VAOIG Seal U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs
Office of Inspector General
Office of Investigations
Washington, DC 20420
(202) 565-7702
Tuesday, March 02, 1999
Former VA Claims Examiner Pleads Guilty to Theft, Mail Fraud and Money Laundering
Richard J. Griffin, Inspector General, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), announced today that Joy C. Brown, Supervisory Veterans Claims Examiner, VA Regional Office, St. Petersburg, FL, pleaded guilty to charges of theft, mail fraud and money laundering in connection with her theft of $615,472 from VA.

Brown, a former supervisor with the VA disability claims section, admitted that she created computerized records, which fraudulently reflected that her fiancé, a police officer, was a 100% service-connected disabled veteran. She then caused VA to make direct-deposit payments into a joint bank account maintained in both of their names. Brown used the proceeds to purchase several expensive items, which included a lakefront home, a motorcycle, two automobiles, and two engagement rings. Other proceeds were used to make renovations to Brown's home, such as building a second story onto the home and installing a swimming pool. In addition to these expenditures, she had the home professionally landscaped. As a condition of the plea agreement, Brown will be required to forfeit all of the above items including $68,000 in U.S. currency and travelers checks, which is already in the possession of the Government. Griffin noted there was no evidence reflecting the fiancé knew anything about the scheme.

Griffin stated the VA Program Fraud Task Force, Tampa, FL, investigated the case. The Task Force, formed to combat fraud against the United States Government, is comprised of special agents from VA Office of Inspector General, the Postal Inspection Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Robert A. Mosakowski, Tampa, FL, handled the prosecution of the case.