UMass Medical School employee stole $3.4 million

A UMass Medical School employee who died in a car accident was found to have stolen $3.4 million from the school. (Photo via Umassmed.edu)
A UMass Medical School employee who died in a car accident was found to have stolen $3.4 million from the school. Credit: UMass Medical School

A University of Massachusetts Medical School employee who died in a car accident in December had stolen $3.4 million from the university.

Leo Villani made $46,000 as a financial analyst at UMass, yet he enjoyed a life of luxury claiming to have inherited a fortune. But it turned out the spacious Uxbridge home decorated with Salvador Dali paintings with a Porsche parked out front was financed by money Villani had stolen from the school.

The Boston Globe reports that an investigation revealed Villani had stolen nearly $3.4 million from payments intended for the state Medicaid insurance program over the past five years.

The theft was not noticed until December, when Villani died in a single-vehicle car accident while driving under the influence.

“It was an appalling scam by a guy who was committed to defrauding an organization,” Edward Keohane, vice chancellor for communications at UMass Medical School, told the Boston Globe. “It’s unbelievable. The level of it, the depth of it, was staggering.”

Villani left behind a wife. The university is currently in negotiations with her, and has found there is most likely enough of Villani’s money in savings to make up for the state’s losses, according to the Globe.

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