Veteranclaims’s Blog

May 18, 2010

VA Employee & DAV Rep. Convicted of Defrauding VA of $2 Million

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 8:09 pm

Department of Justice Press Release
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For Immediate Release
May 17, 2010 United States Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky
Contact: (502) 582-5911

Two Sentenced in $2 Million Scheme to Defraud Department of Veterans Affairs

LOUISVILLE—Thomas Darrell Bryant, age 39, of LeRoy, West Virginia, and Joe Davis Snooks, Jr., age 62, of Roundhill, Kentucky, were each sentenced to one year and one day in prison, in United States District Court, Louisville, Kentucky, for participating in a scheme to defraud the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) through the filing of fraudulent military disability claims, United States Attorney David J. Hale of the Western District of Kentucky announced today.

Jennifer B. Coffman, Judge, United States District Court, also sentenced Bryant and Snooks to three years’ supervised release following incarceration. There is no parole in the federal judicial system. In addition, restitution in the amount of $191,853.67 was imposed against Bryant, and restitution in the amount of $141,732 was imposed against Snooks.

Co-defendant Daniel Ryan Parker, who was sentenced to 68 months’ imprisonment in April, was the National Service Office Supervisor for the Disabled American Veterans Service Organization (DAV) in Louisville, Kentucky, and one of Parker’s responsibilities was to assist veterans in their pursuit of military related disability benefits. Co-defendant Jeffrey Allen McGill, who was also sentenced to 68 months’ imprisonment in April, was a Veteran Service Representative with the VA regional office in Louisville, Kentucky, and among other things McGill was responsible for reviewing and rating VA disability claims.

Parker and McGill admitted that between November 2003 and November 2008, they recruited friends, relatives, and acquaintances who were military veterans, including Bryant and Snooks, to file false and fraudulent disability claims with the VA. Parker and McGill either altered the veterans’ medical records, or created counterfeit medical records, to give the appearance that the veterans had service related disabilities, resulting in the veterans receiving fraudulent disability benefits for alleged problems such as hearing loss, depression or cancer.

When the VA approves a disability claim, it pays benefits dating back to the original date the claim was received. In addition to falsifying medical records, Parker and McGill also admitted that they fraudulently backdated claims, resulting in large fraudulent lump sum retroactive disability payments, which in several instances were over $60,000. The veterans who participated in the scheme paid kickbacks to Parker and McGill, usually two-thirds of their lump sum payments. In return, the participating veterans kept the monthly tax free disability payments they would have received for the remainder of their lives. The scheme resulted in losses of nearly $2 million before it was discovered.

Co-defendants Dean Anthony Toth and Daniel Joseph Milliner have also pleaded guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Coffman in Louisville on July 17, 2010.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David R. Weiser and Robert Kilmartin, and it was investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of the Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation

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