A Lakeville man pleaded guilty today to embezzling nearly $70,000 in funds from the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Michael Donaher, 41, admitted before U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to one count of embezzlement and theft of public money, property, or records. As part of a plea deal, he agreed to reimburse the government, according to a media release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston. He's due to be sentenced September 10.

Donaher worked as an Inventory Management Specialist for the Veterans Affairs Medical Facility in Brockton where he was responsible for purchasing equipment. He conducted transactions using his government-issued purchase cards and routed the proceeds to his personal bank account. He attempted to conceal the fraud by making it appear as if the purchases were made through a large company that the VA frequently used. In fact, they 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. Furthermore, Donaher attempted to hide this fact by annotating the items as having been received within the VA’s accountability system.

Donaher routed approximately $70,000 of VA funds to his personal account since the scheme began in 2016. He was arrested in January on a criminal complaint.

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 federal sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

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

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