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VA employee charged with stealing federal funds from Massachusetts medical facility

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By JEANETTE DEFORGE | MassLive.com | Published: January 28, 2020

BOSTON (Tribune News Service) — A Department of Veteran Affairs employee has been charged with stealing more than $69,000 in federal funds by pretending to purchase items and rerouting the money into his personal accounts.

Michael Donaher was arrested Tuesday and charged in federal court with embezzlement and theft of public money, property or records. He was released on conditions following an initial court appearance, said Christina DiLorio-Sterling, spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.

Donaher, an inventory management specialist for the Veterans Affairs Medical Facility in Brockton, is accused of fraud by using his government-issued purchase cards, she said.

In a complicated scheme he allegedly routed money into the accounts of a company he created through Square Inc., a mobile payment company. To further conceal the suspected theft, he tried to make it appear as if the purchases were being made through FW Webb, a large plumbing company used by the VA for legitimate business, she said.

When confronted by a special agent for the Office of Inspector General, Donaher admitted he did not make the purchases and rerouted money into his own account, court records said.

If convicted, Donaher could face up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000, DiLorio-Sterling said.

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