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Massachusetts Man Pleads Guilty To Defrauding The VA

A worker at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facility in Massachusetts pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing about $70,000 in agency funds through fraudulent purchases made using a mobile payment app.

Michael Donaher, 41, of Lakeville, pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston to embezzlement and theft of public money, according to the office of U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, Andrew Lelling.

Donaher’s job was making purchases of equipment needed at the Veterans Affairs Medical Facility in Brockton, prosecutors said.

He used government-issued credit cards to make the fraudulent purchases and routed the proceeds to his personal bank account, prosecutors said. He concealed the fraud by making it appear as if they were made through a large company the VA frequently used for legitimate business, when, in fact, they were actually made through a company with a similar name Donaher created through the mobile payment company, prosecutors said.

Donaher faces up to 10 years in prison at sentencing on Sept. 10. He also agreed to reimburse the government, authorities said.

Donaher has been working at the VA since 2010 and the payment scheme has been going on since 2016, federal authorities said.

An email seeking comment was sent to his federal public defender.

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