News and Press Releases

Iowa Woman Pleads Guilty to Theft in Connection with Health Care

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2012
Contact: Mark E. Salter
Assistant United States Attorney
605-357-2360

US Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Wendy Gonzales, age 44, of Le Mars, Iowa, appeared before Chief US District Judge Karen E. Schreier on September 17, 2012, and pled guilty to the indictment that charged her with Theft in Connection with Health Care. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 10 years of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both.

Gonzales received regular treatments at a Veterans Health Administration facility in Sioux Falls between June 1, 2010, and February 28, 2011. She was entitled to reimbursement for her travel to and from her home to the VA. This travel reimbursement program required Gonzales to submit numerous vouchers to the VA, stating the miles she traveled. During that time period, Gonzales had moved from her previous home in Selby, South Dakota, to a new home in Le Mars, Iowa. She nonetheless continued to submit travel vouchers to the VA that she knew to be fraudulent in that she continued claiming that she was traveling to and from Selby, South Dakota. As a result, she caused the VA to reimburse her approximately $22,077.59 in excess of the amount to which she was actually entitled.

The investigation was conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Kevin Koliner.

A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for December 3, 2012. The defendant was released on bond pending sentencing.



 

 

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