KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
October 2, 2019
By Natalie Cook Clark
A Katy woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for crimes that led to defrauding Veteran Affairs of more than $600,000. If convicted, she could face up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
Defrauded The VA
Tammy Wilson, 49, was indicted by a federal grand jury on mail fraud, health care fraud and making a false statement relating to health care matters. Suspicions were raised when it was discovered that Wilson was the biggest recipient of the Civilian Health and Mental Program of the Department of Veteran Affairs Program (CHAMPVA). This program allows the VA to reimburse veterans and their widows for eligible out-of-pocket prescription expenses.
Misused Program that Support Veterans, Widows
According to the charges, Wilson is a widow of a military veteran. Her husband allegedly died of service-related injuries and that made her eligible to participate in CHAMPVA. However, an investigation indicated that she grossly misused the program to steal from the VA.
Submitted False Prescription Claims
The U.S. Attorney's Office said from 2013 to 2017, Wilson submitted falsified prescription summaries to CHAMPVA. Wilson claimed to have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for prescription medications. The VA reimbursed her more than $640,000 for those claims under the CHAMPVA program. The indictment alleges that the pharmacies never dispensed the prescriptions as she had claimed.
"This is sickening," says Robin Belsha, a Katy mom whose son John Belsha is a Major and U.S. Marine Aviator. "It's immoral and cruel to steal from those who served and were always faithful. She clearly has no moral compass or empathy."
If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in federal prison and possible $250,000 maximum fine.