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Commonwealth of Virginia
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For media inquiries only, contact:  Brian J. Gottstein
Email: bgottstein@oag.state.va.us (best contact method)
Phone: 804-786-5874

 

Physician sentenced to 30 days imprisonment for embezzling money from
Virginia Birth Injury Fund

RICHMOND (May 18, 2012)- Dr. John E. Crews, III, 41, of Richmond was sentenced today to 30 days imprisonment for embezzling approximately $17,000 from the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Fund, also known as the Virginia Birth Injury Fund (BIF). Crews is also subject to a forfeiture money judgment of $64,000. Following incarceration, Crews will serve 150 days of home confinement and will be under three years of supervised release. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil MacBride made the announcement today after Crews was sentenced in United States District Court.

BIF provides benefits to qualified infants who incur severe brain injury as a result of the birthing process.

Dr. Crews engaged in a scheme with Iris Allen, a former claims manager at BIF currently serving a 10-year sentence, where he would serve as a transportation vendor for BIF.  The scheme involved the defendant submitting invoices to the program for handicapped accessible vans at substantially inflated amounts, which Allen then processed for payment.  Although he received funds for five vans, the defendant only provided two vans to the program.  Allen subsequently diverted funds to cover the cost of modifying the three remaining vans and to avoid detection of the scheme involving Dr. Crews, thus further victimizing the program.

Two additional defendants were convicted and sentenced for participating in a similar scheme.  In 2011, Larry Truehart and Dawn Sykes each pled guilty to one count of misdemeanor theft from a health care program and received a sentence of one year probation.  Additionally, Truehart and Sykes paid $19,000 in restitution and must forfeit $111,000 (the gross proceeds of the health care fraud) for their role in partnering with Allen to sell handicapped equipped vehicles to the program at inflated prices. 

"The Birth Injury Fund serves some of the most vulnerable citizens of the commonwealth - children permanently injured at birth and suffering from debilitating conditions who need assistance with daily living activities," said Cuccinelli.   "It is shocking and reprehensible that a doctor would take advantage of these children."

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Virginia State Police.  Assistant United States Attorney Laura Colombell Marshall and Virginia Assistant Attorney General Shannon Y. Dion and Special Assistant United States Attorney prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

Dr. Crews' license to practice in Virginia was suspended in 2008.  He is currently licensed and practicing medicine in Pennsylvania.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.

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A copy of this news release may be found on the attorney general's web site here.

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