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Press Release

Veteran’s widow charged with defrauding VA

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – A 49-year-old resident of Katy has been indicted for defrauding the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) of more than $600,000, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Tammy Wilson made her initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson.

A federal grand jury returned the three-count indictment Sept. 19, alleging she committed one count each of mail fraud, health care fraud and making a false statement relating to health care matters. She is set for trial before Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal.

According to the charges, Wilson is a widow of military veteran. Her husband allegedly died of service related injuries, after which she was eligible to participate in the Civilian Health and Mental Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) Program. CHAMPVA is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, and is a comprehensive health care program in which the VA reimburses for eligible out-of-pocket prescription expenses, according to the indictment.

From 2013 through 2017, Wilson allegedly submitted falsified prescription summaries to the CHAMPVA Program. In the scheme, according to the charges, Wilson claimed to have paid for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of prescription medications. The VA then allegedly paid Wilson more than $640,000 for those claims. However, the indictment alleges the pharmacies never dispensed the prescriptions as she had claimed.

During the course of the scheme, Wilson was the biggest recipient of CHAMPVA funds in the world, according to the charges.

If convicted, Wilson faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

The VA - Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Heyward Carter is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct.
A defendant is presumed unless and until convicted through due process of law.

Updated September 30, 2019

Topic
Financial Fraud