Adam Jose Cora met Robert Granger, a veteran, in jail. When Cora was released, Granger gave him his discharge papers which Cora used to scam $15,000 worth of medical treatment from a West Palm Beach VA facility, according to the Palm Beach Post. Cora’s scam was discovered when VA personnel noticed that they hadn’t been treating the guy in the photo they had on file;
After being arrested by Riviera Beach police on Wednesday, Cora admitted to using Granger’s identity to access medical care because he could not afford it elsewhere. Cora faces one charge of fraudulently obtaining services from a health care provider and one charge of criminal use of personal identification.
Officials at the hospital said they could not comment because the investigation was ongoing.
Mary Kay Hollingsworth, regional public affairs officer for the VA, said hospitals always ask a patient for a photo identification and input the biographical information into a national database to confirm the person is eligible for benefits. Hollingsworth added that they usually recommend veterans present their military discharge papers if their name is not found in the database.
But if a patient comes into the emergency room and needs immediate care, hospital officials will first make sure the patient is treated and stabilized, and then will verify the person’s eligibility.
I’m constantly amazed at how people off the street always find a way to get VA benefits, but tens of thousands of veterans are backlogged in the system.