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, February 20, 2004
Pompano Beach, Florida Man Sentenced for Stealing From U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Ronald E. Wilson, Special Agent in Charge, VA Office of Inspector General (VAOIG), Southeast Field Office, announced today that Brian Brandon, a former Pharmacy Technician at the VA Outpatient Clinic (VAOPC), Oakland Park, FL, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, to 24 months incarceration to be followed by 3 years of supervised probation. Brandon was ordered to pay restitution to VA in the amount of $54,295 and a $200 special court assessment. Additionally, Brandon was ordered to forfeit $600,000 to the United States. Brandon had previously pleaded guilty to a Federal grand jury indictment charging him with one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances (Hydrocodone and Alprazolam) and one count of Conspiracy to Steal Property of a Health Care Benefit Program.

Wilson stated that the sentencing was a result of a joint investigation by his West Palm Beach Resident Agency and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The investigation revealed that from approximately March 2001 to January 2003, Brandon made numerous unauthorized orders of Hydrocodone and Alprazolam from a national drug wholesaler. The unauthorized drug orders, totaling approximately 600,000 tablets, were shipped to the VAOPC, Oakland Park. A former VA Purchasing Agent received the unauthorized drug orders and assisted in their removal from the VA facility. Brandon then sold the stolen VA pharmaceuticals to another co-conspirator. The VA paid approximately $50,000 for the unauthorized drug orders stolen by the former employees.

Robert Nicholson, Assistant United States Attorney, Southern District of Florida, prosecuted this matter.