A former nurse at a Miami VA medical center was sentenced to five years in prison on March 2 for falsifying patient computer records to cover up the cause of a patient's death.

Department of Justice officials said on March 11 that Enrique Martinez Mathews was sentenced after pleading guilty to obstruction and computer related fraud.

According to DOJ officials, Mathews admitted in court to altering the record of a patient while they were recovering from surgery in the VA Miami facility's intensive care unit, causing "appropriate medical treatment to be withheld" from the patient, who later died.

Mathews admitted to later altering the patient's computer record in an effort to cover up.

The case was handled by the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of Florida and the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General.

"Protecting our veterans is a national concern," U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said, in a statement.

"Together with our partners at the Veterans Affairs Administration, the U.S. Attorney's Office will identify for prosecution those individuals who compromise the personal information and potential safety and security of our citizens."

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