Judge sentences former MIT business prof John Donovan Sr. to two years in prison in forgery plot

 Judge sentences former MIT business prof John Donovan Sr. to two years in prison in forgery plot

A former MIT business professor convicted of attempting to steal millions from the land of his deceased son was sentenced Monday to serve two years in state prison, according to prosecutors and legal prosecutors. -file.

Essex Superior Court Judge Salim Tabit sentenced the defendant, John Donovan Sr., 80, of Hamilton, to serve two to two years and one day behind bars, followed by a three -year probation. there was a condition that he had no contact with his deceased. wife and child and minor children, authorities said.

The sentence came after a jury convicted Donovan of multiple crimes on May 3, including attempted robbery, perjury, and seven counts of forgery. Donovan’s attorney did not immediately return an email seeking comment Monday afternoon.

The trial ends a decade-long family drama involving Donovan and several of his family members, including his son John Donovan Jr.

Among those who delivered victim impact statements Monday in court before sentencing was John Jr.’s widow, Megan Donovan, according to a written transcript of what she said.

“The emotional impact and damage is enormous,” he said. “Knowing the Defendant’s actions immediately sent me into a deeper state of sadness and depression. It has given me great concern about the financial security, safety and well -being of my family. I am concerned that the Defendant will somehow be allowed to take or manage our property – and that my family will be tied to this man who has been corrupting for almost two decades.

Megan Donovan added that “she fears that she may manipulate the legal system and escape this fraud. I am burdened because everything John has worked and left for our family is being questioned by Defendant’s actions.

John Sr. was previously convicted of filing a false police report in 2007, after he shot himself in the stomach and admitted that his son hired two Russian hit men to attack him. He was sentenced to two years probation in the case. In 2020, a judge found he had misappropriated business funds for personal expenses and ordered him to pay nearly $ 3 million in damages, legal fees, and interest.

Donovan’s separate conviction earlier this month focused on the situation of John Jr., who died in 2015.

The staff of the Southern Essex Registry of Deeds in Salem suspected Donovan Sr. to submit 25 forged documents, including wills, debts, deeds, and land transfers, prosecutors said.

If the documents had been accepted, the elderly Donovan would have been given land worth $ 5 million for a conservation organization, overturned a Supreme Court judgment against him, released him from a debt, and given him access to his grandchildren against the will of his deceased son, according to prosecutors.

In a sentencing memorandum last week, Donovan’s attorney asked Tabit to extend his client’s jail time, recommending a sentence of two years probation of community service and conditions.

“Professor Donovan lived a respectable life but he had a terrible fall from grace … when he was involved in controversial litigation with his children,” the defense said in the filing. “This twenty-more years of involvement has inflicted an incredible emotional damage on both him and his wife.”

But Rebecca M. Brown, one of John Jr.’s surviving siblings, said in a blistering victim impact statement Monday that her father is to blame for the family’s pain since her brother’s death from cancer at an early age. 43.

“My father … made this tragic loss of our brother an even more painful and frustrating stage in our lives,” Brown said, according to a transcript of his comments. “My brother not only suffered from the terrible suffering, fear and anxiety that he struggled with the last few years of his life facing and battling the medical issues that eventually took his life, he had to face the greater fear of what he feared my father would do. his family after he left this world and he could no longer protect them. ”

Material from the Associated Press is used in this report.

Travis Andersen can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.

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