UPDATE: Millions looted, Phoenix VA Employees evade Arrest

VA Thieves

Phoenix, AZ – Just in from a source at the Phoenix VA Medical Center during last week veterans protest — this one will count as rumor for now, but it should give you an idea of the misconduct in Phoenix.

A DisabledVeterans.org confidential informant reported that two employees had gone missing during an attempted arrest by Federal Marshals.

Our source was present for the purpose of getting health care. After his appointment, a mass of protestors gathered outside the Phoenix VA Medical Center. A nearby VA employee reported another element of the scandal that I did not report on in yesterday’s Monday Morning Quarterback.

“One employee mentioned that the director had been relieved (Director Sharon Helman) while federal Marshal’s were looking for two others in what appears to be $11 million dollars missing.”

The VA employee went on to state Federal Marshals were unable to locate the potential looters. This issue in Phoenix is likely to heat up.

While we may not know the true underlying issues behind the scandal, US Medicine gave a great summary of the oversight problems that led to the disappearing tax dollars:

The Arizona health system was forced to cut its budget by $11.4 million after it spent more for non-VA care at other nearby hospitals than it had anticipated in 2010.

The Phoenix VA Healthcare System (HCS) serves 81,000 veterans annually and had a budget of about $438 million in FY 2010. Of that, $56 million (13%) was for their Non-VA Fee Care Program, which is intended  to assist veterans who cannot easily access a VA medical facility for care.

Eligible veterans can go to non-VA providers when VA is unable to provide specific treatments or because the veteran lives far from a VA facility. Fee care can include dental services, outpatient care, inpatient care, emergency care and medical transportation. VA will pay the cost of that care; however, preauthorization is required for non-emergency inpatient and outpatient care.

In FY 2010, the Phoenix HCS went 20% over its Non-VA Fee Care Program budget. To make up the shortfall, the facility obtained $2.3 million in special funding from the National Fee Program and $5.3 million in supplemental funding from Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 18. It also cancelled $3.8 million in equipment and other purchases.

Read More: https://www.usmedicine.com/agencies/department-of-veterans-affairs/lax-oversight-of-outside-care-busts-phoenix-vas-budget/


UPDATE May 22, 2014: VA Wait List Scandal dates back to 2002


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  1. PENDEJO VETS YO ARE GETTING SCREWED BY THE AFGE UNION CONTRACTS NOBODY WILL BE FIRED VA SEWAGE RATS WILL GIVE THEMSELVES MORE C BONOUS $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  2. Bill S
    I feel for you.
    Same Behavioral Red flags, violated Privacy Rules (HIPAA), PUBLISHED MY Disdiagnosis( not misdiagnosis) to discredit me.
    When I shared my opinions, about care at the VA, ( claims transferred to DEATH STORAGE, wait for me to die) my appeal for claim going back to 2008) suddenly cane in, with total BIGUS and FABRICATED EVIDENCE FOR DECISION ; Non Service-Connected Conditions reasons for Denial for issues that are already Service-Connected Connected.
    Corrupted my private doctors
    It’s very much pervasive for many veterans

  3. Hello, I would like to say something about the credibility of this particular article that is a result of the $11 + million dollar over run due to fraud or mishandling of VA Funds for Fee Basis at the Phoenix VAMC, that took place in 2010. It is hard to hold Ms. Sharon Hellman accountable for an incident that took place approximately two (2) years before she arrived in Phoenix to take the helm of the already sinking VAMC that there were two people allowed to come in assume the temporary director position and retire. The one before Ms. Hellman was James Robins, MD, and he was there in early 2011 until Ms. Hellman.

    As much as I dislike what is currently being denied, referred to as “New” and the insinuation that “NO One Knew that such events were occurring” I really dislike the facts being miss-stated. When people lie to hide just how deep, and systemic this problem has gone on, please check out the facts before you stick a name to position. It is bad enough this stuff is still taking place decades after it was first reported by many of the current veterans father’s, and grandfather’s. In other words it is neither new nor is it unknown to those in Washington, but please get your information checked out before you post or it shows that the veterans appear gullible and do not care about the truth.

    I am neither.

    1. Hey, Pamela, your ridiculous reasoning kind of sounds like what Obama and his fanatically loyal defenders has been screeching the moment the VA scandal made headline news, “Blame Bush, blame God, but don’t blame Obama!”

