A Department of Veterans Affairs Nurse Convicted of Falsifying Medical Records and Computer Fraud
Federal prosecutors had charged a former employee of the Miami VA medical center (the Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center) under the federal hacking statute as part of charging him for altering a patient’s records to cover up deficiencies in care.
A former Department of Veterans Affairs employee pled guilty today to destroying, altering and falsifying records and committing computer fraud.
Enrique Martinez, 37, of Miami, pled guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman to destruction, alteration, and falsification of records, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1519, and computer fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1030. Martinez faces a statutory maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
According to court records and information presented in court, Martinez, a former nurse at the Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Miami, obstructed a federal investigation and caused damage to the computer system of the U. S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Martinez falsified the medical records of a 76-year old veteran who was being treated at the medical center and was directly under Martinez’s responsibility. The veteran-patient died while hospitalized at the medical center. Martinez made these changes and alterations in an attempt to avoid responsibility for the poor quality of care he had provided the veteran-patient.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the VA-OIG’s Office of Investigations and the VA-OIG’s Office of Healthcare Inspections. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin Widlanski and Jonathan Kobrinski.
Martinez is set for sentencing before United States District Judge Jose E. Martinez on February 19, 2016 at 2:00 p.m..
SOURCE: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Florida