VA will let officials keep taxpayer money they stole

Two officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs who allegedly defrauded the agency of $400,000 will walk away with the taxpayer money they took after receiving demotions and unspecified pay cuts as punishment.

Diane Rubens and Kimberly Graves were both accused of manipulating a VA program meant to relocate agency employees who transfer long distances to take jobs within the VA. Rubens fraudulently netted more than $274,000 and Graves more than $129,000, according to the agency's inspector general.

Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, said he was "flabbergasted" by the VA's decision to let the two women keep the taxpayer money they siphoned from the program.

"This is not a situation in which VA can have it both ways," Miller said in a letter to VA Secretary Bob McDonald Monday. "In demoting Rubens and Graves, VA has already admitted what they did was wrong. Consequently, the department's failure to recoup the money Rubens' and Graves' unethical behavior enabled them to benefit from defies all logic."

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