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Press Release

Florida Man Pleads Guilty To Threatening A VA Employee

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Michael F. Hanley, 49, of Clearwater, Florida, pleaded guilty, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer, to threatening a federal employee. The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and $100,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas A. Penrose, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant was formerly employed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as a Veterans Claims Examiner. During his tenure at the VA, Hanley became acquainted with another VA employee (Victim), and the two had a history of contentious interactions.

The defendant left a series of similar voicemails on the Victim’s phone between October 15, 2018, and November 13, 2019, in which he threatened to kill the Victim and the Victim’s family.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the VA Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Christopher Algieri.

Sentencing is scheduled for November 18, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. before Judge Roemer.

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Updated August 19, 2020