A former doctor at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Arkansas was indicted on multiple charges following the deaths of three patients under his care. A federal grand jury indicted Robert Morris Levy on 12 counts each of wire and mail fraud, four counts of making false statements and three counts of involuntary manslaughter.
"These charges send a clear signal that anyone entrusted with the care of veterans will be held accountable for placing them at risk by working while impaired or through other misconduct. Our thoughts are with the veterans and their families affected by Dr. 'Levy's actions," Michael Missal, Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs, said in a statement.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Arkansas says that Levy misdiagnosed three patients and then altered their files to cover up his mistakes.
The first patient died of prostate cancer after Levy told the man his biopsy did not show any signs of cancer. The second patient died from small cell carcinoma after Levy treated them for the wrong type of cancer. A third patient died of squamous cell carcinoma after Levy diagnosed him with another form of carcinoma.
In addition to misdiagnosing patients, Levy was accused of being drunk while seeing patients in 2015 and 2016. He agreed to enter a rehabilitation program and submit to random drug and alcohol screenings. While he never failed a drug test, officials say he used "a chemical substance that enables a person to achieve a state of intoxication but is not detectable in routine drug and alcohol testing methodology."
Levy faces up to 524 years in prison if he is convicted on all the charges.
"This indictment should remind us all that this country has a responsibility to care for those who have served us honorably. When that trust is violated through criminal conduct, those responsible must be held accountable. Our veterans deserve nothing less," Duane Kees, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas said.
Photo: Washington County Sheriff's Department