VETERAN SENTENCED FOR FRAUDULENT RECEIPT OF TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT BENEFITS FROM DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER IN WHITE RIVER JUNCTION
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that, on December 12, 2013, Scott Lavertue, 45, of Vershire, Vermont, was sentenced to five years of probation, including a four-month period of home confinement, and restitution in the amount of $24,637.29.
Under certain circumstances, the Department of Veterans Affairs reimburses veterans’ transportation costs when they travel to and from a VA medical facility for treatment. According to court records, Lavertue submitted 340 mileage reimbursement claims between November 2, 2009 and April 20, 2011. The bulk of these reimbursement forms Lavertue submitted indicated that he was living in Richford, Vermont, which is located along the U.S./Canada border approximately 127 miles from the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont. At the time he made these claims for reimbursement, Lavertue was not actually living at the Richford address, but rather at a location much closer to the VA facility.
On August 12, 2013, Lavertue pled guilty to knowingly submitting false claims for reimbursement to the VA, and agreed to pay restitution in the amount of the fraudulent proceeds.
United States Attorney Tristram, J. Coffin commented that the travel program provides financial reimbursement to veterans so that they can more easily receive the medical treatment they deserve at VA medical facilities. The fraud in this case diverted important financial resources from the VA’s critical mission of caring for our veterans.
This case was investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General with assistance from the Veterans Affairs Police and VA Medical Center Management.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin J. Doyle. Lavertue is represented by Michael L. Desautels, Federal Defender for the District of Vermont.