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VA Employee to Plead Guilty for Embezzling $70k Using Square App

A VA employee has agreed to plead guilty to stealing nearly $70k worth of agency funds via a mobile app.

An employee at the Department of Veterans Affairs agreed to plead guilty this week for embezzling nearly $70,000 of agency funds according to an announcement from the Justice Department. He was arrested in January on a criminal complaint.

Michael Donaher, 41, of Lakeville, was charged with one count of embezzlement and theft of public money, property or records.

Donaher worked as an Inventory Management Specialist for the VA Medical Facility in Brockton and was responsible for purchasing various equipment necessary for use in the facility.

He conducted fraudulent transactions using his government-issued purchase cards and routed the proceeds to his personal bank account. Donaher 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, and Donaher attempted to hide this fact by annotating the items as having been received within the VA’s accountability system.

In total, Donaher fraudulently routed approximately $70,000 of agency funds to his personal account when the scheme began in 2016.

He faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. As part of a plea agreement, he has agreed to reimburse the government for the funds he stole. A plea hearing has not yet been scheduled.

About the Author

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