A Florida doctor, convicted of cheating the government, is now working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, helping to determine if sick and dying Marines deserve benefits.
Dr. Sheila Mohammed, from the Pensacola area, pleaded guilty to seven counts of tax fraud in 2015. A federal judge sent her to prison. Dr. Mohammed was also placed on supervised release for two years.
She is now reviewing medical records of veterans exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune for the VA.
“The idea of a convicted felon reviewing a veteran’s claim. I mean, I’m just at a loss for words,” said Mike Partain, a Camp Lejeune survivor and spokesman for The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten, a Camp Lejeune support group.
Over the course of decades, nearly one million Marines, sailors, their families and civilian employees unknowingly drank, cooked and bathed in contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
The water contained four known cancer causing chemicals, creating a health disaster.
Mike Partain was conceived and born at Camp Lejeune. He developed breast cancer.
“These veterans and their families are suffering because of that,” explained Partain.
“We’re seeing leukemia, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, non Hodgkins lymphoma, Parkinson’s.”
VA doctors and now contracted physicians Subject Matter Experts review veterans’ records. Their reports help decide if illnesses are tied to Camp Lejeune.
“There’s a lot at stake here,” added Partain.
What’s at stake are health care, disability and death survivor benefits.
So who are Subject Matter Expert doctors?
The VA has kept that information close to the vest.
But an April 24 letter to a veteran in Ohio reveals one of the physicians is Dr. Mohammed.
According to Partain, another one of these Subject Matter Experts was arrested in Minnesota for molesting his two sons and stripped of his medical license.
“Sometime after he got out of jail, he went to work for the VA,” explained Partain. “You can’t make this up Steve, you just can’t.”
Others run side businesses defending workers compensation claims on behalf of the government.
“I mean, that’s a huge conflict of interest,” points out Partain.
The impacted veterans and their families didn’t ask to be poisoned. They were, serving a country they volunteered to defend.
Partain believes any person reviewing the claims of those affected by Camp Lejeune should be held to the highest standard of integrity.
Veterans should expect no less.