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Veteran Charged With $800,000 In Fraud Of Disability Benefits.


Oiler1995

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Vet Charged with $800K Fraud of Disability Benefits

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Mar 30, 2015

Daily Independent (Ashland, KY), by Mike James

HUNTINGTON -- An Olive Hill Army veteran has been charged with cheating the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs out of about $800,000 in compensation and benefits since 1995.

A federal grand jury indicted Phillip M. Henderson on nine counts of wire fraud, according to the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia.

Henderson, 50, is accused of faking vision problems to be eligible for disability benefits, according to the indictment.

The alleged fraud netted Henderson about $800,000, including the money to buy a car and install a swimming pool, according to the indictment.

In the alleged scheme outlined in the indictment, Henderson applied for increasing levels of disability based on a 1995 diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa, a progressive genetic eye disease that leads to vision impairment and sometimes blindness.

Henderson, who served in the Army from Oct. 1983 to August, 1986, and was honorably discharged based on an unrelated disability, received grants to install a pool at his residence and to buy a car, saying he would not drive it and didn't have a driver's license.

He faked his vision loss by falsely responding to vision testing, pretending he could not see letters on eye charts and that his peripheral vision had been reduced.

He also reported significant fluctuations in his ability to see, and reported significantly poorer vision during the times shortly before he applied for increased benefits.

The indictment alleges he pretended to need canes and other aids for the blind although he could drive and walk without assistance.

Each wire fraud charge could land Henderson in prison for up to 30 years if he is convicted. He also could be fined $1 million for each charge.

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I could imagine how much of this stuff is going on,who didn't get caught yet,or may never get caught.Terrible.

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Makes me sick to my stomach!!!! I see it happen almost every appointment I go to. I just pray that God handle it as he see's fit cause it causes me even more distress, etc.

Scandals going on everywhere!!! The whole government and all its departments, to some government employees, civilian world scandals, government bale outs, etc. vets and civilians out to make a buck while the innocent suffer. This world is going to crap in a very manner. What ever happened to honestly, truth, moral values, integrity, etc???? Pray the day of reckoning comes soon to cleanse the world or corruption! Sorry for venting. I do love my country and would serve again but just can't stand such dishonesty, etc. Everday is another report of something I just stopped watching the news all together. Rather spend my time with family, helping others in need, and trying everyday to be a better person than I was the day before. May God bless everyone with better health, safety, happiness and good fortune.

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So the VA gives away grants for a pool......and for a car for somebody who reportedly claims they can't see....................amazing....

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Yep. I see them all the time at my VAMC. they get thier old man cane out of the trunk. adjust thier swagger and shuffle on in to the vamc. I believe God has a way of dealing with people faking health problems, they claim it long enough, it will happen. The man claiming blindness was indeed blind, he was blinded by greed , and will lose everything , including his freedom

he likely got turned in by someone who despised him to his back but smiled to his face/

Edited by 63SIERRA (see edit history)
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So the VA gives away grants for a pool......and for a car for somebody who reportedly claims they can't see....................amazing....

there has to be inside actions, relatives, ect that work at the ROs hooking them up. There have been people recieving double checks for years.. That is why the whole system needs to be audited by an independant company , preferably from another country, and be sealed and presented to the Sec of VA and congress and the FBI. AND ATTORNEY GENERAL

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I believe some veterans get denied soley on circumstance. and nothing to do with if they are eligible or not. There has to be a throttling of funds inside of these ROs. Certainly they dont have a open ledger to just write checks like they own the treasury/. I could imagine meetings where bean counters are meeting with RO managers and establishing "target goals" for yearly comp totals. When a RO has to write a whopper of check for 100.000 - 500.000 dollars because they got caught ripping a vet off for 20 years, I would imagine it has an impact on the claims being worked at that time..

