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Former Department of Veterans Affairs Nurse Sentenced to 60 months in prison for Altering and Falsifying VA Computer Records

The case is a perfect example of the vital importance of data integrity in healthcare.

Enrique Martinez Mathews, a former Registered Nurse at Veteran Affairs (VA) Medical Center Miami, was sentenced on March 2, 2016, to 60 months in prison after previously pleading guilty to altering and falsifying VA Computer Records (obstruction and computer related fraud), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1519 and 1030. 

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Monty Stokes, Special Agent in Charge, United States Department of Veteran Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division (VA OIG), made the announcement.

According to the court record, Martinez interfered with an internal investigation at the VA Medical Center Miami.  The internal investigation related to the death of a veteran in Martinez’s care.  The internal investigation revealed that Martinez altered VA patient records of the veteran under his care, while the patient recovered in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the VA in Miami.  The defendant’s actions caused appropriate medical treatment to be withheld from the veteran, who later passed away.  Martinez then altered additional records in an attempt to conceal his actions. 

U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer stated, “Protecting our veterans is a national concern.  Together with our partners at the Veterans Affairs Administration, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will identify for prosecution those individuals who compromise the personal information and potential safety and security of our citizens.”

Special Agent in Charge Monty Stokes said, “This investigation represents the VA OIG’s commitment to investigate obstruction as well as alterations of medical records that needlessly compromise veterans’ care and subject them to harm.  We will continue to vigorously investigate employees whose actions corrupt the integrity of VA’s health care records relied upon by VA clinicians who treat our nation’s heroes.”

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the VA OIG.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin Widlanski and Jonathan Kobrinski.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

 

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