A Department of Veterans Affairs employee has agreed to plead guilty to embezzling nearly $70,000 in VA funds, federal prosecutors announced today.

Michael Donaher, 41, of Lakeville, was arrested in January and charged with one count of embezzlement and theft of public money, property or records. As part of a plea agreement, he has agreed to reimburse the government for the funds he stole, the announcement said. A plea hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Donaher worked as an Inventory Management Specialist for the Veterans Affairs Medical Facility in Brockton and was responsible for purchasing equipment. Donaher conducted fraudulent transactions using his government-issued purchase cards and routed the proceeds to his personal bank account, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice in Boston.

Donaher attempted to conceal fraudulent purchases by making it appear as if they were made through F.W. Webb, a company that the VA frequently used for legitimate business. In fact, the purchases were made through a company Donaher created through Square, Inc., a mobile payment company. The purchases were not for actual items ever received by the VA. Donaher attempted to hide this fact by annotating the items as having been received within the VA’s accountability system, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Donaher routed approximately $70,000 of VA funds to his personal account since the scheme began in 2016, according to federal prosecutors

The charging statute provides a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Jeffrey Stachowiak, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Veteran Affairs, Office of the Inspector General, Northeast Field Office made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia M. Carris of Lelling’s Public Corruption & Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting the case.

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