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Lincoln Park man pleads guilty to embezzlement following Michigan Attorney General's Office and Gaming Control Board investigation

Detroit, Oct. 2, 2018 - A 67-year-old Lincoln Park man pled guilty Sept. 21 in Wayne County’s Third Circuit Court to felony embezzlement and forgery charges and three misdemeanors, including larceny by conversion and two charitable gaming license violations, for crimes against two Wayne County charities. The Lincoln Park Moose Lodge No. 1665 and the Lincoln Park Women of the Moose No. 1036 were the victims, according to a complaint filed earlier this year after a joint investigation by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Donald G. McDonald, the former Moose Lodge treasurer, admitted embezzling up to $25,000 from the two charitable organizations between 2013 and 2016 although the organizations estimated up to $100,000 was missing. Both organizations were licensed by the MGCB to conduct charitable gaming events, and some of the stolen funds were proceeds from those fundraising events.

“The MGCB urges non-profit organizations to establish controls such as dual signatures on checks and monthly or quarterly financial reviews to avoid becoming victims of crime,” said Richard S. Kalm, executive director, Michigan Gaming Control Board. “Charities work hard to raise funds. Without oversight, it’s easy for one person to divert the money they raise.”

McDonald pled guilty to three counts of embezzlement of more than $1,000 but less than $20,000 from a non-profit corporation or charitable organization. Two of the 10-year felony embezzlement counts were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

McDonald also pled guilty to forging a $360 check drawn on the organization’s account in August 2013. Forgery is a 14-year felony and also punishable by a $15,000 fine. Additionally, he pled guilty to larceny by conversion of more than $200 but less than $1,000, which is a misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail and/or a fine of $2,000. The two charitable gaming license violations carry a penalty of up to six months in jail and/or fines of $1,000 each.

The investigation resulted from a tip received by the MGCB, which urges the public to report illegal or suspicious gambling-related activity to its anonymous tip line, 888-314-2682.

On Oct. 23, McDonald will be sentenced in Third Circuit Court by Judge Kelly Ramsey. McDonald has agreed to pay restitution as ordered by the court.

"The Michigan Gaming Control Board shall ensure the conduct of fair and honest gaming to protect the interests of the citizens of the State of Michigan."