BOSTON – A former Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who was ever convicted of staging his own shooting, is now accused of forging a part of his dead son to gain possession of a number of properties in Massachusetts.
John J. Donovan Sr., a 75-year-old who built a fortune in the technology, was indicted by a grand jury in Salem on Thursday on seven counts of forgery, along with other charges including attempted larceny, intimidation of witnesses and obtaining a signature by false pretenses.
He could not be reached for comment Thursday. It was unclear whether he has obtained a lawyer.
Prosecutors say Donovan, Hamilton, Massachusetts, schemed to obtain at least four properties in the northeastern part of Massachusetts that was left behind by his youngest son, John Donovan Jr., who died in April, 2015 at the age of 43 after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
The senior Donovan is accused of forging his son’s signature to get the ownership of the property deeds, and of the forging of a variety of other documents relating to his son in the finals.
The authorities started investigating after the local registry of the deeds concern about the documents in March 2017, and the case was referred to the district attorney’s office.
Donovan will be arraigned in Salem Superior Court.
He was found guilty in 2007 of staging his own shooting outside his office in Cambridge. He said that he was attacked by two Russian hit-men while they were in his car on the evening of Dec. 16, 2005. He said his son James hired the men refused and a role in the recording.
But the prosecutors at the time said he shot himself in the stomach and concocted the story to frame his son. He was accused of making the arrangements to take matters in hand in a legal battle with his five children over the control of the trusts that were said to be worth $180 million.
He was convicted for filing a false tax return and was sentenced to two years of probation.
His son James is a Goldman Sachs executive, who was nominated for the No. 2 job in the Republican President, Donald Trump of the Treasury Department earlier this year, but later withdrew from the process, citing personal reasons.
The senior Donovan was a wealthy businessman who made a name for himself as a technology guru, it started more than a dozen companies and publishing 11 books in his career. He taught business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1969 to 1997.
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