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Former Chillicothe VA employee charged in nearly $1 million federal healthcare fraud case

Charles Dharapak

A former employee of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Chillicothe is facing federal healthcare fraud charges in U.S. District Court in Columbus.

Melissa Radune is accused of making fraudulent claims amounting to nearly $1 million.

She is scheduled to be arraigned on one count of health care fraud on Feb. 9. She was indicted Jan. 17.

The complaint against her states she worked as a registered nurse at the VA in Chillicothe from 2001 through 2013.

Prosecutors say she used the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Program between 2015 and continuing into 2021, to make claims for prescription drugs that were never provided, or paid for with other benefits.

The program allowed users injured at work to file claims, with documentation, to receive reimbursement for certain healthcare costs under the program.

The complaint states she made "homemade receipts" to support false claims.

"It was part of the scheme that defendant Radune would routinely submit (forms) for prescription drugs... that falsely stated that she personally incurred expenses for the drugs," according to the complaint.

The complaint also states she made $930,000 in "fraudulent claims."

An email seeking comment sent to Radune's attorney Brian D. Joslyn in Columbus, was not immediately returned Tuesday.

The court docket indicates a plea deal may be in the works, but it is not publicly available.

Renee Fox is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News.