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Lincoln Park man to pay $45,650 in restitution for embezzling charitable groups' funds

Detroit, Oct. 30, 2018 - A 67-year-old Lincoln Park man was sentenced Oct. 23 to five years’ probation and ordered to pay $45,650.50 in restitution for crimes against two Wayne County charities uncovered through a joint investigation by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Third Circuit Court Judge Kelly Ramsey also ordered Donald G. McDonald to pay $3,385 in fines and fees for felony embezzlement, forgery and three misdemeanors, including larceny by conversion and two charitable gaming license violations.

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. Although McDonald’s term as treasurer ended in 2014, state investigators reviewed the organization’s records between 2013 and 2016. The organizations estimated up to $100,000 was missing, and McDonald was the only person accused of wrongdoing.

“We appreciate the cooperation of the charities in helping bring Mr. McDonald to justice,” said Richard S. Kalm, executive director, Michigan Gaming Control Board. “Unfortunately, these organizations fell victim to an unscrupulous person who took advantage of his fellow members’ trust by siphoning funds away for himself.”

Both organizations were licensed by the MGCB to conduct charitable gaming events, and some of the stolen funds were proceeds from those fundraising events.

McDonald pled guilty in September to three counts of embezzlement of more than $1,000 but less than $20,000 from a non-profit corporation or charitable organization. Two other 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. Additionally, he pled guilty to larceny by conversion of more than $200 but less than $1,000, which is a misdemeanor, and two charitable gaming license violations, which are misdemeanors.

McDonald must submit his first payment within 30 days and may not have contact with any Moose Lodges nor obtain employment where he is a trustee or handles money.

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.

"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."