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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 21, 2016

VA Employee Sentenced to Federal Prison for Falsifying the Medical Records of Hundreds of Veterans

AUGUSTA, GA -- Cathedral Henderson, 51, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Court Judge J. Randal Hall, in Augusta, Georgia, to 27 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for falsifying the medical records of hundreds of veterans.  After a week-long trial earlier this year, a jury convicted Henderson on all counts. 

Evidence presented at trial and during sentencing revealed that Henderson, a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employee and the former Chief of Non-VA Care Coordination at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, falsified the medical records of over 2,700 VA patients.  Henderson intentionally terminated unresolved consults – medical appointments that had not been scheduled or completed – as “patient refused services or services provided.”  Further, when confronted with the evidence of his crimes, Henderson lied to investigating agents about his actions. 

United States Attorney Ed Tarver stated, “Our VA officials and employees are entrusted with the health and welfare of some of the most honorable and vulnerable in our nation – our veterans.  This Defendant’s actions weakened our nation’s confidence in the agency empowered to care for its veterans.  This U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to end corruption wherever it appears.” 

Michael J. Missal, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, said, “This guilty verdict came as a result of a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General.  This VA employee held a position of trust, but elected to manipulate veterans’ medical records to give the false appearance that the number of unfulfilled consult appointments was lower than the actual backlog, putting veterans at risk.”

VA-OIG Special Agent in Charge Monty Stokes stated, “Our investigation held this VA employee accountable for his deliberate actions that delayed delivery of vital health care with false statements.” 

The investigation of this case was led by VA-OIG Special Agent Tracy Brumfield.  Assistant United States Attorneys Lamont A. Belk and Patricia G. Rhodes prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.  For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.

Updated October 21, 2016