Thousands of dollars of kickbacks results in prison time for VA medical center manager

| March 18, 2023

Ralph Johnson received approximately $30,000 in bribes from contractors he awarded contracts to. These contracts were over $443,000, paid for by the Philadelphia VA medical center. Johnson’s agreement with the contractors, Earron Starks and Carlicha Starks, involved their providing him a fraction of what the medical center paid out for these contracts.

The judge factored Ralph Johnson’s military service during the sentencing. However, the assistant U.S. attorney had some doubts about Ralph Johnson’s being present during Gulf War hostilities. She claimed that Gulf War hostilities ended by the time Johnson deployed to the area. When asked when fighting was still occurring by the time his deployment started, Johnson claimed that he earned a Bronze Star.


At Johnson’s sentencing, his attorney, Hope C. Lefeber, said he was first introduced to the couple by a woman he had been having an extramarital affair with while they were both working at a VA facility in Mechanicsburg, W.Va.

“He was wrong — terribly wrong — and succumbed to his feelings of guilt toward his former paramour … and the opportunity for his own financial gain,” she said. “However, Mr. Johnson believed the contracts would be fulfilled and the work would get done.”

Prosecutors pushed back against Lefeber’s characterization of her client as a decorated veteran who had served his country honorably — first in combat, then at Veterans Affairs — only to tarnish his reputation by succumbing to pressure from his scorned former mistress.

Assistant U.S. Attorney K.T. Newton questioned whether — despite Johnson’s deployment to the Middle East around the time of the Gulf War — he had actually seen combat, as he had told the court.

She said active hostilities had ended by the time Johnson was dispatched as an Army mechanic. Johnson bristled, insisting he had received a Bronze Star for his service.

Still, when Bartle directly asked him whether the Iraqi government was still fighting American troops when his deployment began, Johnson hedged.

“I served in the Gulf War. I love this country,” he said. “They don’t just give medals when you didn’t serve in the war.”

When it came to the bribery scheme, Newton said, Johnson demanded bribes from the Starkses from their very first meeting.

In June 2019, while wearing recording equipment, the couple met with Johnson at his office on the VA hospital’s campus in West Philadelphia and slipped him a binder filled with $5,000 they owed him from a contract he had previously sent their way.

He walked them out to the parking lot afterward and reminded them that their next kickback was due at the start of the following month — before the July Fourth weekend.

“That’s going to be a long weekend … and I like to enjoy the weekend,” Johnson told them, according to a transcript of that recording included in government court filings. “I like to work hard, but I sure like to play hard, too.” has additional information.

Category: Veteran Health Care, Veterans in the news

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Skivvy Stacker

$443,000 in contracts, and all you get in kickbacks is thirty grand?
You don’t know how to fuck the system, dude.
You deserve to go to prison.


…My question is whether or not the VA has actually fired him. From what I’ve seen, actions directly resulting in the deaths of veterans don’t seem to be enough.


Guy done ralphed on his johnson.


They need to privatize the VA and fire every last one of them.


Pretty thick wad in the photo.
I’ll bet that C note on top is the only one.


He can still make it rain at the strip club.


Kramer: You keep the big bills on the outside

Jerry: That’s a five


From the article, looks like Ralphie boi was not the only thief they had there. City of Brotherly Love full of dirtbags that love to lie, cheat, and steal. Note to wanna be paramores…If he’ll cheat and lie on his wife with you, he’ll lie and cheat on you too. $50 bucks a month to pay back nearly 1/2 mil? That’ll take awhile. Be interesting to see his military service records. Some of the troops here have made mention that Bronze Stars were passed out during GW1 like candy during a Christmas Parade.

I say, again. You want to fix the VA, have ALL grubermint employees, including Kongress Klowne Kritters, get their health care there


Ralpie boi never heard the sound of gunfire. He was a wrench twister, a REMF. Next, his records show he didn’t get to the sandbox until after the ceasefire.


Pain is great teacher, mes non..?


Too busy for veterans, yo!


Malfeasance in the VA? Say it ain’t so…


Like saying water is wet.

A Proud Infidel®™

Along with “Fire is hot” and “Shit stinks”!


Combat claims debunked in court?
Bronze Star AFTER March 1991 Gulf War cease fire?



Since he’s already at a VA hospital cut his nuts off with a dirty utility knife, no anesthesia.He’s too stupid to need them.

A Proud Infidel®™

Here’s hoping that Bubba, Thor and company have some fun with his ass while he’s in lockup, and yes I mean that literally!!!


It will become easier and much more socially advantageous for Ralphie when he truly accepts his new role as the prison’s latest inductee butt-pirate.. *shrug*
Piano meets Coyote.

Last edited 1 year ago by Hatchet
A Proud Infidel®™

I hope prison hits him like an ACME® Anvil landing on Wile E. Coyote.

Green Thumb

Curious as to the levels of All-Points Logistics involvement.

Or if Ralph Johnson was a former All-Points Logistics employee?

His actions are quite “Phildoesque” in nature.


Hmmm. Defiantly declares in open court that he ‘won’ his Bronze Star in the Gulf War – I would love to see the paperwork on that one.. Just can’t help but think that seeking and accepting bribes is quite the oddest expression of love for one’s country.. At the end of the day, turns out Ralph actually isn’t much of a Gulf War hero and actually is much more of a gut-less two-timing/three-way cheating POS. Hopefully, Ralph Johnson can look forward to doing a nice long stretch as a greasy little piece of dick-candy in Tiny, Bubba and Thor’s single-cell hoosegow-harem…

Last edited 1 year ago by Hatchet

“They don’t just give medals when you didn’t serve in the war.”

Guilty. And stupid.


They don’t give the NDSM to just anybody. You gotta be in the army.