FBI Agents have arrested Massachusetts Democrat Rep. David Nangle.
The Lowell Democrat is accused of using campaign funds to fuel his gambling habit.
Per BostonHerald, a campaign finance watchdog blasted state Rep. David Nangle’s alleged misuse of political donations, saying that fraudulent use of the money to pay off gambling debts and golf club dues “undermines the system.”
“These kinds of games that politicians play with campaign finances are the reason we have these laws in the first place,” said Aaron McKean, legal counsel at the Campaign Legal Center. “They are here to prevent exactly this kind of behavior because it undermines the system.”
Nangle, 59, of Lowell, was indicted on 10 counts of wire fraud, four counts of bank fraud, nine counts of making false statements to a bank and five counts of filing false tax returns Tuesday. A 21-page indictment details several different methods Nangle allegedly used to cover up his campaign fund abuse, including buying $7,500 worth of gift cards from stores like CVS and Rite Aid that he reported as spending on supplies.
“Business records show that Nangle purchased Visa credit cards of up to $500 in value,” said Lelling in the indictment. “Gift cards that Nangle purportedly used for “supplies,” were used to pay for shoes, clothing and golf fees, among other things, according to credit card records.”
WashingtonExaminer reports longtime Massachusetts state Rep. David Nangle, who sits on both the ethics and rules committees, has been arrested for corruption.
The Democratic lawmaker was arrested by the FBI and IRS on Tuesday and charged with bank fraud, lying to a bank, falsifying tax returns, and wire fraud. He stands accused of using his campaign’s bank account to fund his expensive gambling habit, according to ABC News.
The 28-count indictment alleges Nangle “was heavily in debt, had poor credit and had regular cash flow problems as a result of extensive gambling at various casinos in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, among others — placing thousands of bets on internet gambling sites.”
As the debt accumulated, even as Nangle earned about $100,000 in recent years, prosecutors said he began to use campaign funds to close out his personal debt instead of for legitimate purposes and used “the Nangle Committee bank account as his own personal checking account to pay for various personal expenses and to withdraw cash.”
As a member of the state legislature, Nangle sits on the House Committee on Ethics, the House Committee on Rules, and the Joint Committee on Rules.
FBI agent Joseph Bonavolonta said Nangle, who has served as a state lawmaker since 1999, used the funds not just for gambling, but for a variety of illicit purposes.
“Time after time, he allegedly used campaign funds to pay for personal expenses, spending thousands of dollars on golf club fees, gas, gift cards, hotels, restaurants, flowers and rental cars for trips to casinos, some of which he had already been reimbursed for by taxpayers,” Bonavolonta said.
The indictment also alleges Nangle convinced a part-time state employee to help him file fraudulent taxes, and when the employee declined to submit them, Nangle pushed the send button and said he would “take the blame if anything happens.”
Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said the reason Nangle was charged in federal rather than state court was because it is more of a deterrent for others.
“I think there’s a real deterrent value in us being active in this area, and we will continue to do that,” Lelling said.