VAOIG Seal U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs
Office of Inspector General
Western Field Office
P.O. Box 241516
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 268-4269
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Employee Arraigned on Charges of Receiving Bribes
Douglas J. Carver, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Inspector General, Western Field Office, Los Angeles, CA, announced today that Los Angeles resident Mae Myart was arraigned on charges of violating 18 USC 201: Receiving Bribes By A Public Official � before Judge Charles Eick in the United States Court, Central District of California.

Carver stated the arraignment stemmed from a federal indictment alleging that Myart, in her former capacity as a Family Services employee at the Los Angeles VA, corruptly demanded and received payments of money from former funeral director Kenneth Pitchford. Myart accepted these payments with the intent of being influenced in the performance of her official acts and with the intent of colluding in a fraud scheme which allowed Pitchford to submit fraudulent billings to the VA for funeral services that Pitchford did not in fact provide. During the year 2003, Pitchford fraudulently received approximately $193,000 from the VA.

A federal jury trial is set for May 30, 2006 before Judge Dean Pregerson. Myart was released after posting $10,000 bond.

Pitchford was previously sentenced to 13 months in federal prison and ordered to make restitution of $173,000 after pleading guilty to defrauding VA.