Jail time for hospital exec turned embezzlerA former official at UMass Memorial Health Care Inc. has been sentenced to two years in jail for embezzling more than $2.5 million from the hospital system through bogus construction contracts.

John Lawler was also ordered by a judge Wednesday to pay $300,000 in restitution.

Lawler pleaded guilty to charges including larceny and bribery.

Prosecutors say the 54-year-old Lawler embezzled the funds from 2003 through 2007 while the senior director of major capital projects at UMass Memorial. He set up fake bank accounts in the name of a construction company, then stole the hospital’s payment checks to the company and deposited the funds in his personal accounts.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that Lawler apologized in court. His lawyer said he suffered from an undiagnosed mental illness at the time of the thefts

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