Lincoln Park embezzler gets 5 years probation

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
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A 67-year-old Lincoln Park man was sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered to repay $45,650.50 for embezzling money from two charities, state officials said Tuesday.

Donald McDonald was given the sentence last week in Wayne County Circuit Court, according to officials with the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

He was also ordered to pay $3,385 in fines and fees, according to the agency. A judge also ordered McDonald to submit his first payment within 30 days and to not have contact with any Moose Lodges or obtain employment where he handles money.

The theft was uncovered by a joint investigation by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The investigation began after the gaming control board received a tip. 

“We appreciate the cooperation of the charities in helping bring Mr. McDonald to justice,” Richard Kalm, the gaming control board's executive director, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, these organizations fell victim to an unscrupulous person who took advantage of his fellow members’ trust by siphoning funds away for himself.”

Officials said McDonald, a former Moose Lodge treasurer, admitted embezzling up to $25,000 from Lincoln Park Moose Lodge No. 1665 and the Lincoln Park Women of the Moose No. 1036.

McDonald’s term as the organization's treasurer ended in 2014, but investigators reviewed its records between 2013 and 2016. The two charities estimated up to $100,000 was missing and McDonald was the only suspect.

McDonald pleaded guilty in September to three counts of embezzlement from a non-profit corporation or charitable organization, according to officials. The charge is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. 

As part of a plea agreement, two other 10-year felony embezzlement counts were dismissed.

McDonald also pleaded guilty to forging a $360 check drawn on the organization’s account in August 2013. Additionally, he pleaded guilty to larceny by conversion of more than $200 but less than $1,000 and two charitable gaming license violations, all misdemeanors.

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez