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Who Can You Trust?

A couple weeks ago, an Army veteran and former top official with the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs was indicted in federal court on charges that he ran a kickback scheme from his state office. David Clark, the Maryland DVA's former Chief of Claims, is accused of taking kickbacks out of his state office in exchange for fabricating disability claims and military achievements. He is claiming his innocence. Over 16 years, he allegedly took some $1.4 million out of government payouts from the phony disability claims. He allegedly would receive the monies in unmarked envelopes from veterans who were in on the scheme. Those veterans have also been charged. He faces a lengthy prison sentence if convicted of the charges. Lets hope authorities here and elsewhere stay diligent in stamping out fraud and abuse in the management of veterans services and programs. Many programs are currently plagued by inefficiencies, are understaffed, and resourced, and cannot adequately the number of claims being filed. The last thing these programs need are fraudulent participants taking money away from deserving veterans.