Dr. Sam Foote, the whistleblower who brought the U.S. Veterans Affairs (VA) scandal to light in 2014, will be awarded the ACFE Sentinel Award at the 28th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference in Nashville, June 18-23.
Dr. Sam Foote, the whistleblower who brought the U.S. Veterans Affairs (VA) scandal to light in 2014, will be awarded the ACFE Sentinel Award at the 28th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference in Nashville, June 18-23. Foote will join more than 3,000 anti-fraud professionals at the event, and will join the ranks of previous Sentinel Award winners including Olympus whistleblower Michael Woodford and Pamela Davis, who helped expose corruption under former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Foote worked as a physician in the Phoenix VA Health Care System for nearly 24 years before he began noticing questionable procedures. Although he saw overworked staff and patients waiting months to be seen, he noticed administrators at the hospitals were receiving bonuses for slashing wait times. After investigating, he discovered that many administrators were altering official wait time records, and directing their subordinates to do the same.
Foote brought his concerns to the attention of the VA Office of Inspector General, but received no response. He retired in December 2013 and decided to write letters to government representatives and go to the media with his story in hopes of forcing the VA’s hand. His diligence in exposing the story led to a full congressional investigation and the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. It is currently estimated that “there could be as many as 40 veterans whose deaths could be related to delays in care,” per U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.)
The conference is the world’s largest gathering of fraud fighters and will feature more than 70 breakout sessions presented by top experts in the anti-fraud field. Sessions will cover topics from case studies of fraud in NASA to battling ransomware and attacks from the Dark Web.
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