VAOIG Seal U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs
Office of Inspector General
Southeast Field Office
P.O. Box 446
Bay Pines, FL 33744
(727) 319-1214
Friday, July 28, 2000
Former VA Fee-Basis Doctor Sentenced for Defrauding Health Care Benefit Programs
Kenneth R. Atkins, Special Agent in Charge, VA Office of Inspector General, Southeast Field Office, announced today that Nelson De Jesus Ramos-Santiago was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Pensacola, FL for defrauding government health care benefit programs, including VA, Medicare, and the Department of Defense.

Atkins stated that the criminal investigation was a result of an investigation by the VAOIG Southeast Field Office, FBI, and DCIS. On February 24, 1981, Ramos-Santiago allegedly fraudulently obtained a license to practice medicine in the state of Florida. Ramos-Santiago resided and maintained a medical practice primarily in Marianna, Florida, and specialized in obstetrics and gynecology. Atkins said Ramos-Santiago was a fee-basis physician for VA, which entitled him, as a private physician, to treat veterans on a fee for service basis.

On 7/26/00, Ramos-Santiago was sentenced to 39 months imprisonment, three years supervised release, ordered to pay $4,970,333.22 in restitution, and $600 in special assessments. Ramos-Santiago is scheduled to surrender himself to federal authorities on 9/15/00.