The former head of the Cleveland and Dayton VA medical centers has pleaded guilty to accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to steer VA projects to favored contractors. For Ohio Public Radio, WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on what William Montague cost the Veterans Administration.
Sixty-four times in federal court, William Montague admitted he was guilty -- of conspiracy, fraud, money laundering, and a series of other felonies.
The now 61-year-old Montague was director of Cleveland’s VA Medical Center for 15 years. He retired in 2010, then went to work in early 2011 for the Dayton VA center. And according the plea, he accepted kickbacks and bribes at both places.
A two-year investigation by the FBI says Montague provided help to favored contractors, including the “mother lode” of insider information to a Buffalo company seeking a billion dollars in VA construction projects nationwide. Those included projects in New York, Illinois and California.
Montague disguised his role by setting himself up as a consultant. He ran a financial services company called “House of Montague.”
While He was head of the Cleveland VA, it consolidated services into the Louis Stokes medical center. The move was promoted as one that would save $29 million a year. Last year, U.S. inspector general called the consolidation “fundamentally flawed,” and said it would actually cost the VA close to half a billion dollars over the next two decades.
Montague is to be sentenced on May 20. He’s agreed to pay nearly $400,000 in restitution.