Muskogee Phoenix
Former VA psychiatrist sentenced to federal prison
October 25, 2018

Psychiatrist Stephen Greer

Psychiatrist Stephen Greer

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Stephen Lester Greer, 58, of Tulsa, was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment, and three years supervised release for tampering with a witness, victim, or informant. The charge arose from an investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of Inspector General.

The indictment alleged that from about June 29, 2016, and continuing until in or about July 7, 2016, Greer did knowingly intimidate, threaten, or corruptly persuade Patient A, or attempted to do so, and engaged in misleading conduct toward Patient A, with intent to hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to federal law enforcement officers by Patient A of information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense.

In June 2016, an employee of the Jack C. Montgomery Veterans Affairs Medical Center recognized Greer and Patient A checking into the La Quinta Inn and Suites in Muskogee. Greer was a staff psychiatrist for the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center from March 2013 until July 2016. During the subsequent investigation, special agents with the Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of Inspector General interviewed Greer and admonished him to have no further contact with this patient. Instead, Greer met with his patient and instructed her to lie to federal law enforcement officers about their sexual relationship, the financial assistance Greer provided to her, the paternity of the patient’s unborn baby and the hotel rooms they shared. Greer also advised the patient that they both needed to destroy their cellphones to prevent law enforcement officers from reading their text message communications.

The Honorable Ronald A. White, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, presided over the sentencing hearing and ruled that Greer’s sentencing range should be adjusted upward because Patient A was a “vulnerable victim.” Patient A was a US Army veteran who had suffered a brain injury that resulted in seizures and other serious mental health problems. Judge White further ruled that Greer abused his position of trust as the psychiatrist who treated Patient A, prescribed her medication, maintained a sexual relationship with Patient A and then attempted to persuade her to lie to federal investigators.

In 2004 and 2005, the Oklahoma Medical Board of Licensure and Supervision investigated Greer for inappropriate conduct with a female patient. In January 2005, Greer was suspended from the practice of medicine for inappropriate contact with a female patient while also prescribing drugs to that patient. In June 2006, the Oklahoma Medical Board of Licensure and Supervision reinstated his medical license.

“Veterans defend and protect America every day through their service,” said US Attorney Brian J. Kuester. “In return for this service, America has pledged to care for returning veterans with medical treatment, educational benefits and other assistance. Dr. Greer completely shattered and disregarded the obligations that Americans have to disabled veterans by abusing his position at the VA Hospital in Muskogee, Oklahoma, by having an inappropriate relationship with a female patient that he was treating. The Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of Inspector General did an excellent job in working with the U. S. Attorney’s Office in this investigation. Any VA employee that commits federal criminal conduct will be held accountable for their crimes. Judge White’s imprisonment of Dr. Greer reflects the commitment of the Department of Justice in protecting our veterans. Veterans honor America through their service. All Americans owe them only the best.”

Greer will remain on bond and must report to the designated federal facility on Nov. 26, where the non-paroleable sentence will be served.