OIG Statement on Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia

VA Inspector General Michael Missal, US Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia Bill Powell, and other law enforcement partners announced today that Reta Mays, of Harrison County, West Virginia, pleaded guilty to seven counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of seven veterans at the Louis A. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia.


VA Inspector General Michael Missal, US Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia Bill Powell, and other law enforcement partners announced today that Reta Mays, of Harrison County, West Virginia, pleaded guilty to seven counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of seven veterans at the Louis A. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Mays, a nursing assistant, also pleaded guilty to one count of assault with intent to commit murder involving the death of an eighth veteran.

Mays admitted to administering insulin to several patients with the intent to cause their deaths.

Photo: Reta Mays, of Harrison County, West Virginia

What occurred at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center is tragic and heartbreaking.

This case is particularly shocking because these deaths were at the hands of a nursing assistant who was entrusted with providing compassionate and supportive care to veterans.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims. Within a matter of days of learning of the suspicious deaths at the facility, VA OIG agents identified the defendant as a person of interest.

Former VA Hospital Nursing Assistant Admits to Murdering Seven Veterans and Assault with Intent to Commit Murder of an Eighth

Working with medical facility leaders, the defendant was immediately removed from patient care. Without critical investigative actions being taken so expeditiously, additional lives could have been lost.

This was a complex investigation that involved a close partnership between the VA Office of Inspector General, US Attorney Bill Powell’s Office and the FBI, with the invaluable assistance of the West Virginia State Police and the Greater Harrison County Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force.

These collaborations resulted in solving this series of heinous crimes against veterans and providing some measure of closure for the victims and their families.

The result today was due to the tireless and dedicated efforts of the VA OIG law enforcement team, particularly lead Special Agent Keith Vereb, under the leadership of Resident Agent in Charge Colin Davis and Special Agent in Charge Kim Lampkins.

Our investigators painstakingly sought, tested, and pieced together an overwhelming amount of evidence to create the foundation for this case.

For example, the investigation included:

  • Extensive forensic audits and analyses, data modeling, and exhaustive medical record reviews
  • Approximately 350 interviews
  • More than 60 subpoenas and search warrants on electronic media
  • Approximately 1,200 current and former employee time-card reviews
  • Reviews of about 670,000 VA employee emails and multiple years of swipe card access logs for multiple personnel
  • Forensic analyses for various insulin and tissue samples by multiple experts
  • Coordinated disinterment’s and reinternments, with family agreement (including full military honors per family request), and witnessed associated autopsies.

The fact that the defendant pleaded guilty today to seven counts of second-degree murder is a testament to the strength of the case developed by our criminal team through their diligence, tenacity, and skill.

Blogs to Follow:

Justice.gov (July 2020) OIG Statement on Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia

Former Employee of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Facing Federal Indictment in Maryland

A federal grand jury has indicted David Laufer, age 63, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, formerly of Bethesda, Maryland, on five counts of the federal charge of making false statements.


Allegedly Failed to Report Financial Benefits He Received from Individuals and Companies Doing Business with Walter Reed

A federal grand jury has indicted David Laufer, age 63, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, formerly of Bethesda, Maryland, on five counts of the federal charge of making false statements.

The indictment was returned on December 16, 2019, and was unsealed upon his arrest on January 28, 2020. Laufer had his initial appearance yesterday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt and was released pending trial.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Craig, Jr. of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service -Mid-Atlantic Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Maureen Dixon, Office of Investigations, and Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to the indictment, until May 2019, Laufer worked as the Chief of the Prosthetics and Orthotics Department at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the largest joint military medical center in the United States.

Walter Reed is located in Bethesda and provides medical services, including orthotic and prosthetic services to U.S. service members and their dependents, including wounded soldiers.

Laufer’s job required him to complete annual Confidential Financial Disclosure forms which required him to report: all sources of outside income greater than $200; any business outside the U.S. Government in which Laufer or his spouse was an employee or consultant, whether or not compensated; any agreements or arrangements concerning past, current, and future employment; and travel-related reimbursement or other gifts totaling more than $350 from any one source during the reporting period.

The indictment alleges that Laufer failed to report financial benefits he received from Person B and Company B, located in Germantown, Maryland and owned, operated, and controlled by Person B. Company B provided prosthetics and orthotics materials to Walter Reed in return for payments from the government.

According to the indictment, Person B regularly interacted with Laufer about Company B’s business with Walter Reed.

Furthermore, the indictment alleges that Laufer falsely told federal agents that he had never received money, gifts, or sporting event tickets from any vendor doing business before the Prosthetics and Orthotics Department when in fact Laufer had received financial benefits, including travel and sporting event tickets, from Person Band Company B.

DODIG.mil (February, 2020) Former Employee of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Facing Federal Indictment in Maryland

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