Massachusetts State Rep David Nangle has been arrested for misusing campaign funds. Just last week we saw the liberal mayor of San Francisco come under fire for the same thing. Just the latest in Democratic corruption before the 2020 election.
the Boston Globe reported
Longtime State Representative David M. Nangle, a Lowell Democrat who sits on the House Committee on Ethics, was arrested Tuesday on federal charges alleging he raided his campaign account to pay personal expenses and sustain his gambling habit visiting area casinos, authorities said.
Nangle, 59, was taken into custody at his Lowell home, authorities said during a morning briefing. He was slated to make his initial appearance in US District Court in Boston at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday on 28 counts alleging wire fraud, bank fraud, false statements to a bank and filing false tax returns, according to prosecutors.
An indictment says Nangle used his campaign fund to pay thousands of dollars in Lowell Golf Club dues and personal charges; rental cars for casino travel; flowers for his girlfriend; gas, hotel, and restaurant charges that he’d already received state reimbursement for; gift cards for personal use; and cash withdrawals.
“If the allegations in the indictment are true, it is safe to say that Representative Nangle has violated the public trust and especially the trust of constituents who donated to his campaign fund,“ said US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling.
Lelling’s words were echoed by Joseph R. Bonavolonta, the FBI special agent in charge of the Boston office.
“Mr. Nangle went to great links to try to conceal his debt by spearheading several fraud schemes,“ Bonavolonta said. “And let me be clear: this is not a case of mismanagement, sloppy accounting or innocent mistakes. Simply put, Representative Nangle used the power of his position on Beacon Hill to fund a lifestyle out of his reach … while also cheating taxpayers.”
Nangle has served in the House since 1999 and sits on the House Committee on Ethics, the House Committee on Rules, and the Joint Committee on Rules, according to his biography on the state Legislature’s website.
His lawyer, William Connolly, said via e-mail that his client will fight the charges.
“David Nangle is a good man who has proudly served his district as a State Representative,” Connolly wrote. “The charges against David are merely allegations. We will fight these charges in court.”
Lelling’s office laid out the allegations against Nangle in a statement, as well as the indictment.
The lawmaker allegedly “used his campaign committee’s debit card to make personal purchases, including thousands of dollars in gift cards for his personal use, among other things,” the statement said. “It is further alleged that Nangle, who was heavily in debt, gambled extensively at area casinos and online, and then used thousands of dollars in campaign funds to pay for various personal expenses such as dues at a local golf club, rental cars to travel to casinos, flowers for his girlfriend, gas, hotels, and restaurants.”
Nangle’s alleged wrongdoing also included lies on bank loan applications.
“From at least 2014, Nangle devised a scheme to obtain loans from a bank in order to fund his gambling activities and to repay his personal debts,” the statement said. “Nangle allegedly did so by making false statements on loan applications, misstating his income and understating his debt.”
According to the indictment, prosecutors said, Nangle “filed false tax returns for tax years 2014 to 2018 by reporting fictitious business deductions for purported ‘consulting’ work that he did for a Billerica company. Nangle allegedly double dipped on deductible expenses arising from his work as a state legislator, fraudulently claiming thousands of dollars in false deductions for alleged charitable donations, and misleading his tax preparer.”
Prosecutors also allege that Nangle helped a Lowell state employee get his government job and then from 2015 to 2017 enlisted that worker with helping him file false tax returns. Neither the contractor nor the state employee are named in the indictment.
Nangle allegedly “double-dipped” into his campaign account to pay for meals and office expenses that he already received state reimbursement for between 2014 and 2018, the indictment says. And he allegedly defrauded Lowell Bank by lying on loan applications when he concealed debts totaling $112,500 to restaurant owners in Lowell, Dracut, and Salisbury over several years, among other misrepresentations, according to the indictment.
Between 2014 and 2019, the indictment says, he allegedly failed to disclose those debts to the State Ethics Commission as required by law. In addition, he allegedly failed to disclose an outstanding debt of at least $4,500 to a former state representative from whom he’d borrowed at least $7,000 from 2014 and 2017, the indictment says. The former lawmaker wasn’t named.
The indictment references a February 2015 home mortgage application at Lowell Bank in which Nangle allegedly blamed “his bad credit on his ex-wife,” claiming she failed to repay money he’d lent her.
Not so, according to court papers, which say Nangle “had not loaned her any money, and in the months prior to the closing, NANGLE had spent thousands of dollars at” various casinos in New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
Also as part of the application, the indictment says, Nangle allegedly submitted a sham consulting agreement with a Billerica company backdated to August 2014 to create “the illusion” that he had another income source, the indictment says. And on Feb. 27, 2015, the document says, Nangle received a $17,000 check from the company that he used for a down payment on a house, even though he had performed “no services” for the company.
In addition, he allegedly directed the unnamed Lowell state employee to file his bogus tax returns with the online filing tool TurboTax between 2014 and 2016, the indictment says. He allegedly told the employee to “inflate various mileage amounts and expenses” and other false entries so that he’d receive a refund each year, the filing says.
“In at least one instance, the Lowell State Employee refused to hit the submit button on TurboTax because he was aware that the inflated expenses were fraudulent,” the indictment says. “In response, NANGLE pressed the submit button, assuring the Lowell State Employee that NANGLE would ‘take the blame if anything happens.’”
Nangle’s alleged tax fraud came at the expense of the IRS, Lelling told reporters Tuesday.
“He ultimately defrauded the IRS of tens of thousands of dollars in tax revenue,” Lelling said.
Law enforcement officials weren’t the only ones crying foul Tuesday; the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance also ripped Nangle’s alleged conduct.
‘“Today’s news that another Beacon Hill lawmaker used his position to enrich himself should not surprise anyone who has been observing the House chamber since Speaker [Robert] DeLeo took over,” said alliance spokesman Paul D. Craney in a statement. “The Speaker used term limits to get elected, only to get rid of them to benefit himself. He uses a taxpayer funded credit card to enjoy fine dining, only to attempt to keep it a secret from the public scrutiny. Why wouldn’t Rep. Nagle, a top DeLeo lieutenant, feel he’s entitled to use his campaign account for alleged personal enrichment.”
A spokeswoman for DeLeo, a Winthrop Democrat, didn’t immediately return voice and e-mail messages seeking comment.