Massachusetts state lawmaker arrested on charges of embezzling campaign funds

Massachusetts state lawmaker arrested on charges of embezzling campaign funds
© Greg Nash

Longtime Massachusetts state Rep. David M. Nangle (D) on Tuesday was arrested and charged with illegally using campaign funds for personal expenses, as well as bank and tax fraud. 

Nangle, who assumed state office in 1999, 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, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts said in a statement. He was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday afternoon. 

Nangle's attorney, William Connolly, told ABC News that the charges were nothing more than "allegations" and that he would "fight these charges in court."

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Nangle is accused of hatching a scheme to to obtain loans from a bank that could then fund his extensive gambling activities and repay his personal debts. The debts were allegedly a product of his regular gambling at casinos in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In addition, he's said to have placed thousands of bets online, causing him to accrue tens of thousands of dollars in losses. 

The representative also allegedly used thousands of dollars in campaign funds to pay for rental cars, dues to a local golf club and trips to casinos, among other things. 

Court documents say that Nangle knew using personal campaign funds were illegal, and prosecutors allege that it led the state lawmaker to file false reports that disguised the nature of the spending. He allegedly made false statements on loan applications since at least 2014, misstating his income and debts, the U.S. attorney's office said. 

The indictment accuses him of filing false tax returns between 2014 and 2018 and "fraudulently claiming thousands of dollars in false deductions for alleged charitable donations." He's said to have defrauded Massachusetts campaign finance regulators as well. 

He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for the wire fraud charge. The bank fraud charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years and a fine of $1 million. The charge of filing false tax returns could result in a three-year sentence and a $100,000 fine. 

"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," Joe Bonavolonta of the FBI said.