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Philly VA hospital employee embezzled nearly $500,000, feds say

Philadelphia VA Medical Center (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs/Released)

A former accounting clerk at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center has been accused of embezzling nearly a half-million dollars over four years by filing fraudulent claims for travel reimbursement from the agency.

Federal investigators say Bruce Minor, of Philadelphia, created and approved fake travel expense reports in the names of three employees between December 2015 and September 2019 and then diverted the money into bank accounts he controlled.

He was charged Thursday with one count of theft by way of criminal information — a filing that typically indicates a defendant has agreed to plead guilty and forgo the traditional process of having the case reviewed before charging by a grand jury.

He could face up to 10 years in prison, depending on the terms of his plea agreement.

Minor did not immediately respond to calls about the case Friday. His attorney, Mark S. Greenberg, declined to comment.

A spokesperson for the Philadelphia VA Medical Center did not return requests for comment.

Minor is just the latest in a string of Veterans Affairs employees in Philadelphia to face accusations tied to various corruption schemes.

Last year, Ralph Johnson, the medical facility’s former chief of environmental services, pleaded guilty to charges that he accepted thousands of dollars in kickbacks to steer inflated or phony contracts for items ranging from toilet paper to sophisticated medical equipment to a couple in Florida.

And in 2018, federal prosecutors charged several members of a ring accused of defrauding the agency out of over $800,000 by filing phony medical claims. The alleged ringleader, VA employee Shawn Edmonds, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison that year.

U.S. District Judge Chad F. Kenney has not yet scheduled a date for Minor’s guilty plea.

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