Le Mars, Iowa, Woman Charged with Theft in Connection with Health Care
Assistant United States Attorney
US Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Le Mars, Iowa, woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Theft in Connection with Health Care.
Wendy Gonzales, age 44, was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 10, 2012, for Theft in Connection with Health Care. She appeared before US Magistrate Judge John E. Simko on February 6, 2012, and pled not guilty to the indictment. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 10 years of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both. The charge is merely an accusation, and Gonzales is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The indictment alleges that Gonzales submitted fraudulent travel vouchers for reimbursements for her travel expenses to and from a VA medical facility. It states that she submitted vouchers claiming she traveled roughly 245 miles each way to Sioux Falls, when in fact she was actually traveling from Le Mars, Iowa, approximately 80 miles from Sioux Falls. This overstatement, according the indictment, resulted in $22,077.59 in overpayments.
The investigation is being conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. Assistant US Attorney Kevin Koliner is prosecuting the case. Gonzales was released on bond pending trial. A trial date has not yet been set.