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Former VA employee spends stolen hospital funds on gambling and sex

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been struggling with corruption and mismanagement, whether it is long patient wait times at VA facilities or the suspension of an official in the recent employee relocation scam. On April 6 a former VA supervisor was given a 15-month prison sentence for stealing funds from a VA hospital.

Glenn Alan Bates, 58, was the head of the Veterans Canteen Service at the VA Medical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, from 2007 to 2013. He managed the VCS Patriot Store, vending sales and cafeteria food services. Authorities said Bates embezzled $314,400 in cash and property belonging to the VA during his employment.

The Office of Inspector General investigated the case. According to U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, Bates spent the funds on sex, strip clubs and gambling. She described the betrayal of veterans as “particularly egregious.”

A statement from McQuade’s office said, “He [Bates] stole the cash receipts of sales of commemorative military hats to veterans and others by volunteers at the VAMC. And he stole the cash receipts of several vending machines there. Bates deprived the VA’s Veterans Canteen Service of needed revenue.

”Bates pleaded guilty to theft of public money in December 2015. He was ordered to two years of supervised release besides the prison sentence. The former canteen head must also pay the VA $314,400. Bates was employed at the VA canteen even though he had a criminal record that includes car theft and a felony arson conviction. He received a dishonorable discharge from the Navy in 1976.

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