Millionaire indicted for claiming he was shot by unknown gunman

A former prominent MIT professor and Internet guru who claimed he had been shot by unknown gunmen with Russian accents outside his office in December made up the story and actually shot himself, prosecutors said Thursday.

John J. Donovan was indicted Thursday on one misdemeanor count of filing a false police report. Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley said Donovan originally blamed his son for arranging someone to shoot him.

"The entire event was fabricated and staged," Coakley said.

Donovan's attorney, Barry Klickstein, said Donovan "vehemently, adamantly denies that he had any role in orchestrating" his shooting.

"The professor was viciously shot multiple times by two strangers outside his office," Klickstein said.

Donovan, 64, has degrees from Tufts and Yale universities and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a longtime professor. He's published 11 business books and has started a long list of profitable companies. MIT declined comment Thursday.

Fortune 500 firms paid Donovan hefty fees to speak, prompting The New York Times to dub him the, "Johnny Carson of the training circuit."

Donovan's personal life had grown increasingly troubled in recent years. Last year, he was involved in at least 17 lawsuits, including an allegation of sexual abuse by one of his daughters and a fight in civil court with his five children.

On the night of Dec. 16, Donovan called police from his cell phone and said he'd been shot by two men with Russian accents after he got into his car outside his company, Cambridge Executive Enterprises.

The indictment alleges that Donovan made up the story.

Coakley said she believes Donovan, who was a gun owner with experience handling a weapon, shot himself, though authorities said there was a possibility he asked someone to shoot him.

Klickstein said he was disappointed with the charge against Donovan.

"He's cooperated fully with authorities, giving them every detail over many hours of taped interviews, and he'll continue to cooperate because he's intent in seeing that whoever is responsible for the shooting gets brought to justice," he said.

Donovan was not arrested. He will be summoned on the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a fine of $100 (Ђ79) to $500 (Ђ397), reports AP.


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