VA Employee Charged with Embezzling $70k Using Square App

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By on February 6, 2020 in Court Cases with 0 Comments
Illustration of a person's hand holding a smartphone with a shopping icon displayed on it in one hand and a credit card in the other depicting making a mobile payment/purchase

An employee at the Department of Veterans Affairs has been charged with theft of nearly $70,000 of public funds according to an announcement from the Justice Department.

Michael Donaher, 41, of Lakeville, was charged with one count of embezzlement and theft of public money, property or records. He works as an Inventory Management Specialist for the VA Medical Facility in Brockton, MA and is responsible for purchasing various equipment necessary for use in the facility.

Donaher was arrested and released on conditions following an initial appearance in federal court in Boston.

Allegations in the complaint state that Donaher conducted fraudulent transactions using his government-issued purchase cards and routed the proceeds to his personal bank account. He attempted to conceal these fraudulent purchases by making it appear as if the purchases were made through a large company – FW Webb – that the VA frequently used for legitimate business, when, in fact, they were actually made through a company Donaher created through Square, Inc., a mobile payment company.

These 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.

According to the complaint, Donaher fraudulently routed approximately $70,000 of VA funds to his personal account since the scheme began in 2016.

He faces 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.

The details contained in the complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

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