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Indictment: Veteran lied on medical appointment travel records to get money from VA

By AMY RENEE LEIKER | The Wichita Eagle | Published: December 22, 2020

WICHITA, Kan. (Tribune News Service) —A Kansas veteran is facing federal charges for allegedly falsifying travel records related to medical appointments so he could get money from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Edward D. Parks, 60, of Liberal, Kan. has been charged through an indictment with one count of submitting false claims for travel reimbursement and one count of making a false statement to investigators from the Department of Veterans Affairs — Office of Inspector General. U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister's Office announced the indictment Tuesday via email.

Parks, who served in the Marines, is accused of lying about traveling to Wichita from his Liberal home last year for medical appointments, according to the email. The indictment alleges he "did willfully and knowingly falsify, conceal, and cover up by trick, scheme, and device a material fact ... by submitting false claims relating to travel reimbursement" beginning on an unknown date through Aug. 7, 2019.

Then on or about Aug. 7, 2019, Parks "did willfully and knowingly make a materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement and representation" to special agents, knowing that it "was false and that he was not entitled to travel reimbursement as authorized," the indictment alleges. The document does not provide details about the contents of the allegedly false statement.

There was no lawyer for Parks listed in court records Tuesday afternoon.

McAllister's email said Parks sought reimbursement under the Beneficiary Travel Program, which pays back veterans for mileage and other expenses they incur going to and from approved health care appointments. He faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on each count, if convicted. The allegations were investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs — Office of Inspector General.

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