Leonard Cottrell Jr.’s home to confiscate his guns and he told them no.

    Cottrell served three tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and is a disabled vet. reports that the that Troopers came to Cottrell’s house because “his 13-year-old son had [allegedly] made a comment at school about the Millstone Middle School’s security.”

    The troopers were attempting to operate under auspices of a new firearm confiscatory law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy (D). The law allows an individual’s guns to be seized if the person is “deemed a threat to themselves and others in the state.” After finding no firearms in the son’s room, they attempted to take Cottrell’s shotgun and pistol. He quickly determined they had no warrant and told them they would not be taking his firearms.”

    Full Article at: “”

  16. Hate to tell you but most of the people hired are veterans it’s a veteran preference hiring practice. Kind of like affirmative action. To be hired in house keeping you need to have at least a 30 percent disability rating. Yes that is true!! So the call out is tremendous.

    1. I would say there are more nepotism hires than veteran preference hires. Housekeeping jobs are low paying government jobs used to boost veteran numbers at the VA while the white collar positions are filled by relatives and close friends. Veterans only represent about 30 percent of all government employees. I am not sure where you are getting your data from, but it’s wrong. Also, most of the housekeepers are hired through the CWT program which helps rehabilitates veterans who have drug and alcohol issues. A lot of those veterans have felonies which in turn becomes problematic for VA whistleblowers because they will sell you down the road in order to protect managers who will promote them.

  17. You have got to be kidding. When is the last time you walked thru the Va. Hosp. here in Columbia, S.C. It has been a while since I was over there, but the help was no help. I was sent to the wrong area twice. It should be put into effect that the only people allowed to work at a VA Hosp. is retired Military. That way you wont have half the crap going on. No doubt my mind that you will not have any trouble finding the retired people to do the job. At least put retired military as Supervisors. Now that we have a new Sec. running the show you should be able to weed out the no gooders. Try this and you will have a great difference.

  18. What I want to know is:”Why does it take over 2 years for the V.A.Dental Department to implant only 3 “teeth?”
    I can’t eat with just 3 “teeth.” Can Dentists eat with only 3 teeth??
    We Vets need teeth both on the Top and the Bottom to chew our Food!
    I am only talking about the Dental Department of the” Michael E. DeBakey,V.A. Medical Center.”
    If they had done my Dental Implants thirteen yeas ago, when I first asked them to do it,then,” they would have been finished by now.” Now, I will probably die from my Prostrate Cancer before they will put in even another three “teeth”*Implants.*Pete Perez, age 73*

    1. Good question. Here is what I was told by dental department after they pulled a couple of teeth.

      I asked are you going to replace those teeth. I was told that if missing teeth are not replaced, it will effect the rest of the teeth by shifting. I read this and the answer was ” we are not going to replace any teeth. It cost to much and takes to much time.

      I repeated what I was told to the dental Nurse over the phone. The nurse began yelling, stating, we never said that !

      The dentist wants you to come in today at 3pm to talk to you about you statement.

      I knew right there and then, if I went to the VA as requested by the dentist and being yelled at. If I would have gone, I knew (exactly), what would have happened.

      They would have claimed I was (disruptive) and would have called the police.

      I was not stupid enough to fall for their illegal tactic. This nurse was later and relieved of her job.

      I sorry, but I’m afraid you and I and other veteran’s, will never have those teeth replaced.

      Remember, VA employees will falsely accused and punished veteran’s for speaking out about how they feel they are being treated.

      Retaliation! Is the VA way. NO matter if it’s untruths they just don’t care, if what they are doing will harm veteran’s.

      Many employees enjoy harming veteran’s. That will teach you to speak up.

  19. The question isn’t where it is the question is was it there. Second remember a lot of employees you are complaining about are veterans. So my question is why are they possibly stealing and why are they giving other veterans a hard time. As an employee of the VA I could on and on about the problems. What you all should be screaming about is the lack of care and lack of staffing to take care of your needs. The mission is to provide for the men and women who served and continue to serve to provide quality health care. The only thing that this administration and multiple administrations before is give lip service to our veterans. There are some simple fixes but as long as the word logical is not part of the government then you will continue to receive nothing. We need to not look at it as problems but as opportunities. Busting the union and firing dead weight is great but it can’t be controlled by the dead weight. The mission is central and until we get back to the mission all the rest is just smoke and mirrors.

    1. Since you work for the VA. In your experience have you witnessed friend’s and relatives or friends of relatives being hired by others.

      What do you do at the VA. Do you know anyone who has retaliated against another employee.

