65 More Charges Leveled Against Former VA Head
William Montague was arrested last June. He’s already been accused of bribery, money laundering, and disclosing public contract information, among other charges.
The new round of charges – 65 altogether – adds more counts of mail and wire fraud, as well as violating the Hobbs Act…a federal law against robbery or extortion.
Montague’s been tied to contractor Michael Forlani, who himself is serving an eight-year sentence for racketeering and other charges Forlani was the principal contractor during a 125-million dollar consolidation of the Cleveland and Brecksville V-A campuses – a project later blasted by the Inspector General’s Office as wasteful and ill-advised.
In a 2012 interview, Maureen Regan of the Office of the Inspector General told ideastream what the crooked deals cost.
“The winner…Veterans Development and Mr. Forlani. The loser? Taxpayers and the veterans," said Regan. "Because cost savings is what goes into better care for veterans, you have more services you can offer, because you have more resources.”
Montague has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
(Story by ideastream's Brian Bull)