FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged a former Veterans Affairs pathologist with the deaths of three veterans and a scheme to cover up years of drug and alcohol use on the job that caused him to misread thousands of fluid and tissue samples of ill patients.
Robert Morris Levy was indicted on three counts of involuntary manslaughter and 28 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and false statements to law enforcement officials. The Department of Veterans Affairs has told members of Congress and investigators that Levy was responsible for at least 15 deaths and the inappropriate treatment of many other patients.
During 12 years as chief pathologist here and in leadership roles on multiple oversight boards and medical committees, Levy, 53, read almost 34,000 pathology slides of aging veterans. He had their lives in his hands, prosecutors said in unsealing their indictment. But his addiction and attempts to cover it up even after VA paid for a lengthy inpatient treatment program led to multiple deaths and other life-threatening trauma for veterans, they said.
“Diagnoses rendered by Levy and the information he entered in patients’ medical records largely influenced decisions about the course of medical treatment” for patients at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks, the indictment said.