      Have you witnessed any veteran’s being harmed. Do you believe veteran’s should be punished through the Disruptive Committee.

      Have you ever spoken out, about wrong doing. Or are you one of those employees who consider veteran’s as nothing more than a payday.

      Share your thoughts. Does my post upset you. If you had a chance would you report veteran’s like me. Disruptive !

      Would you like to report veteran’s who speak up. Why are you posting on this site. Are you on duty.

      Can you tell us, what can be done to fix the VA. Do you think the VA has problems.

      Are the veteran’s the problem.

      1. Not sure who you are. So I will keep somethings private if ok. Veterans as a payday not a chance. My uncles first tour was Omaha beach. My father served so for me it is an added bonus to earn an income. The issue is not who is at fault the issue is what needs to be done. That means our president and Congress need to actually care. That goes back to when Congress tried to scrap the gi bill. Look bottom line no oversight on those at the top. You are looking to toss the swamp then you are foolish. We need a group of people that share an equal mission. No politics first. It’s about healthcare and healthcare is broken all over. So as I stated let’s stop looking at it as a problem let’s look at it as an opportunity. Yes I would report waste and abuse from anyone.

  20. When items come in their has to be an invoice. The employees have to sign for the shipment. Then you have the fiscal department who verify it was received to pay the vendor.

    I know of VA employees caught doing this exact thing, plus using VA credit cards to buy televisions and other things.

    Problem, rural area, friend’s and relatives run the show. Perpetrators have their friend’s and relatives some in higher positions.

    When caught the cliques or other friends and relatives covering up for those employees.

    No charges, in house investigation. End result, since you were stupidly got caught.

    We, have to take some type of action ! We as punishment, you are nearby ordered to pay that money back.

    When a facility is stacked with friend’s and relatives and you have top management spend maybe 2, 3 year’s,.

    Lower and middle management covering up for their friend’s or relatives.

    The VA is full of this type of hiring practices. The deck is stacked and has gotten to the point of no return. As we have seen over and over again. Cover ups and retaliation against veteran’s who dare challenge or cross those employees.

    And employees. Look at what Diane Rubins told her staff, when she told her staff ” go ahead and Laugh, we will see who has the last Laugh.

    Very arrogant statement make by Rubins. Why was she so confident of the outcome.

    Friend’s in high places and the comfort of knowing she received (council), VA Attorneys to handle this injustice.

    The VA Attorneys told her, this is so simple, all you have to say is (under advise from council), I Plead the fifth.

    Then those above her, losing or hiding a folder of evidence, until after the fact. If this folder would have been available those two would have been fired.

    Our elected officials need to put a stop to VA manager’s able to use VA Attorneys on the American Dime.

    700 attorneys at their disposable.

    Criminal pure and simple.

    In the end ! Who is paying the price. Of course the veteran’s.

    Do you think people like this. Care about veteran’s. The answer is so obvious !

    The VA has become a criminal enterprise and deadly for any veteran who dare speak out about their treatment or make disability claims.

    How dare you ask for a disability. We really do care about you ! Claim denied !

    We do care about you and we would never do anything to harm you. Claim denied again.

    We really do care about you and since you questioned us or since you pestered us. You make us feel uncomfortable by all those questions and I’m afraid of you.

    Since you are keeping up on you claim and I’m afraid of you, I will report you as a treat or could be a treat in the future.

    I am reporting you as being disruptive and then punish those veteran’s who dare say anything.

    We, will teach you to speak up.

  21. You said it Ben, the vA’s tech is faulty, rtls has been compromised. Thar’s gold in them their machines. But when your paying peanuts and have a class structure, like the va does, one should not be surprised activity like this goes on.

  22. That kind of coincides with the taking on of the security police that started about that time. From my experience over the last 30-40 years, most places with supposed security have experienced losses of various kind

  23. Yes indeed the question is once again; how do we keep folks who work at VA from breaking the law?

    Maybe some legislation, or a new VA sec, or….or….. more training?

    Uh huh.

  24. Simple. You have the VA SIGN IN EACH AND EVERY piece of equipment and box that comes into the building. Then you search each and EVERY VA personnel who leaves the building. You require all people making repairs and replacing items to sign out the new items and then the location where they are used and then sign in the old items and where they are stored. Place all items behind locked doors and give keys to said doors only to one person per shift per station. This way there will be a paper trail for everything. Yes the Union will complain, but want to bet that we wont be seeing stuff coming up missing anymore.

  25. Hold on now, let’s not be so quick to start pointing fingers. Maybe the RTLS system is creating some type of black hole anomaly causing those items to go PUFF!

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