Knowing how the VA seems to operate I can just envision the meeting.. ATTENTION ALL MANAGERS.. we are having WAY too many claims innacurately being approved,. Please double check the claim before close out to see if theres ANY way we can correct this problem. If need be. feel free to go back to the antiquated yet immensely effective ENNIE,. MEENIE, MYNEEY , MOE method to keep the claims static. WE have paid out too much compensation this month!!!

I think it has become a system of robbing Peter to pay Paul. But when Peter catches on, they will have to rob Luke to pay Peter.

Edited by 63SIERRA (see edit history)
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This makes me sick, so many veterans fighting for there claims to better help there family's and this idiot gets 800 grand and a new car swimming pool faking blind...he should get then maximum sentence.

I just can't see how the Dr's Missed this?..They can't follow him around but looks like someone did!

..............Buck

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  • HadIt.com Elder

This guy is from my neck of the woods. I knew of him as I used to live in Olive Hill. I heard there were many people who said he was faking being totaly blind, personaly I do not see how this got through the system. I know the C&P's rely on a Vet statement to some "very small extent", but this case does not seem plausible given the high Tech machines used today. I am not one to question anyone who has medical issues, here, I question the VA's ability to do a proper exam.

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Sure sounds to me like this guy was a fraud and tarnishes / stains

the truly disabled.

I personally am glad the truth has come to light and hope he receives

swift and just punishment.

When I go to my VAMC, I continue to work hard on trying to NOT

judge other's.

I am not a doctor and do not know the other persons conditions

and medical evidence of record.

It's the VBA's job to adjudicate disabilities, not mine, as I have not walked in the

other veteran's shoes.

Even tho we know for sure that there are fraudulent claims made, let's try to be kind

to all veteran's until we are shown that they are not deserving of our kindness and compassion.

jmho

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  • 1 month later...

I could imagine how much of this stuff is going on,who didn't get caught yet,or may never get caught.Terrible.

a guy who did work for my former slumlord was granted IU but continued working. the VA caught up with him and terminated his IU. guy appealed and won.

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Folks:

It's a good thing that they caught this guy and it's only a reflection on this individual and not the military community of Vets whom served their country and continue to be honest an above board. At one time and in a prior life, I used to investigate TDY Travel Fraud and the reality is that there's always a very small element that tries to game the system or are just dishonest. Unfortunately, it seems a small minority of Doctors, PAs and Nurses that do CP exams that are not necessesarily "Vet Friendly" use articles like this to justify their skepticism against some Vets? The good news is that when they do find someone like this and make an example of them in a criminal court then it helps to keep the system more honest. My Grandpa (whom lived to be 102) used to say that 'locks" are to keep basically honest people, honest. He said real thiefs can usually get past the locks, but for honest people, it's a small barrier to temptation - This brings great shame to this person and I hope that they get what the deserve in terms of strong punishment...

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a guy who did work for my former slumlord was granted IU but continued working. the VA caught up with him and terminated his IU. guy appealed and won.
That is crazy,if he caught red handed working,how the hell could he win his appeal,who knows maybe his wife works on the appeals council. Edited by Oiler1995 (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

It is funny about the canes. Just about every vet over the age of 50 walks into my VAMC with a cane. I have a cane. The VA prescribed it, so I use it when I go to the VA. The reason I need it is because with all the drugs the VA gives me I sometimes fall down. I asked for some adjustments to my home and bathroom and was denied because I am not amputee or in a wheelchair. I just fall down, so I will continue to use the cane and fall down a lot. If I get a broken hip I will be sure to die at the VA. It took me 30 years to get P&T. I should have had 100% 45 years ago. The VA denied me PT because they said I was chronic and they were not there to treat broken down guys like me just those recovering from acute injuries. The real fraud is being done by the VA.

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That is crazy,if he caught red handed working,how the hell could he win his appeal,who knows maybe his wife works on the appeals council.

there is always the possibility the slumlord lied. he was real good at doing that!!!!!!!!

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