      I guess when Obama leaves office and the VA continues to target sick and aged veterans with poor healthcare and bureaucratic death panels , then…


      [Actually, I also want to know why Sharon Helman greedily tripled monetary bonuses at her VA while veterans were dying on her watch]

  4. Sharon Helman has persecuted Paula Pedene, a 12 year Navy veteran and 24 year VA Employee for whistle blowing on the previous Phoenix VA Director, they have demoted her, harrassed her, intimidated her and when I wrote a letter of support, Helman ordered that a BEHAVIORAL RED FLAG be placed in my chart, a VIOLATION of my First Amendment rights! Shortly thereafter, a week, my claim that had been languishing for at least two years on this appeal was again DENIED, VERY SUSPICIOUS! I have anotehr appeal pending. I need a lawyer, if anyone knows of one. Sorry, but DAV has not helped me much to this point. I have severe DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE and a myriad of other ailments. The spinal condition dates back to 1974 to 1976 when I was a Navy Corpsman with the Marines, documented. Even after I had a two page letter of support from my PCP, a highly respected doctor, they denied it , for BOGUS and FABRICATED “reasons”!!
    I need legal help, if anyone can. I am now predominantly in San Diego, and I was told to transfer to Purple Heart representation, currently with DAV!

  5. Correctly stated J. Edward. And for Mr. Benjamin Krause, I keep coming back for more bad news everyday on this site. Its like a train wreck. But its great to see other Vets working hard to hopefully change the system.

    But I did hear good news from my BVA judge. Of course the VA hasnt informed me yet. And to the VA guys on the phone the other day from the hotline, your wrong my fight has just begun with the VA. Now to find someone else to help 😉

  6. Keep the pressure on them, Ben. We are here to support you in this fight to institute honesty in OUR VA. I wish there were SOME way to SHARE your Blog on Face book, so that more could see your articles!

  7. I work for the Phoenix VA Health Care System. I’ve worked for several other facilities in the past. This is by far the single worst facility I’ve ever worked for AND one of the worst in the country (makes Houston VA look like the Taj Majal in comparison).I cannot get pens or tape w/dispenser through the warehouse. I bring my own pens to provide to patients in my own clinic and I also bring my own tape.

    I laugh even harder when I see McCain/Flake giving all this lip service about how they’re gonna get to the bottom of this scandal. Reactionary Tactics: Just like those in this hospital.. Only fix when something requisites the most immediate of attention. This hospital has languished years with lack of funding from Washington and what now appears to be outright corruption. About the only positive thing I can say (and it’s very positive) is that most employees here do so much more with so much less. A credit to most of them for keeping this hospital from falling into the deep abyss

  8. God, it’s like whack-a-mole. Every time one region gets caught doing something despicable and is smacked down, another pops up. Such a damned shame.

    I feel very lucky to live in Portland. The Oregon VA has always treated me very well, my claim was handled quickly, my meds are delivered on time, the staff are friendly and helpful — I wonder if it’s because the population is a little smaller up here. I’d hate to have to navigate the VA in Los Angeles, for example. Those people must be slammed.

    Full disclosure: former congressional staffer who handled casework for veterans dealing with the VA, now using Voc/Rehab to change careers with the help of Mr. Krause’s terrific guide.

  9. The video link is to the recent protest by veterans against the Phoenix VA. One of the veterans interviewed stated he warned Senator McCain about the problems going on at the hospital 7 years ago but that nothing was done about it. Knowing that McCain ignored this veteran’s complaint, I would not vote for a politician that views veterans as a matter of inconvenience!


    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsmssAsTg2s&w=560&h=315%5D


    1. I would term it a ” kick to the head.”
      fir one poster ” I requested financial documents for the last 5 years, through the Freedom of Information Act, there are large amounts if funding, but cloaked thieving” reduce the funds available for actual patient care. Jam talking about the New York Regional Office and the Bronx and Northport Medical Centers. I am subjected to Organized Gangstsalking ( Google it) chess to mist victims wsntingyo commit suicide. I am most assured the VA US BEHIND THIS, either unilaterally or in plurality. Beware. They even got law enforcement to carry out their plain evil and malevolent goals.
      I discovered, there is a Death Storage location for files / claims to remain dormant until veteran dies. It may even be hastened.
      Sick cowards.
      When my Privacy was invaded, and confronted , Chief Privacy Officer and Director Resigned, so I wsdtold.
      Not di, director is appointed yo another Smc and most likely, the Chief zorivacy officer is working somewhere else .

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