An official at a New York Veterans Affairs facility was arrested Monday for allegedly taking tens of thousands of dollars in improper gifts from a telecommunications firm doing business with the center. The arrest was announced by the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
Prosecutors accuse Kenneth Czumak, an Information Technology Specialist with the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center, of receiving more than $US40,000 worth of meals, golf outings, hotel rooms, car services, and other benefits from the unnamed firm.
“Throughout the relevant time period, a telecommunications firm had a subcontract for approximately $US6 million to provide voice and data infrastructure and related services to the VAMC Northport,” Bharara’s office said in a release. “During this same time period, Czumak served as an Information Technology Specialist at the VAMC Northport, and was the primary point of contact for the Telecommunications Firm at the VAMC Northport.”
Prosecutors said Czumak was specifically aware his actions were illegal.
“In an interview with law enforcement agents in March of this year, Czumak acknowledged that he was aware from training he had received from VAMC Northport that, as a government employee, he could not accept gifts worth more than $US15 from an outside source,” the U.S. Attorney’s statement continued.
Czumak, who faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, could not immediately be reached for comment.
The arrest comes as the embattled VA fights to recover its image amid damning revelations it failed to deliver crucial services to veterans at multiple centres. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned due to the scandal at the end of May.
View the federal complaint against Czumak below.
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