Former president of state ethics committee convicted of embezzlement

BOSTON – Former State House Ethics Committee Chairman and 22-year state representative David Nangle has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for unlawful embezzlement of campaign funds and failure to report income, among other crimes.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said on Wednesday that the 60-year-old was also ordered to pay $ 33,347 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service and forfeiture of $ 15,650.

Nangle, of Lowell, pleaded guilty in February to illegally using campaign funds to pay for his personal expenses, defrauding a bank to obtain loans to buy his house and pay off his personal debts, and collecting income that he had not reported to the Internal Revenue Service. .

On February 24, Nangle admitted 10 counts of wire fraud, four counts of bank fraud, four counts of making false statements to a bank and five counts of filing false income tax returns.

He will spend two years on probation after his prison sentence.

From 1999 to 2020, Nangle was elected a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives for the 17th District of Middlesex.

Nangle, who was previously chairman of the House Ethics Committee, used his campaign committee’s debit card to make personal purchases, including thousands of dollars in gift cards.

At the time, Nangle was heavily in debt and gambled extensively at area casinos and online, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He also used thousands of dollars in campaign funds to pay for various personal expenses such as dues to a local golf club, rental cars to go to casinos, flowers for his girlfriend, gasoline, hotels and restaurants.

Nangle knew that the use of campaign funds for personal gain was prohibited and covered up his theft by filing false reports that obscured the personal nature of the expenses.

From 2015 to 2018, Nangle also fraudulently obtained bank loans to finance the purchase of his house, finance his gambling activities and pay off his personal debts.

He did so by misrepresenting multiple loan applications, distorting his income and underestimating his debt, the US attorney’s office said.

After learning he was under investigation for embezzlement, Nangle also obstructed justice by entering into a bogus consulting contract with a business owner so that the payments he received appeared to be legitimate.

But Nangle never provided legitimate services for the $ 27,000 he received from the business, instead sponsoring legislation that benefited the business owner’s client.

He also filed false income tax returns from 2014 to 2018 by claiming fictitious business deductions for alleged “consulting” work, as well as double deducting deductible expenses arising from his work as a state legislator.

He fraudulently claimed thousands of dollars in false deductions for alleged charitable donations and misled his tax preparer, and concealed the income he received from goods and services.

This included $ 7,000 in kitchen and bathroom work done at Nangle’s home and $ 7,000 in contractor’s check payments, gambling revenues from a Connecticut casino, and thousands of dollars. he stole from his campaign account.

Former Rep. Nangle was a 22-year Massachusetts State House veteran and former ethics committee chairman when he illegally used campaign funds for private golf club dues, casino trips and expensive dinners, ”Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel Mendell said.

“He broke the law and violated his duty to voters – as chairman of the ethics committee, no less. “

“State legislators are elected by the people, to serve the people, not to serve their own financial interests like David Nangle did,” said Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Boston Division .

“Mr Nangle betrayed the confidence of his constituents and broke the law, knowing full well that what he was doing was wrong. Today’s sentence shows that there are serious consequences for corrupt officials who attempt to undermine the integrity of our government. “

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