UMass financial analyst defrauded school of $3.4M

Sept. 15, 2013 at 5:36 PM

WORCESTER, Mass., Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Officials at the University of Massachusetts said they're trying to figure out how an employee defrauded them of $3.4 million without detection for five years.

It was only when Leo Villani died in a one-vehicle accident in late December that officials at the Worcester medical school realized there were discrepancies in the accounts where he was supposed to deposit checks for the state Medicaid program, MassHealth, The Boston Globe reported.

Villani's office collected more than $500 million for MassHealth over the past decade, and he'd siphoned off about $3.4 million of it over the past decade into a dummy corporation he created, the newspaper said.

"It was an appalling scam by a guy who was committed to defrauding an organization," said Edward Keohane, vice chancellor for communications at UMass Medical School. "It's unbelievable. The level of it, the depth of it, was staggering."

Villani, who made $46,000 a year for his job as a financial analyst for the school, told friends and family he got the money he spent on a Porsche, Salvador Dali paintings and a large home from an inheritance.

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