Federal Government

VA Charity Bilked Out Of $44,000

The following is provided by a reader known to the GUARDIAN who has inside knowledge of the facts provided.

Tuesday, the day after Veteran’s Day, a team from the Boise VA as well past long-term employees, quietly gathered at the federal courthouse to hear the sentencing of Szilvia Rideg.

Rideg, the former executive director of the VA charity Idaho Veteran’s Research and Education Foundation (IVREF), plead guilty last year to Federal felony theft of $44,000 during her time at the foundation.

Ms. Rideg managed to make full restitution the morning of her sentencing, which came as a surprise to those in the courtroom. She was sentenced to five years probation, fined $5,000 along with twelve months of house arrest with possible electronic monitoring. Oddly, she continues to work as a grant administrator in another state but is now forbidden to handle funds, open lines of credit or handle cash. She must also take a personal finance class.

IVREF is a medical research charity that furthers the cause of veteran’s healthcare by studying, researching and hopefully curing diseases that veteran’s may suffer from either through the course of their service or later in life. IVREF was recently awarded a $10 million grant by the National Institute of Health (NIH). Rideg was the administrator of this grant.

Besides the economic impacts of her crime, her deceit also took a toll on the researchers employed at the VA as she attempted to cover her tracks by lies, allegations and blame directed towards her co-workers. For several decades researchers have left the facility and the Boise VA has come under scrutiny by the National Institute of Health as they have watched this unfold from afar.

Rideg attempted an apology during her sentencing, however, she spoke so softly that her words were lost in the courtroom and mostly unheard by the audience.

The court noted that Rideg, who came to the US seeking protection from a communist regime, stole from the very people, veterans, who fought for the freedoms and protections she now enjoys.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. I for one have about had it with the media’s anonymous sources.

  2. Maybe she will run for Boise Mayor in the next cycle.

  3. Boisean Since Forever
    Nov 14, 2019, 10:31 am

    She wouldn’t get off this easy in a communist country.

  4. Glad this is finally out in the press. She has ruined so many lives and has undermined the long standing VA research organization and the careers of their lifetime scientists. The VA has contributed to science in so many ways and changed how clinicians manage infections and injuries. I wonder where she got the restitution money. From her Nevada position perhaps?

  5. Happens all the time.
    To keep in mind, there is ALWAYS a board of directors for nonprofit organizations (and regular companies)- those people are at fault for not protecting the assets of the organization by providing adequate safe guards to prevent theft or misuse of assets.
    THAT is the board’s job and duty!
    Where is the penalty for the neglect by the Treasurer, the officers, and the directors?

    Leave your car unattended, running, with the door open in a bad neighborhood– true, it’s a thief stealing your car, but you are certainly contributing to the result.

    I believe, the reason this happens regularly is board members commonly participate on boards just to get their line on a resume, to move on to the next organization and to hob-knob with the other directors doing the same thing.
    IME “volunteerism” common by the affluent and wealthy is seldom done for meaningful reasons.

    Another public, local example of theft from a nonprofit (led to 3 years of prison), was the Susan G Komen of Boise case back in about 2008– done while a notable board member was there as Treasurer.

    As to the anonymous author above, this story is being reported in the msm, so what unique information is here that is not available in the court documents and the common press?
    Rideg’s linkedin profile says more than the above. She was there from 2015-2018, so the above authors reference of “For several decades researchers have left” is irrelevant; other than the recent 9.5M, 5-year-term, grant perhaps could curb an exodus.

    The judges comment of “seeking **protection** from communism” from Hungary is pretty LAME given our current world environment; it’s not like she immigrated in 1956; and Hungary has been free since 1989.

    None the less, “anonymous sources” play a very important role in our society to fight against evil. When those ‘sources’ and information are corroborated, justice works (sometimes).

    Kudos to all the good employees of the VA [socialized medicine program] and the VA research doing the right thing every day!

  6. Only $44K ??
    Nov 15, 2019, 8:12 am

    That place burns though $44K in a few seconds. There has got to to be more to this story considering the number and intensity of people claiming it impacted them. Perhaps if it was easier to fire a government employee, might this have been prevented? What’s the backstory?

  7. Unfortunately, too many charities are rife with corruption. They tend to be money laundering schemes that fund crime and sickos. The Clinton Foundation comes to mind. Thankfully, that organization is coming to a halt.

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