GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that Steven William Anderson, Jr., 45, of Selinsgrove, PA, was sentenced to 78 months in prison for his role in a multi-year conspiracy to traffic stolen diabetic test strips from the Battle Creek Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. During Anderson’s sentencing, Chief U.S. District Judge Hala Y. Jarbou emphasized the harm to the VA, veterans who rely on VA services, and the taxpayers.
“Anderson trafficked stolen goods while pocketing thousands of dollars in ill-gotten gain,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “Not only did Anderson steal from the government, but he diverted medical products intended for veterans who faithfully served our nation. Today’s sentence brings a measure of justice for taxpayers and those who serve the United States in uniform.”
In June 2023, a jury found Anderson guilty of all twelve charges against him following a three-day trial. In total, Anderson trafficked over 7,900 boxes of stolen diabetic test strips worth over $427,795. Anderson’s co-conspirators, Jennifer Robertson, 53, of Battle Creek, MI, and Michelle McAllister, 57, of Jerome, MI, pled guilty and were sentenced to prison last year.
The United States expects to receive a total recovery from Anderson of more than $1.6 million. He agreed to pay over $1.2 million to resolve the government’s civil claims arising from his misconduct. He was ordered to pay the full value of the stolen diabetic test strips he trafficked, $427,795.23, as part of his criminal judgment.
Robertson was employed at the Battle Creek VA Pharmacy, where she was responsible for ordering supplies for veterans in need of medical care. Beginning in June 2017, Robertson stole diabetic test strips from pharmacy inventory and arranged to meet McAllister and sell them for cash. McAllister in turn sold and shipped them to Anderson in Pennsylvania. Their scheme unraveled when Robertson was caught stealing in November 2019.
“Stolen medical products can present a health risk to those who buy and use them,” said Special Agent in Charge Ronne G. Malham, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Chicago Field Office. “FDA will continue to protect the public by investigating and bringing to justice those who compromise the nation’s healthcare programs.”
“These crimes are especially troubling because they violated the integrity of the healthcare system that serves our nation’s veterans,” said Special Agent in Charge Gregory Billingsley, Central Field Office, Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General. “Today’s sentences demonstrate the VA OIG’s commitment to holding accountable those who illegally enrich themselves at taxpayer expense.”
All three co-conspirators were convicted and agreed to civil penalty settlements under the Strengthening and Focusing Enforcement to Deter Organized Stealing and Enhance Safety Act (the “SAFE DOSES Act”), 18 U.S.C. § 670. Congress passed the SAFE DOSES Act in 2012 to combat the theft of medical products to protect the health and safety of patients. The law includes enhancements for members of the supply chain who knowingly traffic in stolen medical products. Because of his role as a distributor of medical products, Chief Judge Jarbou applied an enhancement to Anderson for his role in the conspiracy.
This investigation was led by the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations and the VA Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Battle Creek VA Police. The criminal case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Castle and Andrew Hull. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Cobb represented the United States in the civil settlement.