VAOIG Seal U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs
Office of Inspector General
South Central Field Office
4040 N. Central Expwy, Suite 500
Dallas, TX 75204-3158
(214) 253-3360
Tuesday, February 13, 2001
VA Employee, Pharmacist Plead Guilty to Drug Theft
Special Agent-in-Charge John Brooks, Central Field Office of Investigations, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Inspector General, announced today that on February 13, 2001 Doretha Chambers, former pharmacy technician at the VA Medical Center in Houston, TX, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to theft of Government property and conspiracy. William Carrillo, owner/operator of Economical Pharmacy in Houston, TX, pleaded guilty on December 6th to similar charges. Beverly Scott and Maggie Powell, also pharmacy technicians at the Houston VA Medical Center, are awaiting trial facing charges of multiple counts of theft and conspiracy.

Brooks stated the guilty pleas were the culmination of investigative efforts by his Houston Resident Agency and the Food and Drug Administration's Criminal Investigative Division. An indictment previously handed down by a Federal Grand Jury charged that from approximately 1997 to July 2000, the three VA employees conspired to remove large amounts of non-controlled pharmaceuticals from the VA Medical Center pharmacy, where they worked. Furthermore, the indictment charged that the employees exchanged the stolen drugs for cash with Carrillo, who then sold them to the public from his privately owned pharmacy. The monetary loss suffered by the Government is estimated to be over $1.3 million during the past three years.

Assistant United States Attorney Samuel Louis of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Houston, TX, is prosecuting the case.