Christopher Adam Scott, former head of veterans outreach center that served the Pioneer Valley, indicted for theft
SPRINGFIELD — The former head of a veterans outreach center that served the Pioneer Valley has been indicted in connection with the theft of more than $35,000 from the organization, including approximately $17,000 in federal funds, according to the office of state Attorney General Martha Coakley.
Christopher Adam Scott, 53, of Springfield, was indicted by a Hampden County grand jury Tuesday on charges of procurement fraud and two counts of larceny over $250. Scott was the former executive director of the Mason Square Veterans Outreach Center in Springfield from its opening in 2006 to the time of its February 2012 closing.
“We allege that this defendant abused his position at this charity to steal tens of thousands of dollars for his own personal use,” Coakley said in announcing the indictments Wednesday. “We allege the money he stole was intended to be used for the benefit of veterans who have risked their lives to protect our country and our freedom.”
The government-sponsored outreach center provided counseling, benefits and health information to veterans and at times collaborated with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System in Leeds and other veterans organizations providing services in the region.
Scott had oversight of the center’s bank accounts and was responsible for preparing financial documents, paying bills and seeking funds. Prosecutors allege he stole more than half, or about $17,000, of $31,000 in federal grant funds through the city of Springfield.
The money from a Community Development Block Grant was intended to eliminate architectural barriers within the organization’s building to allow better handicapped access.
An investigation that began in February 2012 when Springfield’s city solicitor contacted authorities revealed that Scott submitted “falsified, materially-altered and duplicate receipts” to the city’s Community Development Office related to the grant, according to the AG’s office. Prosecutors allege more than half the money was stolen by Scott for his personal benefit, among other funds taken directly from the organization.
Dan Crowley can be reached at email@example.com.